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Acid House

electronic music genres
sound of electronic music

Like all forms of acid music, in acid house, the Roland TB-303 synthesizer will be the centerpiece of music production. That’s what gives acid music its “acid” sound. And one of the most common sounds in acid is described as a "squelch," and can be created with the same synthesizer. Along with many other characteristics as well, such as the trance-like type of sound, along with the presence of spoken lines rather than sung lyrics.

While the use of the Roland TB-303 almost makes acid music what it is, it was used much less frequently in the newer music of this genre. Artist transitioned to different methods of getting similar sounds out of different equipment.

Stylistically, it can be compared to several other genres of music, such as trance, techno, goa trance, breakbeat and Chicago house. This genre is responsible for influencing several genres that were created later, as well, being a big part of the music industry and its development.

history of electronic music

This type of acid music came into existence around the early 1980s, and is said to have been responsible for boosting house music into mainstream popularity. As for when the very first house style of acid music was created is unknown for sure. The first song was created in 1985, but not released until 1987, and another song was released in 1986, but which one was created first is a matter of debate.

On a side note to the above paragraph, in the early 2000s, a record was discovered which had many stylistic similarities to acid house. It was what would be considered this genre and was created in 1982. Three years before the supposed first acid track. Whether this is considered the first example or not is unknown, because it wasn’t created under the label "acid," but had the same characteristics.

The first place to feature this music was in Chicago, Illinois, in the state where many different types of electronic music genres were created. By the late 1980s, records weren’t selling as well as they once did, due to the police taking action on these nightclubs, because of the frequent drug-use in them. During this time, in London, the acid house club scene was enjoying the success of this music, where several clubs specifically for this music had been.

Where the term came from is another topic of debate. Some believe it comes from the drug "acid," and psychedelic drugs in general, because it was commonly used in these nightclubs where acid music could be heard. The mind altering effects of LSD and other similar drugs, and the use of it while listening to this music. Others believe it’s simply a type of thought pattern when listening to the music.

Some others think the term comes from the phrase "acid burning," which in slang, means "to steal," and since acid music uses many samples in its music, from different sources, this could be seen as stealing others music. Also, one of the founders of this music stated that he bought records in a Chicago record store from a bin labeled "acid," and he mistook that for the LSD drug, acid.

From the late 1980s to the late 1990s this genre enjoyed a high level of mainstream popularity, but it has died out a bit, due to a social and media backlash against the use of psychedelic drugs, commonly used in these clubs.

Acid House Specifications

Average Beats Per Minute: 120-140

Where It Originated: Chicago, Illinois

Stylistically Similar To: House, Trance, Goa Trance

Year Developed: Mid-1980s


General House - Back to the overview of house.

Acid House - One of the most influential genres for house music.

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 acid house.

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