Progressive house is a style (subgenre) of house music. The progressive house style emerged in the early 1990s. It initially developed in the United Kingdom as a natural progression of American and European house music of the late 1980s.
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, United Kingdom|
In the context of popular music the word "progressive" was first used widely in the 1970s to differentiate experimental forms of rock music from mainstream styles. Such music attempted to explore alternate approaches to rock music production. Some acts also attempted to elevate the aesthetic values of rock music by incorporating features associated with classical instrumental music. This led to a style of music called progressive rock, which has been described as "the most self-consciously arty branch of rock."
In disco music, and later house music, a similar desire to separate more exploratory styles from standard approaches saw DJs and producers adopting the word "progressive" to make a distinction. According to the DJ and producer Carl Craig, the term "progressive" was used in Detroit in the early 1980s in reference to Italo disco. The music was dubbed "progressive" because it drew upon the influence of Giorgio Moroder's Euro disco rather than the disco inspired by the symphonic sound of Philadelphia soul. In Detroit, prior to the emergence of techno, artists like Alexander Robotnick, Klein + M.B.O. and Capricorn filled a vacancy left after disco's demise in America. In the late 1980s, UK music journalist Simon Reynolds introduced the term "progressive dance" to describe album oriented acts such as 808 State, The Orb, Bomb the Bass and The Shamen. Between 1990 and 1992, the term "progressive" referred to the short-form buzz word for the house music subgenre "progressive house".
Progressive house emerged after the first wave of house music. The roots of progressive house can be traced back to the early 1990s rave and club scenes in the United Kingdom. In 1992, Mixmag described it at the time as a "new breed of hard but tuneful, banging but thoughtful, uplifting and trancey British house." A combination of US house, UK house, Italian house, German house, and techno largely influenced one another during this era. The term was used mainly as a marketing label to differentiate new rave house from traditional American house. Progressive house was a departure from the Chicago acid house sound. The buzz word emerged from the rave scene around 1990 to 1992, describing a new sound of house that broke away from its American roots. Progressive house was viewed by some as anti-rave as its popularity rose in English clubs while breakbeat hardcore flourished at raves. According to DJ Dave Seaman, the sound faced a backlash in the early 1990s because “it had gone the same way as progressive rock before it. Pompous, po-faced and full of its own self importance. But basically was really quite boring." The label progressive house was often used interchangeably with trance in the early years.
According to American DJ/producer duo Gabriel & Dresden, Leftfield's October 1990 release "Not Forgotten" was possibly the first progressive house production. The record label Guerilla Records, set up by William Orbit & Dick O'Dell, is thought to have been pivotal in the growth of a scene around the genre. Renaissance: The Mix Collection in 1994 and Northern Exposure in 1996 have both been credited with establishing the genre on mixed compilation albums. As well as Guerilla Records, the labels Deconstruction Records, Hooj Choons and Soma Records contributed to the scene's development in the early to mid-1990s. In June 1992, Mixmag published a list that contained what the magazine viewed as the top progressive house tracks at that time.
According to Dave Seaman, house DJs who had originally played what was known as Eurodance borrowed from that the genre. This led to a commercial sound that people associate with progressive house today. Seaman notes that with the various lines between genres having become so blurred that true progressive house is often found "masquerading" as techno, tech house or even deep house. As such, the music can feature elements derived from styles such as dub, deep house and Italo house.
The progressive sound can be distinguished from the later dream trance and vocal trance. It tends to lack anthemic choruses, crescendos and drum rolling. Intensity is added by the regular addition and subtraction of layers of sound. Phrases are typically a power of two number of bars and often begin with a new or different melody or rhythm.
Later progressive house tunes often featured a build-up section which can last up to four minutes. This is followed by a breakdown and then a climax. Elements drawn from the progressive rock genre include the use of extended or linked-movement tracks, more complexity and reflection but almost always within the four on the floor rhythm pattern. The more experimental parts of house music are described as progressive.
Nick van de Wall (Dutch: [ˈnɪk fɑn də ˈʋɑl]; born September 9, 1987), professionally known as Afrojack, is a Dutch DJ, music programmer, record producer and remixer from Spijkenisse. In 2007, he founded the record label Wall Recordings; his debut album Forget the World was released in 2014. Afrojack regularly features as one of the ten best artists in the Top 100 DJs published by DJ Mag. He is also the CEO of LDH Europe.Black Hole Recordings
Black Hole Recordings is a Dutch record label founded by Tijs Verwest (Tiësto) and Arny Bink in 1997. The label is currently distributed by Entertainment One Distribution, formerly known as E1 Entertainment Distribution. In August 2009, Tiësto decided to part ways with Black Hole Recordings, setting up the label Musical Freedom in association with PIAS Entertainment Group.Fedde Le Grand
Fedde Le Grand (born 7 September 1977) is a Dutch house DJ, record producer and remixer from Utrecht.Kaskade
Ryan Gary Raddon (born February 25, 1971), better known by his stage name Kaskade, is an American DJ, record producer and remixer. DJ Times voted Kaskade "America's Best DJ" in 2011 and 2013". DJ Mag named Kaskade fifty-first on its 2009 list of Top 100 DJs.Laidback Luke
Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen (born 22 October 1976), better known under his stage name Laidback Luke, is a Dutch-Filipino DJ and music producer from Hoofddorp, North Holland. Born in Manila, Philippines. He is also a martial artist. He notably remixed the Robin S. song, "Show Me Love" which charted at #11 on the UK charts in 2009.Leftfield
Leftfield is a British electronic music group formed in 1989. It began as the duo of Neil Barnes and Paul Daley (the latter formerly of the Rivals and A Man Called Adam). In January 2010 Barnes resurrected Leftfield without Daley and, after touring for a few years, finished writing new material for a third album entitled Alternative Light Source. Daley declined to be involved and is focusing upon his solo career.
The duo was very influential in the evolution of electronic music in the 1990s, with Mixmag describing them as "the single most influential production team working in British dance music". As with many of their contemporaries, such as the Chemical Brothers, Leftfield was notable for their use of guest vocalists in their works. Among those involved were Toni Halliday on "Original", Johnny Rotten on "Open Up", Djum Djum on "Afro-Left", and Earl 16 and Cheshire Cat on "Release the Pressure". The term progressive house was coined to define their style, a fusion of house with dub and reggae.Marshmello
Christopher Comstock (born May 19, 1992), known professionally as Marshmello, is an American electronic music producer and DJ. He first gained international recognition by releasing remixes of songs by American DJ duo Jack Ü and Russian-German DJ Zedd. He is best known for the songs "Silence", "Wolves", "Friends", and "Happier", all of which have been certified multi-platinum in several countries and appeared in the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.His debut studio album, Joytime, was released in January 2016, which included the lead single and Marshmello's debut single "Keep It Mello". Marshmello's second song in 2016, a platinum-certified single titled "Alone", was released in May via the Canadian record label Monstercat. Having peaked on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 60, it became his first single to be certified platinum in the US and Canada with over a million copies of certified units. That year, he released three subsequent singles. In 2017, after releasing singles such as "Chasing Colors", "Twinbow" and "Moving On", Marshmello collaborated with American R&B singer Khalid to release "Silence" as a single, which was certified platinum and multi-platinum in eight countries. Succeeding another single, one of his best-selling singles, a collaboration with American singer Selena Gomez, titled "Wolves" was released.
His second single of 2018, titled "Friends", a collaboration with British singer Anne-Marie, was released. Months later, his second studio album, Joytime II, was released with singles "Tell Me" and "Check This Out". Marshmello's highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 and in the United Kingdom, titled "Happier", a collaboration with British band Bastille, was released in August. He was named by Forbes in eighth place on their annual ranking of the world's highest-paid DJs in 2017 as he earned $21 million in the twelve months prior June 2017.Michael Woods (DJ)
Michael Anthony Woods is an English producer, DJ, and remixer of various EDM genres, mainly progressive house, electro house and trance. He is the founder of the imprint label Diffused Music, which was established in 2010 and focuses primarily on progressive house and tech house. He has worked under the stage names of Out of Office, Warrior, Accadia, M1 and M3.R3hab
Fadil El Ghoul (born 2 April 1986), better known by his stage name R3HAB (pronounced "rehab"), is a Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer from Breda. Alongside Afrojack and Chuckie, he is one of the proponents of the modern Dutch house subgenre. During the 2012 WMC in Miami, United States, R3hab won the IDMA Best Breakthrough Artist Award.Zedd
Anton Zaslavski (Russian: Антон Заславский; born 2 September 1989), known professionally as Zedd (), is a Russian-German record producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He primarily produces and performs electro house music, but has diversified his genre and musical style, drawing influences from progressive house, dubstep, and classical music.
Zedd grew up and began his career in Kaiserslautern, Germany. His stage name, Zedd, was derived from zed, the British English name for the letter Z, the first letter of his surname. In 2012, he released "Clarity" (featuring Foxes), which propelled him to mainstream success, reaching the 8th position on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning him a Grammy for Best Dance Recording at the 56th Grammy Awards. Later in 2012, he released his debut studio album Clarity, with hit single "Stay the Night" (featuring Hayley Williams) appearing on the 2013 deluxe edition of the album.
In 2015, his second studio album True Colors was released, supported by its lead single "I Want You to Know" featuring Selena Gomez. Subsequent well-known songs include "Stay" with Alessia Cara, peaking at number 7, "The Middle" with Maren Morris and Grey, and, as a featured artist, "Break Free" with Ariana Grande, peaking at number 4 in the US.
|By style and subgenre|
decade of origin