Last year saw a huge influx of producer’s both new and old jumping on the house band wagon. They would label their work deep and it would follow a path, well, more of a rocky road, that we have been down many times before. This road took us back to the 90′s but it left out so much along the way. Every other week an unknown name with a badly produced imitation of the classic 90′s house sound would come out of the woodwork to try get a piece of the action once they heard house was the flavour of the day. Now I can’t say for sure if they know their history or if they are just another fly-by-night wannabe producer with a crack copy of Ableton and a few Kerri Chandler CD’s… but I would bet that I am not far off, I mean these guys bit a sound so hard that they left permanent teeth marks.
As 2012 moved on, we saw more and more badly produced copies of this classic sound and it started to grate on me. These tracks lacked the soul and the groove that house is known for and they left me feeling cold, I could tell that they had been made without any real care or love and that the producers had set out to deliberately re-create a sound that had been tried and tested in the 1990′s but had been slowly making a resurgence in the last couple of years, with 2012 being it’s biggest year. Before long it was on the front page of Juno (other music outlets are available), it was sat there all shiny with its imitation cover art and a million (mostly bad-dull-beige) DJ’s names underneath it all supporting it.
I couldn’t for the life of me understand why they would happily spend £8.99 and more on a copy of house that sounds nowhere near in the same league as the real house from the late 80′s to the late 90′s. I mean, why not take a few hours out of your day and check out the back catalogue for Strictly Rhythm or the other dozen or so well established house labels from this era? You will find stacks of amazing house and for a few pounds and it is all head and shoulders above what those other clowns are making. With that said I am going to link some alternatives which are much better than the soul less manufactured house that the masses have latched on to and are currently calling “deep”. Remember what Jack said, he said “House is a feeling that no one can understand really unless you’re deep into the vibe of House.” He didn’t say take my house and bring in a firm of cowboy builders and build a badly built conservatory that is going to leak when it rains.
Another thing that has irked me is that these clowns are making some serious moves and have full Global DJ schedule’s whilst the real passionate producers and DJ’s who know their house are sidelined. So whilst the real house heads are taking a back seat by no choice of their own these other copy cat producers are out there making the money and representing this fake deep house to a Global audience, this audience then hears it and go’s out and buy’s it, which is the exact reason why you see it at the top of the Juno charts. It’s a vicious circle. I could go on for pages about how wrong it is, but I think I should get on with some of those alternatives that you can pick up which are the difference between night and day and most of the time a lot cheaper. They haven’t been made solely on a DJ programme that every other DJ uses and they haven’t been sidechained to an inch of their lives. They have been made with real instruments and amazing hardware, they have real singing vocals and so much more warmth and feeling.
Smack Records – This New Jersey house label is the home to many a deep garage house record – you can’t fail with the Mentalinstrum stuff.
Aztonk Records – A little know garage house label that ran between 1992 – 1995. If you like your house with some bounce but still on a garage tip this is a label you should check out. Most of the releases are available for less than a pound and a lot have been produced by Scott Kinchen who is Mark Kinchen’s brother so you know you’re in good stock.
Serious Grooves – Essential Detroit house label. Go through the whole back catalogue, you won’t be disappointed. Some of these are a bit more dearer than the two labels I mentioned earlier but they are worth it.
Movin’ Records – You can get everything from pumping house to garage, to vocal house all on this New Jersey house label. Cheap as chips.
Strictly Rhythm – Strictly is so vast and full of so much amazing house music it can be a bit daunting on where to start. If I was a newcomer to Strictly I would take a few hours out of my weekend and go through the entire back catalogue. I say entire as there are many remixes and dubs which are hidden away on the b-sides. It will be totally worth your while and you can pick up huge chunks of the label for next to nothing these days.
E Legal – NY house label that ran from 92-94. Check out the Todd Terry stuff.
Hi-Bias Records – Canadian house label which has some really great house music ready available and cheap.
Music Station – Another New Jersey house label that you need to check out.
So there we have eight record labels that are packed full of garage house which is a million times better than what those faux house kids are knocking up and selling for £9.00 a pop. So if you know anyone who has been bitten by this deadly bug you need to show them these labels and I guarantee that they will be thanking you for it. Boycott that fake shit and lets get back to playing proper house music.