Evolution of UK Hard House



UK hard house is the product of DJs at the now-defunct Trade gay club in London developing a unique style of fast house music. Hard house took the driving beat from eurodance, removed a lot of the whimsical and emotional elements like epic never-ending climaxes, and added simple elements like short drops with no drums, hard bass stabs and quirky samples. Hard house gained a large following within the UK, but globally didn't reach a huge audience.




At its core, UK hard house is a sped-up and more intense incarnation of eurodance. It could also be described as techno with a bit more melody.




The perfect soundtrack for driving at breakneck speeds, UK hard house is less uplifting that most forms of house. With a darker edge and relentless beat, UK hard house music is highly repetitive and features intense breakdowns and tight drum rolls. It all adds up to a rushing, pounding sound that always seems on the brink of breaking loose.



JX - "Son of a Gun"

Brighton, 1994


JX's "Son of a Gun" is an early example of hard house. The result is a driving, dancey tune without the edge that later developed in the genre.



Tony de Vit - "Are You All Ready"

Manchester, 1996


The godfather of hardhouse lays it down. Tony de Vit is credited with helping establish the popularity of hard house in mainstream clubs.



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Evolution of House Music

Check out our 31-part series, starting with an overview of house music's 40-year history.

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