|Cultural origins||Mid-1980s, Chicago, United States|
|Styles of house music|
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Acid house (also simply known as just "acid") is a subgenre of house music developed around the mid-1980s by DJs from Chicago. The style is defined primarily by the "squelching" sounds and deep basslines of the Roland TB-303 electronic bass synthesizer-sequencer.Acid house spread to the United Kingdom and continental Europe, where it was played by DJs in the acid house and later rave scenes. By the late 1980s, acid house had moved into the British mainstream, where it had some influence on pop and dance styles.
Acid house brought house music to a worldwide audience.The influence of acid house can be heard on later styles of dance music including trance, breakbeat hardcore, jungle, big beat, techno and trip hop.
Acid house's minimalist production aesthetic combined house music's ubiquitous programmed four-on-the-floor 4/4 beat with the electronic squelch sound produced by the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer by constantly modulating its frequency and resonance controls to create movement in otherwise simple bass patterns. Other elements, such as synthetic strings and stabs, were usually minimal. Sometimes tracks were instrumentals such as Phuture's "Acid Tracks", or contained full vocal performances such as Pierre's Pfantasy Club's "Dream Girl", while others were essentially instrumentals complemented by the odd spoken word 'drop-in', such as Phuture's "Slam".
English acid house and rave fans used the yellow smiley face symbol simply as an emblem of the music and scene, a "vapid, anonymous smile" that portrayed the "simplest and gentlest of the Eighties’ youth manifestations" that was non-aggressive, "except in terms of decibels" at the high-volume DJ parties.Some acid house fans used a smiley face with a blood streak on it, which Watchmen comics creator Alan Moore asserts was based on Dave Gibbons' artwork for the series. The origin of this usage was the bloodied smiley from Watchmen on the label of "Beat Dis" by Bomb the Bass.
There are conflicting accounts about the origin of the term acid. One account ties it to Phuture's "Acid Tracks". Before the song was given a title for commercial release, it was played by DJ Ron Hardy at a nightclubwhere psychedelic drugs were reportedly used. The club's patrons called the song "Ron Hardy's Acid Track" (or "Ron Hardy's Acid Trax"). The song was released with the title "Acid Tracks" on Larry Sherman's label Trax Records in 1987. Sources differ on whether it was Phuture or Sherman who chose the title; Phuture's DJ Pierre says the group did because the song was already known by that title, but Sherman says he chose the title because the song reminded him of acid rock. Regardless, after the release of Phuture's song, the term acid house came into common parlance.
Some accounts say the reference to "acid" may be a celebratory reference to psychedelic drugs in general, such as LSD, as well as the popular club drug Ecstasy (MDMA).According to Rietveld, it was the house sensibility of Chicago, in a club like Hardy's The Music Box, that afforded it its initial meaning. In her view "acid connotes the fragmentation of experience and dislocation of meaning due to the unstructuring effects on thought patterns which the psychedelic drug LSD or 'Acid' can bring about. In the context of the creation of "Acid Tracks" it indicated a concept rather than the use of psychedelic drugs in itself.
Some accounts disavow psychedelic connotations. One theory, holding that acid was a derogatory reference towards the use of samples in acid house music, was repeated in the press and in the British House of Commons.In this theory, the term acid came from the slang term "acid burning", which the Oxford Dictionary of New Words calls "a term for stealing." In 1991, UK Libertarian advocate Paul Staines claimed that he had coined this theory to discourage the government from adopting anti-rave party legislation.
The earliest recorded examples of acid house are a matter of debate. At least one historian considers the Phuture's "Acid Trax" to be the genre's earliest example;DJ Pierre says it may have been composed as early as 1985, but it was not released until 1987. Another points out Sleezy D's "I've Lost Control" (1986) was the first to be released on vinyl, but it is impossible to know which track was created first.
The first acid house records were produced in Chicago, Illinois. Phuture, a group founded by Nathan "DJ Pierre" Jones, Earl "Spanky" Smith Jr., and Herbert "Herb J" Jackson, is credited with having been the first to use the TB-303 in house music (the instrument had been used earlier in disco records by Charanjit Singh in 1982,and Alexander Robotnick in 1983). The group's 12-minute "Acid Tracks" was recorded to tape and was played by DJ Ron Hardy at the Music Box, where Hardy was resident DJ. Hardy once played it four times over the course of an evening until the crowd responded favorably. Chicago's house music scene suffered a crackdown on parties and events by the police. Sales of house records dwindled and, by 1988, the genre was selling less than a tenth as many records as at the height of the style's popularity. However, house and especially acid house was beginning to experience a surge in popularity in Britain.
London's club Shoom opened in November 1987and was one of the first clubs to introduce acid house to the clubbing public of the UK. It was opened by Danny Rampling and his wife, Jenny. The club was extremely exclusive and featured thick fog, a dreamy atmosphere and acid house. This period began what some call the Second Summer of Love, a movement credited with a reduction in football hooliganism: instead of fights, football fans were listening to music, taking ecstasy, and joining the other club attendees in a peaceful movement that has been compared to the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967.
Another club called Trip was opened in June 1988 by Nicky Holloway at the Astoria in London's West End.Trip was geared directly towards the acid house music scene. It was known for its intensity and stayed open until 3 AM. The patrons would spill into the streets chanting and drew the police on regular occasions. The reputation that occurrences like this created along with the UK's strong anti-club laws started to make it increasingly difficult to offer events in the conventional club atmosphere. Considered illegal in London during the late 80s, after-hour clubbing was against the law. However, this did not stop the club-goers from continuing after-hours dancing. Police would raid the after-hour parties, so the groups began to assemble inside warehouses and other inconspicuous venues in secret, hence also marking the first developments of the rave. Raves were well attended at this time and consisted of single events or moving series of parties thrown by production companies or unlicensed clubs. Two well-known groups at this point were Sunrise, who held particularly massive outdoor events, and Revolution in Progress (RIP), known for the dark atmosphere and hard music at events which were usually thrown in warehouses or at Clink Street, a South East London nightclub housed in a former jail. With promoters like ( The Big Lad ) Shane Mckenzie and the Gang back in 1987 doing small parties in NW london and moving the Rave from the streets and the fields to the clubs of London 1990- 2005 seeing the future of raves in clubs all over the UK and Spain.
The Sunrise group threw several large acid house raves in Britain which gathered serious press attention. In 1988 they threw "Burn It Up," 1989 brought "Early Summer Madness," "Midsummer Night's Dream," and "Back to the Future." They advertised huge sound systems, fairground rides, foreign DJs, and other attractions. Many articles were written sensationalizing these parties and the results of them, focusing especially on the drug use and out-of-control nature that the media perceived.
Once the term acid house became more widely used, participants at acid house-themed events in the UK and Ibiza made the psychedelic drug connotations a reality by using club drugs such as ecstasy and LSD.The association of acid house, MDMA, and smiley faces was observed in New York City by late 1988. This coincided with an increasing level of scrutiny and sensationalism in the mainstream press, although conflicting accounts about the degree of connection between acid house music and drugs continued to surface.
Acid house was also popular in Manchester. The Thunderdome (which was generally advertised as a Techno night) in Miles Platting was at the epicenter of the scene and gave rise to acts like 808 State, Jam MC's, Steve Williams and Jay Wearden. The genre was extremely popular with the city's football hooligans. According to Manchester United football hooligan Colin Blaney in Hotshot: The Story of a Little Red Devil, the acid house venues were the only place where rival hooligan gangs would mix without coming to blows with one another.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, news media and tabloids devoted an increasing amount of coverage to the hedonistic acid house/rave scene, focusing on its association with psychedelic drugs and club drugs. The sensationalist nature of the coverage may have contributed to the banning of acid house during its heyday from radio, television, and retail outlets in the United Kingdom. The moral panic of the press began in 1988, when the UK tabloid The Sun, which only weeks earlier had promoted acid house as "cool and groovy" while running an offer on acid smiley face t-shirts, abruptly turned on the scene. On October 19, the tabloid ran with the headline "Evils of Ecstasy," linking the acid house scene with the newly popular and relatively unknown drug. The resultant panic incited by the tabloids eventually led to a crackdown on clubs and venues that played acid house and had a profound negative impact on the scene.
Despite this, one tune broke through into the mainstream in November 1988. Stakker Humanoid, produced by Brian Dougans (later of Future Sound of London), was a hit not just at influential clubs like The Haçienda in Manchester or Shoom in London, but was championed by mainstream stalwarts like Radio DJ Bruno Brookes and Kylie and Jason producer Pete Waterman. It went on to reach number 17 in the UK charts in November 1988, leading to Dougans' appearance on Top of the Pops on 1 December 1988.
In the 21st century, reports surfaced about a 1982 album that sounds similar to what would later be called acid house. The album, Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat , is by Charanjit Singh, a Bollywood session musician from Bombay, and features Indian ragas fused with disco.The album was recorded using the same basic Roland equipment often used for the later acid house music: the TR-808 and particularly the TB-303, which Singh was one of the first musicians to utilize. The record was initially a commercial failure in India and eventually forgotten, but its re-discovery in 2002 and eventual re-release in early 2010 has prompted comparisons to acid house music, with a few writers even considering it to be the first example of an acid house record.
House is a genre of electronic dance music characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat and a tempo of 120 to 130 beats per minute. It was created by DJs and music producers from Chicago's underground club culture in the 1980s, as DJs from the subculture began altering disco dance tracks to give them a more mechanical beat and deeper basslines.
The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a synthesizer released by the Roland Corporation in 1982. Designed to simulate bass guitars, it was a commercial failure and was discontinued in 1984. However, cheap second-hand units were adopted by electronic musicians, and its "squelching" or "chirping" sound became a foundation of electronic dance music genres such as house and techno. It has inspired numerous clones.
A rave is an organized dance party at a nightclub, an outdoor festival, warehouse, or other private property or public spaces, typically featuring performances by DJs, playing a seamless flow of electronic dance music. The word also means excellent, great, or brilliant, and can be used to describe any genre of music and entertainment. At its broadest definition, "rave" can be used to describe many forms of music, not limited to just rave music- which is why fusion genres exist, even within rave music itself. DJs at rave events play electronic dance music on vinyl, CDs and digital audio from a wide range of genres, including techno, hardcore, house, bassline, dubstep, New Beat and post-industrial. Occasionally live musicians have been known to perform at raves, in addition to other types of performance artists such as go-go dancers and fire dancers. The music is amplified with a large, powerful sound reinforcement system, typically with large subwoofers to produce a deep bass sound. The music is often accompanied by laser light shows, projected coloured images, visual effects and fog machines.
Detroit techno is a type of techno music that generally includes the first techno productions by Detroit-based artists during the 1980s and early 1990s. Prominent Detroit techno artists include Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, Drexciya and Mike Banks.
Chicago house refers to house music produced during the mid to late 1980s within Chicago. The term is generally used to refer to the first ever house music productions, which were by Chicago-based artists in the 1980s.
The Haçienda was a nightclub and music venue in Manchester, England, which became famous in the Madchester years of the 1980s and early 1990s. The Haçienda opened in 1982, and despite considerable and persistent financial troubles survived until 1997—the club was mainly supported by record sales from New Order. The Haçienda is associated with the rise of acid house and rave music.
Altern-8 is a British electronic music duo, featuring Mark Archer and Chris Peat. Best known in the early 1990s, their trademark was loud electronic tracks with a heavy bass line. On stage and in music videos,, Altern-8's members wore face masks and chemical warfare suits. The band signed with Network Records based in Stratford House, Birmingham, England.
An acid house party was a type of illegal party typically staged in abandoned warehouses between 1987 and 1989. Parties played acid house and acid techno music, electronic music genres with a distinct sound from the use of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer. The origin of the term acid house party is disputed coming either from the 1987 song "Acid Trax" by Phuture, or the consumption of MDMA and LSD that were common at the parties.
The Second Summer of Love was a 1980s social phenomenon in England and the wider United Kingdom which saw the rise of acid house music and unlicensed rave parties. The term generally refers to the summers of both 1988 and 1989, when electronic dance music and the prevalence of the drug MDMA fuelled an explosion in youth culture culminating in mass free parties and the era of the rave. The music of this era fused dance beats with a psychedelic, 1960s flavour, and the dance culture drew parallels with the hedonism and freedom of the 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco. The smiley logo is synonymous with this period in the UK.
The Shamen were a British electronic dance music band, formed in 1985 in Aberdeen. The founding members are Colin Angus, Derek McKenzie and Keith McKenzie. Peter Stephenson joined shortly after to take over on keyboards from Angus. Several other people were later in the band. Angus then teamed up with Will Sinnott, and together they found credibility as pioneers of rock/dance crossover. When Mr. C joined, the band moved on to international commercial success with "Ebeneezer Goode" and their 1992 Boss Drum album.
Phuture is an American house music group from Chicago, founded in 1985 by Earl "Spanky" Smith Jr., Nathaniel Pierre Jones aka DJ Pierre, and Herbert "Herb J" Jackson. The group is famous for inventing and defining the sound of acid house, a subgenre of house music, with their 1987 release "Acid Tracks".
Walter Gibbons was an American record producer, early disco DJ, and remixer. He helped pioneer the remix and 12" single in America, and was among the most influential New York DJs of the 1970s.
Electronic dance music (EDM), also known as dance music, club music, or simply dance, is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves and festivals. It is generally produced for playback by DJs who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix, by segueing from one recording to another. EDM producers also perform their music live in a concert or festival setting in what is sometimes called a live PA.
Danny Rampling is an English house music DJ and is widely credited as one of the original founders of the UK's rave/club scene.
Nathaniel Pierre Jones, better known by his stage name DJ Pierre, is an American DJ and performer of house music based in Chicago. He helped to develop the house music subgenre of acid house, as member of Phuture, whose 1987 EP Acid Tracks, is considered the first acid-house recording. Allmusic.com calls Jones a crucial DJ and the production wizard partly responsible for the development of Chicago acid-house. Jones' first single, "Generate Power," became standard fare for scores of producers during the next few years. Philippe Renaud, a journalist for La Presse in Montreal, states that the term acid house was coined in Chicago in 1987 to describe the sound of the Roland 303 bass machine, which made its first significant recording appearance on Phuture's Acid Trax in that year.
Psychedelic music is a wide range of popular music styles and genres influenced by 1960s psychedelia, a subculture of people who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline and DMT to experience visual and auditory hallucinations, synesthesia and altered states of consciousness. Psychedelic music may also aim to enhance the experience of using these drugs.
Shelley's Laserdome was a night club in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. It was at the heart of the house and rave scene in the early 1990s, helping to launch the career of DJ Sasha and featuring regular appearances from Carl Cox. It was eventually shut down by Staffordshire Police.
Techno is a genre of electronic dance music(EDM) that is characterized by a repetitive beat which is generally produced for use in a continuous DJ set. The central rhythm is often in common time (4/4), while the tempo typically varies between 120 and 150 beats per minute (bpm). Artists may use electronic instruments such as drum machines, sequencers, and synthesizers, as well as digital audio workstations. Drum machines from the 1980s such as Roland's TR-808 and TR-909 are highly prized, and software emulations of such retro instruments are popular.
Charanjit Singh was an Indian musician from Mumbai, who performed as a session musician, often as a guitarist or synthesizer player, in numerous Bollywood soundtrack orchestras from the 1960s to 1980s, working with filmi composers such as Shankar-Jaikishan, R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Singh led a wedding band and recorded and released a number of albums covering popular film songs. These were a form of instrumental elevator music, some of which have since been re-released by Sublime Frequencies, such as his steel guitar renditions of "Manje Re" from Bandhe Haath in 1973 and "Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne" from Yaadon Ki Baaraat in 1975. In 1981, he produced synthesizer-based electronic renditions of the Silsila soundtrack in his record Charanjit Singh: Plays Hit Tunes on Synthesizer of Silsila.
Modulations: A History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound is a 2000 book edited by Peter Shapiro. It is a companion piece to the documentary film Modulations: Cinema for the Ear.
There were big coincidences happening around the work [ sic ] and then all of a sudden the central image of it has been nicked on all these acid house t-shirts everywhere.
Youngsters were so high on Ecstacy and cannabis they ripped the birds’ heads off;
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