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Tribal house is one of the more unique genres of house music because, while it remains one of the most minimalist genres to date, it fuses styles of several different forms of house. These include dark house, a subgenre of progressive house, tech house, intelligent dance music, minimal techno, funky house and structural similarities with deep house as well.
As the name may suggest, the sound is based around the percussion, as with the older tribe music. Chanting isn't uncommon and can be found in other tribal genres as well, giving it another thing that defines the sound. It can be produced in two ways. If it's performed live on stage, with drums and other instruments, it is considered, in its purest form, ethnic, but produced digitally, it's seen as 'tribal house'.
It will be based around a complex and sophisticated drum sequence, but besides that and the chanting, there are really no more special characteristics. It has a relatively average tempo, coming in at around 130 beats per minute. There will almost never be a central melody, or a melody at all, and the typical synth sounds that are found in most forms of house music are just as scarce.
While you may think that having only percussion and the occasional chanting, with very little melody won't have too much varying sound, the truth is, it can range from having an uplifting and happy feel to an aggressive and angry feel. In a way, it can be produced to grab small portions of all types of house genres.
This genre arose during the early 1990s, and it grew from record labels primarily in the state of New York. After a couple of record labels gave this music a good push, another record label in the United Kingdom emerged to help artists in this area to spread the specific sound around. This label also helped others in Europe get their specific style heard too.
It is primarily popular in the gay circuit party scene, which is the gay equivalent to a rave party. It’s a large festival for gay people to meet and dance and be happy. Although tribe music will generally be played at these events, it's not only limited to that. The DJs must have a tribal-like feel to the music, but it can incorporate other styles of music as well.
This style had many changes throughout the years. It the early 1990s, it was the original sound, the complex drum patterns and the simple construction. In the early 2000s, it turned into a much more percussion-based sound. Some even described this as "pots and pans" because it sounded like such. And during the middle of the 2000s, it became much more vocal, possibly to counteract the previous "pots and pans" sound.
Currently, it now has a much edgier sound and DJs are producing dubs of the original music, taking out some of the vocals and keeping it in a minor key, giving it some of its original tribal sound back.
Average Beats Per Minute: 130
Where It Originated: New York
Stylistically Similar To: Deep House, Minimal Techno, Tech House
Year Developed: Early 1990s
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Balearic Beat - Mixing several styles of music, a slower, unique type of music.
Chicago House - House music that is produced in Chicago. As simple as that.
Deep House - A bit slower and more complex than general houses... I mean, house.
Electroclash - A clash of several different genres form the life of this music.
Electro House - Fusion genre of electroclash and tech house, but harder than both.
Electro Swing - A pretty new genre, fusing styles from swing and modern house music.
French House Music - House music that is produced by French artists, naturally.
Ghetto House - Minimalistic in nature, using simple drum patterns and dirty lyrics.
Hip House - A fusion genre of hip-hop and house music. Get with the beat!
Italo House - House music from Italy, incorporating some nice piano action!
Microhouse - A stripped down version of house music, with a taste of glitch.
New Beat - A term used to describe all of the new sounds of house music.
Progressive House - Progressing house music to the next level. Go, Experimentalists!
Tech House - Which do you like, techno or house? Now you can like both at once!
Tribal House - In the mood for some tribal music? Get your hands ready and come on!
You are at tribal house.