House music grew out of the post-disco dance club culture of the early ’80s. After disco became popular, certain urban DJs — particularly those in gay communities — altered the music to make it less pop-oriented. The beat became more mechanical and the bass grooves became deeper, while elements of electronic synth pop, Latin soul, dub reggae, rap, and jazz were grafted over the music’s insistent, unvarying four-four beat. Frequently, the music was purely instrumental and when there were vocalists, they were faceless female divas that often sang wordless melodies.
By the late ’80s, house had broken out of underground clubs in cities like Chicago, New York, and London, and had begun making inroads on the pop charts, particularly in England and Europe but also in America under the guise of artists like M/A/R/R/S and Madonna, as well as producers like David Cole and Robert Clivilles. At the same time, house was breaking into the pop charts; it fragmented into a number of subgenres, including hip-house, ambient house, and most significantly, acid house (a subgenre of house with the instantly recognizable squelch of Roland’s TB-303 bass-line generator). During the ’90s, house ceased to be cutting-edge music, yet it remained popular in clubs throughout Europe and America.
A list of House Music albums can be found HERE