Microhouse  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Microhouse, Buftech or sometimes just minimal, is a subgenre of house and glitch music.

History

Microhouse has its roots in the minimal techno, glitch (both developed in the early 90's), and house (developed in the mid-80's) genres of music. Its first echoes appeared in the glitch album by German experimental artist Oval, in 1993. Like many contemporary electronic genres, Microhouse has many influences, most notably techno and the "click and pop" garage house that has emerged from Yorkshire Bleeps and Bass (or "Bleep"), glitch and minimal techno. Contrasting with tech house, which is often thought of as 'house with techno melodic elements', microhouse is more aptly described as 'housey minimal techno' - a marriage of the funky and groovy backroom house elements with glitch and the driving, repetitive sound of techno.

The first microhouse track to gain mainstream popularity by a non-glitch artist was Isolee's 1999 anthem, 'Beau Mot Plage'. However, microhouse did not begin to rapidly build in popularity until the early 2000s with the advent of record labels such as Kompakt, Perlon, Spectral Sound, Fabric, Telegraph and Force Inc. The term microhouse is usually credited to music journalist Philip Sherburne, writing for the magazine The Wire in 2001, to describe, according to Stelfox, "the spectral, hypnotic interpretation of classic Chicago grooves emerging on labels such as Perlon, Kompakt, Playhouse, Ongaku, Klang Elektronik and the Mille Plateaux family of imprints-most notably Force Tracks and Force Inc- at the turn of the millennium."

Musicology

Microhouse strips house music down to a more minimal and sparse aesthetic, in the same vein as tech house. Its relationship to house and tech house music can be compared to the relationship between minimal techno and the harder techno genres. Like house and techno, microhouse is built around a 4/4 time signature. A noticeable difference between microhouse and house is the replacement of typical house kick drums, hi-hats and other drum machine samples with clicks, static, glitches, and small bits of noise. Microhouse artists often experiment with different forms of sampling to achieve this effect.

One characteristic feature of microhouse is the use of sampling: extremely short ('micro') samples of the human voice, musical instruments, everyday noises and computer created wave patterns are arranged to form complex melodies (such as can be heard in Akufen's "Deck the House"). Vocals in microhouse are often simplistic, nonsensical, and monotone in nature, although some artists, such as Matthew Dear, combine singing with microhouse production.

Microhouse is somewhat obscure when compared to other genres of house and techno, but several cities including Cologne, Paris, Montreal, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago and Portland have budding scenes, and with the minimal techno boom of the mid-00s, is now gaining great popularity in German, Canadian, Italian and Spanish clubs. Mainstream tech house records and CDs will occasionally have microhouse or minimal reworks of tracks. On top of this, several tracks have become major club hits over the years, and a few others have even gained European radioplay.

Notable artists




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Microhouse" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools