House music and Italo disco

The rise of House music led to the end of the the Italo disco era. The musical direction drifted from melodies to beats and pulsating bass lines creating a "new" form or style of music. But Italo disco had also an huge impact on the birth of house music. The "house" clubs in Chicago played Italian tunes, but in a mix and mainly the instrumental versions because the vocal parts sounded to "cheesy" to them. Two Italo tracks were used as a part of the basic "house" sound: Klein & MBO - "Dirty talk" and My Mine - "Hypnotic tango". Listen to the snare drum programming in "Hypnotic tango" and compare it with the first house records, it's exactly the same. And listen to the hihat, beat and bassline programming of "Dirty talk" and then listen to Chicago House classics like "Jack your body". Just amazing! The striking similarity comes from the use of the basic same synths and drumcomputers. A lot of stuff is made with a Roland TR808 drumcomputer, a Roland Juno 106 and Oberheim synths. The new digital instruments made it easier for people with a small budget to create music and this led to numerous productions just like the Italians did. Over the years Chicago house music evolved into a lot of different other styles like acid, garage house, techno and so on. It even involved in another Italian genre: Italo House, about which you can read more in chapter 4: House and Eurobeat1988 -1992.

The local Chicago radiostation WBMX had a lot of obscure Italo records on airplay, just mixed with the latest house records of that time, Popular Italo tracks you could hear in the mix and clubs were: Ris - "Love-n-music", B.Blase -"Shame", Chi Chi Liah - "Proud Mary", Fun Fun - "Happy station", Koto - "Visitors", Kasso - "Walkman", Jago - "I'm going to go", Plastic Mode - "Baja imperial", Larabell - "I can't stop", Doctor's cat - "Watch out!", Stopp - "I'm hungry", Gaznevada - "IC Love affair", Koto - "Japanese wargame", Doctor's Cat- "Feel the drive" and Trilogy- "Not love". The DJ's from the Chicago House scene are now cult heroes but already played those Italians gems, they did notice the vibe coming from Italy. Farley Keith (Farley Jackmaster Funk), Micky "Mixing"Oliver, Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckels were the most popular Chicago House DJ's at that time.

 

The Chicago house sound got many spin offs in the next following years, drifting away from the "Chicago sound", the music became more mechanical (techno) and repeating (acid). The Italian influence faded away but the Italians already passed the experimental stadium and were back to melodies. Popular also became the acid style, based around the skweeking sounds of a small Roland TB 303 synthesizer. Many people regard it as an UK based "invention", but please do listen to the 1983 record at Superradio Records from Barry Mason - "Body, get your body" and you'll find exactly the characteristic TB 303 sound, five years before it came into "fashion".