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The History of Chicago House, Essay Example

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Essay

Chicago House originated as what the author calls, “Disco made by amateurs” (303). He says this because the machines used to create the music were much cheaper and more toy-like than the machines of traditional disco DJ’s. The authors also point out that the music was made by much younger people who were more into clubbing and less into the artistry of music. Despite their disinterest in learning traditional music production techniques, since the equipment became more affordable there were numerous young house DJ’s emerging in Chicago. The main one’s the author mentions that who really started to generate buzz are Byron Walton, Jesse Saunders. When Jesse Saunders released the first house record, a single by the name of “On And On,” the records simultaneous popularity and simplicity inspired the entire city of Chicago to get involved and embrace the Chicago House movement.  On the concept of people getting inspired from Saunder’s music, the authors interview Marchall Jefferson a successful house DJ. Jefferson says, “When Jamie was doing it, nobody thought of making a record. His shit was too good. It was like seeing John Holmes in a porno movie. You know you can’t do better” (Brewster & Broughton, 304). About Jesse Marchal goes on to says, “That’s what inspired everybody about Jesse. They saw somebody make it big…But not be that great. When Jesse did his stuff, everybody said, ‘Fuck! I could do better than that” (Brewster & Broughton, 304). This was the motivating factor that sparked the Chicago House movement.  As the music gained in popularity and records started to transition over to vinayl record label executives took notice to house music. The authors talk about the migrations of two particular execs by the name of Jones and Sherman. They say, “they invested a lot of time and money turning the city’s musical hobby into something resembling a business. Hundreds of artists were signed, records flooded out and many of the young producers saw their work translate into success and hard cash” (Brewster & Broughton, 312). The authors go on to note that as this musical genre gained in popularity internationally, their casual business savvy resulted in the loss of a lot of potential success for Chicago artists.

How is it similar but also different from disco?

As the authors stated, House was disco made by amateurs. They say that it had the essence of disco, such as similar rhythms and baselines, but that the spirit of disco was re-created on a cheap toy-like machine.  Finally they note that disco is similar to house music in that they both originated from the same place. The authors say, “and in Chicago this new music even shared the name of its forebear, because remember, the disco that Ron and Frankie played was called “house” even before house was” (Brewster & Broughton, 304). Here the authors make it clear that house actually existed before disco and it is actually the originating source of disco.

How does Italy fit into the picture?

House DJ’s borrowed sounds from Italy to incorporate into their music, “As the eighties began, he played the weirder dubbed-up post-disco sounds emerging from his hometown, the Peech Boys and D Train, and added obscure imports, especially from Italy, where disco -albeit a more mechanical version of the genre- was refusing to die” (Brewster & Broughton, 294). This is how Italy fit into the history of disco and ultimately house and techno in that Italy kept the dream of disco alive, and then when it was re-sampled by U.S. DJ’s, they played it on the radio late at night to inspire Chicago House heads.

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