What Makes Deep House Deep? A Guide To Understanding House Music

Why is deep house called deep house, anyway? We explore the popular genre that captures the hearts and souls of many on the dancefloor.

So, you’ve heard the term “deep house” thrown around at parties, in clubs, or maybe in the labyrinthine corridors of Spotify. But what is it about this genre that captures the heart and soul? Why is deep house called deep house, anyway? Buckle up, because we’re diving into the depths to explore the essence, history, and the kaleidoscopic variations of deep house music.

The Soulful Origins of Deep House

Born in the 1980s, deep house is like the moody, introspective cousin of house music. This subgenre offers a fusion of Chicago house rhythms with sensual chords inspired by ’80s jazz-funk and undertones of soul music. The man often credited with laying the foundation of deep house is Larry Heard, aka Mr. Fingers. His seminal track, “Can You Feel It,” is pretty much the “Mona Lisa” of deep house.

Unlike its house counterparts, which usually pump you up with high energy beats, deep house serenades you with deep, warm, and atmospheric sounds. Legends like Frankie Knuckles and Kerri Chandler further refined the genre by incorporating complex chord progressions and soul-drenched melodies.

The DNA of Deep House: What Makes It Unique?

The heartbeat of deep house lies in its tempo, which ranges between 110 to 125 BPM—just enough to keep you swaying but not fist-pumping. So, what makes deep house deep? Let’s break down its defining characteristics:

  • Mellow Tempo: Unlike the frenetic pace of other house genres, deep house operates in a chill tempo, perfect for introspective moments or casual hangs.

  • Lush Instrumentals: Think pads, synths, pianos, strings, and even vocals or saxophones that add texture to the overall mood.

  • Melodic Focus: It prioritises melody and mood over rhythm and percussion, making you feel like you’re floating in an auditory dreamscape.

  • Emotional Depth: A love for minor chords and intricate chord progressions give this genre its emotional complexity.

  • Soulful Sampling: Whether it’s jazz, soul, or funk, deep house often remixes classic tracks with a contemporary flair.

The Ever-Evolving Spectrum of Deep House

Much like your ever-changing Spotify playlists, deep house too evolves with time. It has given birth to a variety of subgenres:

  • Soulful House: This is deep house with an extra dollop of soul. Think Masters at Work, Louie Vega, and Dennis Ferrer.

  • Tech House: A hybrid that combines deep house elements with techno vibes. Cue in Carl Cox and Richie Hawtin.

  • Tropical House: Imagine deep house on a sun-soaked beach, sipping a Piña colada. Kygo and Thomas Jack have got you covered.

  • Afro House: Immerse in a blend of deep house with African musical elements. Black Coffee and Culoe De Song are the names to know.

Icons of Deep House: Artists You Shouldn’t Sleep On

You can’t discuss deep house without giving a nod to its artistic luminaries:

  • Larry Heard: The godfather who started it all.

  • Frankie Knuckles: The pioneer who brought depth to house music.

  • Kerri Chandler: The virtuoso of deep grooves, soulful vocals, and jazzy keys.

  • St Germain: Fusing deep house with nu-jazz and world music, creating an eclectic sound you can’t ignore.

  • Black Coffee: A global sensation who brings his African heritage into the deep house scene.

  • Zakes Bantwini & Ralf Gum: South African producers adding their unique flair with soulful vocals and Afro beats.

Up-and-Comers: The Future of Deep House Starts Here

Are you the kind of person who’s always one step ahead of the Spotify algorithm? Do you take pride in discovering artists before they hit the mainstream? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve curated a list of fresh, underground deep house artists you should be vibing to. These artists are bringing fresh perspectives to the genre, all while paying homage to iconic artists like St Germain, Jimpster, and Shur-I-Kan.

Verdagris: The Organic Minimalist

Let’s start with Verdagris, a South African prodigy in the deep house universe. Known for his minimalist and organic deep house beats, Verdagris transports you to a serene soundscape with unique melodies and otherworldly sound design. Famous for his EPs such as ‘Fluid Dynamics’, ‘Dream State’ and ‘Hidden Agenda’ released with labels such as Just Move Records and Selville, his music is a testament to his versatility and talent. 

Sculptured Music: The Intrigued Maestro

Then there’s Sculptured Music, aka Willy Lubisi, who comes straight out of Spruitview in the east of Gauteng. With not one but three albums to his credit, Sculptured Music lives and breathes the art of deep house. His unique take infuses the genre with an air of sophistication that is irresistibly danceable.

Fynn: The Funky Aficionado

South African DJ and producer Fynn is where deep house meets funk, disco, and afro beats. The man knows how to infuse classic styles with modern beats, crafting something uniquely his own. His discography is a rich tapestry of influences and inspirations, all masterfully available on various streaming platforms.

SGVO: The Melodic Virtuoso

Last but not least, we have SGVO, another deep house sensation from South Africa. With albums like ‘NVMBERS’ and ‘OVGSREPUBLIC,’ SGVO has a knack for creating smooth and melodic soundscapes that resonate with deep house enthusiasts. His music is a must-listen if you’re looking to expand your deep house vocabulary.

So, why are these artists worth your time? Because they are the future of deep house. They embody the essence of what makes deep house deep—captivating melodies, soulful chords, and the kind of beats that make you want to move yet chill at the same time. So, if you’re eager to discover “what’s next” in the deep house world, you’ve got your playlist sorted.

If you’re searching for “fresh deep house artists” or “up-and-coming deep house musicians,” then these artists are your go-to guide for what’s fresh and what’s next. Trust us, you’ll want to say you knew them before they were cool.

Dive Deeper into Deep House

In conclusion, deep house is more than just a subgenre; it’s an expressive form of musical art that touches the soul. If you want to plunge deeper into the world of deep house, search for curated playlists or upcoming deep house events on your favourite search engine. From its rich history to its emotional complexity, deep house truly is a genre that resonates with millennials on multiple levels.

The most common SEO keyphrase for this revamped, millennial-friendly article could be “What Makes Deep House Deep,” as it encapsulates the article’s core focus and is likely a question on the minds of many curious listeners.

Thank you for vibing with us on this journey into deep house. Keep those beats deep and your spirits high! 🎶

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