There is no house music never went away

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When it comes to electronic music, the standard of journalism isn’t very high, so there’s a lot of rubbish out there. However, I rarely get so incensed by an article that I feel a response is necessary. The offending article by Tim Jonze claims that we are in the middle of a house music revival. It appeared both online and in a printed issue of a British broadsheet newspaper, The Guardian. According to Jonze, there is a revival taking place, but how can this happen if the genre never went away? House music has been with us in the clubs, the charts and elsewhere since the 80s. It has refused to go away, despite splitting into all types of mini-genres, styles and scenes. What classes as one genre and another is always very subjective, but it’s difficult to understand what Jonze sees as house music. Has he not listened to pop music or been to clubs in the last two decades? House music is so ingrained in popular culture that people like David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia can make millions from a bastardization of the genre.

Perplexingly, Jonze has picked Azari & III and 2 Bears (Raf Rundell and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip fame) as spearheading his so-called revival. Does this mean that music can’t be house without 90s key arrangements? There are many other acts, such as Hercules & Love Affair, who have been making similar music for the last few years, so there is nothing that makes these two acts different. Goddard’s band, Hot Chip, have been offering a watered down take on house and disco for a number of years. Jonze has completely ignored the Visionquest/Hot Creations sound, which is perhaps the most visible face of underground house music at the moment. Instead, the other artists he has picked are Blawan and Stay+. Blawan offers a bassier groove, which follows the UK garage derived take on house that has been with us in one form or another for more than a decade. The track by Manchester act Stay + is perhaps more influenced by indie and electronica than house.  

Stay+ featuring Psychologist - Dandelion by RAMP / PTN

It's scary that someone so clueless on a subject can be paid by The Guardian to write about it. Jonze has no problem showing his lack of knowledge of his subject matter and seems to be happy to reveal that he had to ask one of his interviewees for recommendations. Next time you wish to write about a revival, please check that something actually disappeared in the first place! You can read Jonze’s piece here.

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There is no house music never went away

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