06 August 2013

House Music And Garage Music... Separate, Not The Same...

Joanne has written:

Were the dance music genres of the 1980s, House and Garage the same thing? I remember as a kid them being referred to separately, but I recently read of something called "Garage House" on a not very accurate site, and thought I'd turn to you for the answer!

Yes, they were separate, Joanne. House music as a distinct genre of electronic dance music began in Chicago - 1983 was described as "Year Zero" for house in the Channel 4 documentary, Pump Up The Volume. House, of course, hit the mainstream in the mid-1980s. Garage I knew little of until the 1990s, when I heard talk of "house and garage". There was also talk of something called "shed" at that time. It all seemed quite witty, but I was married by then and no longer part of the nightclub scene so know little about Garage. It apparently began in the early 1980s in New York and New Jersey, USA, and was influenced by the same sudden explosion of electronic instruments - synthesizers, drum machines, etc - as house.

The origins of the two genres are separate though.

1 comment:

Mick said...

This is a great site but reading that made me think - save for a track or two, I can't STAND '80s house. I think there should be more moaning on this site, as we did a lot of that in the '80s, especially when House came out. I'm quite sure there was an even and sharp divide of opinion on electronic music by then, which still exists today - the half with the kids in it said it was great and the other half with mostly squares in it said it was horrific and a tear in the moral fabric. Though I also think electro has mostly died down again by now in terms of its danger.

Though if I had a real request, I would ask if you think it's a good idea to look into retro '80s gear that still has a unique place today.

For me, I have a home studio with Commodore 64, Tascam 34 tape recorder and other old stuff alongside PC and digital interfaces and things. The Commie still runs utilities which nobody thought to make PC versions of, its synth chip is still very popular, plus a good tape deck keeps a rich fidelity which makes all the difference for certain things.

And of course there are things still in production today, still on top though cheaper now, such as AKG headphones or an Ortofon record cartridge.

Surely there are other things. And as a retrohead, I'm really chuffed that the 80s are still quite live and kicking for some of us.