Strobe Light: 5 House Jams (and a little history) to Get You Moving into 2019

Dust off those kicks ya filthy little ravers, it’s time to get those bodies movin’.

This month’s selections have been hand picked by none other than yours truly (as if there is anyone else here calling the shots) and are strategically designed for you to get the most out of life. You have my personal guarantee that if these songs don’t result in  significant positive changes to your overall well-being then you get your money back. It’s as simple as that. Feel free to go back to the top and read this piece again. It’s my gift to you, no strings attached.

Now, before we drop these tracks in your ear piece, let’s just take a brief trip down memory lane for those of you who may not know exactly where this funky little art form began and how it got its name. Was it because it was invented in a house?   Well,  kind of.

One could probably trace back these rhythms to indigenous tribes throughout the world centuries ago, but it was the popularity of disco in the 1970s that laid the foundation for the house music and the tsunami of EDM that drenched the globe last decade. We are still riding that wave and as the sounds and styles continue to morph we are blessed with a steady stream of beats for all types of tastes and moods.

Inception:

Just as Hip Hop’s Garden of Eden can be traced back to the Bronx (1520 Sedwick anyone?), so can the beginnings of house and techno, with origin stories blossoming out of the mean streets of Chicago and Detroit.

On the Southside of Chicago in 1977 there was a night spot known as the Warehouse where chief selector Frankie Knuckles reined over this musical kingdom. Often referred to as the Godfather of house music, Knuckles is to house music what DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa are to hip hop. What Chuck Berry is to rock. The creative sparks that took these early art forms and introduced them to the people. Pioneers in the game, these individuals have rightfully earned their places as the founding fathers of their corners of music.

While no one can definitively say who in particular began to describe this new type of four-to-the-floor dance music with repetitive loops, samples, long extended compositions and deep bass lines, there are some prevailing theories.

At record stores in the Chicago area, crates of these early dance recordings were labeled with “as heard at the Warehouse”, which eventually morphed into “house music”. Other accounts say that some bars in Chicago would put signs up advertising “house music”, referring to older disco and soul records people had in their collections at home. In addition, early producers tended to hone their craft and produce tracks from DIY home studios laced with drum machines, samplers and multitrack recorders. Most likely it was a perfect storm of all these factors that ended up giving house music its name.

Growth:

Years later in the mid-80s, and 400 or so miles away, house music was evolving and given it’s own spin by Detroit tastemakers finding their own voice. Early tracks like Inner City’s ‘Big Fun’ laid the foundation for Techno with the legendary Derrick May and Juan Atkins leading the way. Pulling from house music, funk, and other electronic music influences such as Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, Techno’s darker qualities were a proper balance to the more soulful sounds coming out of Chicago. Nowadays the subtleties and differences between the two genres have blurred with fantastic results, splintering off into dozens and dozens of sub-genres such as deep house, tech house, garage, trance, indie dance and electro, to name a few.

Once house music and electronic dance music proved their popularity and profitability, they hit the ground running in the 90s picking up speed throughout the decade and entered the new millennium at the peak of underground rave culture. From here the mainstream EDM explosion was already starting to bubble and now boils over into all facets of mainstream culture through countless festivals, tours and DJ events occurring everyday around the globe.

Now that you know a bit of the history, now you must dance!

If you like what you’re hearing, link up with me on my other socials. Selections featured here can also be found in playlists on my YouTube page. Follow me on Instagram to keep up with all things music and zen in the city of Vancouver and of course lots of great content from my dog Charlee, who is dope AF.

https://www.youtube.com/user/johnnymcjohn

https://www.instagram.com/mrjtjames/

  1. Phenomenal Hand Clap Band – Judge Not (Ray Mang Disco Mix)

2.  AC Slater, BIJOU – Louis V

3. Chris Stussy – You & Me, Together

4. Sophie Lloyd, Dames Brown – Calling Out (David Penn Extended Remix)

5. Krystal Kleer – Neutron Dance

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