Chill House, Beach House, Sexy House, Rock House(WTF?)…Blog House.

15 03 2009

HOUSE music has been around for 3 decades plus now and it has definitely given birth to more offshoots, sub-genres, comical misinterpretations and watered down versions.

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You may have heard of Chicago House (the original-some more track based some song based), Acid House (coined by Chicago producer DJ Pierre of Phuture or hey, other early Chicago producers as well since many claim to have coined the term) after the squelchy bass sound emulating form the Roland TB303 which came to even describe a movement and not just a sound in Britain in the late 80s and the start of the Britain embracing house music originating from America) – “We call it Aciieed” as one anthem put it) Garage (a bit disco, part gospel,  diva vocal type), Funky House (which could originate from anywhere provided it is funky,duh), Ambient House (music originally meant for the “chill out” rooms in raves evolving into the 4/4th house template but with the obvious relaxed feel), Italo House (early Italian house offshoot that’s usually “piano” riffs led. At times instrumental but usually with wailing Diva vocals aka Piano Toons for the old skool ravers) Deep House(several kinds, some more moody and abstract,some more jazzy,some more soulful vocal type. I’m more on the track-y moody kind), Tribal House (which is self explanatory is, uh, very tribal drum brigade sounding , you get the point), Disco House (more sample based kind of House plundering rare and commercial disco material, usually chopped up or an adaptation with  blatant usage of a part or riff) Progressive House (British take on House music that’s more melodic and somewhat close to Trance in feel), in the late 90’s  the British came up with Speed Garage (combining Jungle with Garage) and 2Step (like r&b but with d&b 2step leanings hence the term which in turn gave birth to Broken Beat/NuJazz organic end of things). There’s also  Micro(glitch)House(a term you either take seriously or not but spot on in describing the like of Matthew HERBERT, Akufen etc. in their quirky, minimalist approach to House music), Tech House (another British take on House music literally combining the electronic feel of techno with house grooves now enjoying worldwide popularity and a new school of European producers), Electro House (again literally combining the 4/4 beats of House with electro (the new kind and not in the Afrika Bambaataa, PeechBoys sense) with that harsh sawtooth wave like patch and high synthy 80s lines and old school piano thrown in. Currently all over the place and you can blame electroclash, the precursor for it.-not my thing though. The more vocal kind usually described as Dirty House )

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I might have left out Balearic House(which basically just means an odd and eclectic assortment of styles like world music, pop,indie etc all thrown in the mix . The concept originated in Ibiza and popularized by a -DJ Alfredo Fiorito whose concept was adopted again by the British) and others but pretty much these are some of the terms and descriptions to the many mutations and offshoots of music that’s truly and originally a progression of funk and disco and of  Afro-American origin.

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Techno(originating from Detroit) on the other hand was influenced by House music from across the lake (Chicago) ,European electronic music(Kraftwerk, Can, Neu) and 80’s synthpop(British Electric Foundation,The Human League, Depeche Mode), but that’s another topic alltogether.

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Again with House music, i’m amazed and amused at how some local djs and wannabes take marketing descriptions seriously that they actually think it’s a sub-genre. I’ve heard and have been told that there’s “Chill House”, “Beach House” (thanks all the commercial cd compilations for that) and the most idiotic one yet, “ROCK HOUSE” probably describing an indietronic track or the indierock remix culture also known as the equally funny,” Blog House”.

Uhm...beach house anyone?

Uhm..."Beach" House anyone?

In my book ,it’s basically tracks by mostly American,current indierock or indie-dance type acts who dabble in electronic music and steal a lot from the 80’s synthpop sound which gets  further recycled or “remixed”(a process connected with House and techno from time immemorial) by the 1. band member  or the band themselves  2. Solo mysterious nerd or artist if you will. 3. by some amateur remixer off his or her laptop. 4.  By anyone who wants to have a go at tracks that are more often than not, distributed or leaked  by unknown acts  themselves who want their music spread via blogs, hence “blog house”.

recently i found this really FUNNY piece on the very subject. It’s  from Carles of HIPSTER RUNOFF. It’s quite spot on and i found myself  “LOL”. Here’s a sample…

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WTF is Blog House?

Have yall heard of this genre called BLOG HOUSE? I can’t rlly explain it, but fortunately CurrentTV had a few moderately-alt bros in cryptic graphic tees explain what it is.


What does BLOG HOUSE mean to you? I don’t really know where blog house starts and stops. Here is a list of bands, and whether I consider them blog house or not.

Burning question: JUST BC U PARTICIPATE IN THE REMIX ECONOMY, ARE YOU BLOG HOUSE?

  • The Teenagers (yes)
  • Justice (no. Too bangery, but maybe. I don’t rlly know abt them any more. We’ll have more answers after their 2nd album.)
  • Cut Copy (pre-dated blogs)
  • Ladyhawke (not sure yet)
  • Feist (no)
  • Feist (Boys Noize Remix) (deffs)
  • Simian Mobile Disco (too intelligent, but they attract bloghouse fans)
  • Klaxons (not usually electro-enough)
  • Animal Collective (did u srsly just ask that? ur ghey and don’t know shit abt music)
  • Valerie artists (kind of. I think they are trying to be more than ‘a hot trend’)
  • Mediocre electro producers (kind of, but they probably don’t deserve to be lumped into the same category as tier-1 blog house track)
  • Lifelike (POSSIBLY, but he’s pretty authentic)
  • Fred Falke/Alan Braxe (Pre-dated blogs, but are getting a great bump from blog luv)
  • Fake Blood (Have to listen to him soon. Who is he?)
  • Bloody Beetroots (Maybe, I don’t know. Never heard them)
  • The Black Kids/The Cool Kids (I still don’t know the difference between these two artists)
  • Black Ghosts (POSSIBLY. Not really sure. Probably)
  • MGMT (They could have been if people only listened to the song “Kids” and “Electric Feel”)
  • Lil Wayne/Coldplay/Radiohead (They are always popular on hypem, does this mean they are blog house?)
  • Santogold/M.I.A./Kid Sister (Are black females allowed to be considered blog-house? or can they only be marketed as rappers?)
  • The Ting Tings (Haven’t bothered 2 listen to them)
  • The Presets (not sure. Maybe. Probably)
  • Van She (Yeah. I think they are tier 1 blog house)
  • Lykki Li (MAYBE)
  • Robyn (she should be working at a McDonalds. She doesn’t deserve a 2nd wind)
  • PNAU (they are blog house-ish in this era of their careers)
  • M83 (NO. Shoegazers are not BLOG HOUSE. They are just easy to blog about.)
  • Girl Talk (Way too mainstream/has a floating audience)
  • HEALTH (Are they they the only hardXcore bloghouse act in existence?)
  • HEARTSREVOLUTION (I think they think any1 can be ‘blog house’ so they are just trying to match the aesthetic, but BLOG HOUSE is an honor, not a right.)
  • Crystal Castles (I think they are kind of like
  • INTERPOL (no way.)
  • Junior Boys (I feel like there are bands that should try to be MORE bloghouse, and get involved a little bit more in the remix economy.)
  • Gentlemen Drivers (I feel like their unauthorized remix of the Klaxon’s “Not Over Yet” is one of the blog-houseiest songs of all time)
  • Midnight Juggernauts (maybe. Probably)
  • Does it Offend You, Yeah? (Tough to tell with those British bands for British People)
  • LFO song “Summer Girls” (yes)
  • Ladytron (Isn’t it kind of interesting how some electro-ish bands predated the BLOG era, and don’t really NEED bloglove, but have still kind of made themselves available [via blogs] to make sure they stay connected with their target audiences?)
  • Lo Fi Fnk (Probably)
  • New Young Pony Club (probz, ya)
  • The song “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John (It depends on ur definition of blog house)
  • Sébastien Tellier (I don’t know about that weirdo guy)
  • Shinichi Osawa (He makes remixes that are s0 good that they might be post-bloghouse-core)
  • Thieves Like Us (After their epic remix contest of 2k7, they have to be BLOG HOUSE)
  • THE HIPSTER RUNOFF (His first EP signaled the end of the blog house era, and the beginning of the post-bloghouse era [2009-2010.5])
  • The Tough Alliance (Those guys are pretty authentic in a weird way that I like/feel awkward about)
  • Breakbot (I don’t know anything about that guy but he seems weird based on his pictures)
  • CSS (I would feel more comfortable if they were ‘only’ a blog house band that I semi-enjoyed as opposed to being an ‘international phenomenon in iTunes commercials’ that I have to not whole-heartedly enjoy)
  • CFCF (ya. Pretty blog-housey)
  • Chromatics (somewhat)
  • Glass Candy (Somewhere between BLOG HOUSE and PITCHFORK-HOUSE, which is a good place to be)
  • Chromeo (this is a brain teaser!)
  • Daft Punk (n0 way)
  • Digitalism (Maybe just the song “POGO”)
  • Creed (no)
  • David Matthews (yes)
  • Rob Thomas solo (no)
  • Santana (ft Rob Thomas/Michelle Branch) (yes)

Did I miss any 1? (besides the Postal Service)

I feel like as a general rule, if BIG STEREO or MISSING TOOF blogged about you in 2006 or the first half of 2007, you are a blog house band whether you like it or not. I never really read music blogs back then, but if I had to guess, I think that rule would apply. There’s just something very AMERICAN about the term ‘blog house’ as if some AMERICAN guy invented the term even though it didn’t make too much sense, so it makes sense that two of the top American Electroblogs would be responsible for accidentally blogging BLOG HOUSE into existence.

I am unsure if the definitive characteristic of BLOG HOUSE is that the artist gained steam thanks to blogs, or if it ‘just sounds a certain way.’ Theoretically, STEREOGUM is a launching pad for a lot of underwhelming, yet historically significant-sounding meaningful-core indie-rock. Like Vampire Weekend or something like that. Is BLOGHOUSE about sounding a certain way, or is it just like ‘a lot of ppl searched for it on hypemachine and downloaded it, and they got remixed since people wanted free versions of their songs so much.’

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So there you go hipsters, time to evaluate whether all of the stuff you downloaded off Discodust makes you a bonafide music head or just a trendoid but as far as i’m concerned, despite being an indie/indiepop aficionado, when it comes to electronic dance music  i’d still be playing REAL HOUSE music and Techno.

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For more stories on HOUSE/TECHNO and its origins. Click on “The Collector’s Cinerama” on the links  within the page.

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