Early Deep House and the Evolution of Soul Music

Early Deep House and the Evolution of Soul Music

As someone who tends to resent genre classifications as being creative cages too many artists lock themselves into, the designation of deep house eventually started to feel like tightening handcuffs on an innocent man’s wrist. A sound that could have been considered a faction of soul music set to fill the void between 1980s boogie and 1990s new jack swing eventually smoothed out its rough edges and embraced a debilitating willingness to follow formula. Added to that was a new sentiment behind much of the music that seemed more at home on the beaches of Ibiza and the related compilations than in the warehouses of Chicago and New York where it all began.

Far from the perfectly syncopated and lushly produced up-tempo lounge music that eventually redefined the art form, early deep house was unformulatic, roughly produced, and emotionally raw. If Kraftwerk are regarded as the godfathers of Berlin’s contemporary electronic sound, Prince remains at least as influential in these early days of house, acting as the ghost in the machine of a genre mired in minimalist funk and a sleazy sexuality. The end result is the original retort to people who think of dance music as little more than a syncopated kick drum. At it’s best, house music is as real as music gets.

      Old School Deep House


Ron Trent – Sub Universe “1984”
Lil Louis – Aahhh!
Jamie Principle – I Want Your Love (Rare Version)
Frankie Knuckles – Baby Wants to Ride
Mr. Fingers – You’re Someone Special
Armando – Don’t Take it (MI Edit)
Jeanette “J.T.” Thomas – Shake Your Body (House Shaker Version)
Ace & the Sandman – Let Your Body Talk
Keynotes – Let’s Let’s Dance
Michael Watford – Holdin’ On
Masters at Work – I Can’t Get No Sleep
Cajmere – Dream States
Cajmere – Only 4 U (Mark Grant’s Paramount Mix)
Janice Christie – Taking Me For Granted
Quest – Mind Games
2 Houss People – Move My Body
Larry Heard – Riverside Drive
E.S.P. – It’s You
Dream 2 Science – My Love Turns to Liquid
Chez n Trent – Morning Factory
Frankie Knuckles – The Whistle Song

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