Deep house is a subgenre of house music[1][3][4] that originated in the 1980s, initially fusing elements of Chicago house with the lush chords of 1980s jazz-funk and touches of soul music. Its origins are attributed to the early recordings of Larry Heard (aka Mr. Fingers), including his influential track "Can You Feel It".[5]


Deep house is known for tempos typically from 110 to 125 bpm,[1][6][7] muted basslines, spacious use of percussion elements (typically using a Roland TR-909 drum machine),[8] soft keyboard sounds (pads), use of advanced chord structures, ambient mixes, and soulful vocals.[citation needed]


Deep house was largely pioneered by Chicago producers such as Marshall Jefferson (On the House) and Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers) and with tracks such as "Mystery of Love" (1985) and "Can You Feel It?" (1986);[9] the latter had a similar impact on deep house to that of Derrick May's "Strings of Life" (1987) on Detroit techno.[10] The jazzy sound became more common due to the favored use of gentler, more organic (yet still synthesizer based) production and instrument sounds. Author Richie Unterberger has stated that Heard's deep house sound moved house music away from its posthuman tendencies back towards the lush, soulful sound of early disco music (particularly that of old Philadelphia International and Salsoul records).[11] "Can You Feel It" became a deep house blueprint; Heard used a Roland Juno-60 synthesizer to create the deep bassline,[12] along with a Roland TR-909 drum machine for the beats.[8]

DJ Ron Trent stated that the term was initially used to describe the DJ work of Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, who departed from a strictly electronic house sound to incorporate eclectic elements like disco, jazz, and underground music.[13]

In the 2000s and 2010s, the genre remained very popular. By around mid/late 2010s, however, the perception of the genre was resulting in a sense that some house music was being labeled "deep" inappropriately,[14] and the term has since been used to encapsulate various types of bassline-driven house music, later named Brazilian bass or slap house, as the genre evolves from its historical origins.

Artists, DJs and record labels

For a list of deep house producers and disc jockeys, see: Deep house musicians.

Record labels of the genre include Alleviated Records (Larry Heard), Madhouse Records. Inc (Kerri Chandler),[15] AFTR:HRS, Glasgow Underground, Naked Music, Om Records, Peacefrog Records, Soma, Source, Anjunadeep and Spinnin' Deep. Examples of deep house albums from artists known from other genres include The Martyr Mantras (1990) and Modernism: A New Decade (1989) from The Style Council.

See also


  1. ^ a b c M'Baye, Babacar; Hall, Alexander Charles Oliver (29 July 2013). Crossing Traditions: American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8828-9. Deep house is a subgenre of house music that is revered by its fans for its faithfulness to Chicago house and New York garage. Deep house cooks up a tasty sonic stew from disco, gospel, soul, jazz, funk, Latin, and R & B. Like its predecessors, its simmers at 120 to 125 BPM. What distinguishes deep house from its progenitors is its tendency to overuse shrieking divas, ominous organs, and chord progressions to whip up dance floor drama.
  2. ^ Ishkur (2019). "Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music".
  3. ^ Mitchell, Tony (1989). "Performance and the Postmodern in Pop Music". Theatre Journal. 41 (3): 275. doi:10.2307/3208181. JSTOR 3208181. "House" music, and its offshoots acid house, deep house, and techno...
  4. ^ Sfetcu, Nicolae (2014). Dance Music.
  5. ^ Resident Advisor (8 May 2018), How Larry Heard made house music deep | Resident Advisor, retrieved 30 September 2018 ((citation)): |last= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ "Deep House Music". Armada Music.
  7. ^ "List of Average Tempo (BPM) By Genre". 30 April 2013. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. deep house: 120-125 bpm
  8. ^ a b The Mr. Fingers ‘Can You Feel It’ Bass Line, Synthtopia
  9. ^ Iqbal, Mohson (31 January 2008). "Larry Heard: Soul survivor". Resident Advisor. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Various Artists - The Kings of House, Compiled and Mixed by Masters at Work". In the Mix. 12 August 2005. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  11. ^ Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. London: Rough Guides. p. 265. ISBN 185828421X. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  12. ^ "The Syntronik J-60 Soft Synth | Reverb Software Pick". August 2018.
  13. ^ Orlov, Piotr. "Theo Parrish: Wudaaji". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Stop calling it deep house". Mixmag. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Kerri Chandler introduces Madhouse sister label, Madtech". Madhouse Records. 11 May 2012.