Another week gone by, another observation on the state of the music industry. Bloggers, DJs, and casual listeners have been abuzz lately with comments on the resurgence of deep house. While its adoption in the mainstream listening community is growing in a manner much akin to last year’s EDM-trap explosion, the similarities between the evolution of deep house and the evolution of dubstep leave this blogger optimistic for the future. Here are my thoughts:
Deep House isn’t Deep House
First thing’s first, when we’re referring to Deep House in this current, new context we’re actually talking about more than just Deep House. More realistically, we’re talking about tracks kinda around 128bpm that sound deep to a casual listener. The term is now more than anything simply a reflection of the track’s atmosphere. Is it unfortunate that bedroom producers will tag their tech house tracks as “deep house!!” on SoundCloud? Absolutely. Can we do anything about it? No.
I hate to sound too counter-culture, but these labels really have no value outside of search engine optimization anymore. We have two options: 1. Be very annoyed all the time, or 2. Not give a fuck (or shit). Moving on.
New Listeners Will Appreciate the Classics
In the same way that Trap (EDM) and Trap (hip-hop) are two different creatures, Deep House (old) and Deep House (new) share more in common on paper then in practice. Yeah, yeah, I get that both examples share production elements, but the purpose and the audience of these four genres are all completely different. This isn’t a bad thing. Though I lamented about EDM-trap “killing” the 808 through its over-use in half-baked remixes, the growth of the genre encouraged a new appreciation for hip-hop old and new as listeners (and haters) looked to differentiate themselves from “bandwagoners.” For every EDM-trap night that sprung up in my city of residence, Vancouver, a fantastic hip-hop night sprung up as well and brought even more people together.
If, two years ago, you had asked your average club-goer who Lex Luger was I can guarantee you that 9 times out of 10 you would have walked away disappointed. The situation is better now, and whatever the reason behind people’s research I maintain that anything that promotes wider-scale knowledge and appreciation of music is a good thing.
Deep House Will Evolve
So why am I optimistic about all of this? Much like pre-North American dubstep, deep house has been around for much longer than most people give it credit for. Deep house is one of THE pioneer genres and boasts an enormous catalog of originals and remixes; to stay fresh, new Deep House is going to need to evolve, and fast. Old Dubstep and new Dubstep differentiated themselves from each other with fresh sound sound engineering which appealed to a new audience, and I strongly believe that new Deep House will also find its silver bullet to make it more radio ready.
I know that our resident house music blogger, Le Castell, will hate me for this editorial, but I really wanted to give my two cents. The genre is being brought back into the mainstream and all we can do is support the producers that do it right – roundups on quality blogs like DJZ are a great place to start. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments.