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Cheat Sheet: The New Deep House

by Philip Sherburne

Cheat Sheet: The New Deep House


Deep house never really goes out of fashion; somewhere, there'll always be someone playing jazzy chords over a disco beat. For whatever reason, though, the style is particularly hot right now, with artists from Los Angeles to the Ukraine sinking their teeth into the slower tempos and moody melodies of dance music at its most romantic.

In part, it's a reaction to minimal techno's long, anemic reign of clicks and bleeps; it's also a logical extension of pop culture's cyclical appetites. Birthed in the 1990s, deep house fits the emerging decade's desire for the near-vintage, the just-past-its-prime-becoming-prime-again. But the return of deep house means more than that. It's also a reminder of disco's role as the genesis of all contemporary dance music; it unlocks the door for R&B to sneak inside. And, unlike what's happening in commercial dance music right now, the new deep house requires you to meet it halfway. While hardly bereft of riffs or hooks, it veils more than it yields.