The best Disco House classics from the mid-to-late 90s
More than one electronic subgenre of music emerged, and in some cases erupted, during the transcendent decade that was the 1990s. Disco house is one of those genres.
Disco house proved one of the more beloved and enduring of the musical trends from that era. Its infectious grooves, which took inspiration from the world of disco and combined it with the emerging trends of sound creation at the time, has left an indelible mark on dance floors and in ear drums around the world and across the years.
So, let’s take a trip back to the 90s and explore some of the best disco house classics that defined the time period and stand up to listening today.
Understanding Disco House: Groovy Beats and Funky Vibes
While disco house is now a well recognised and popular genre, it wasn’t always the case. The subgenre of electronic dance music emerged in the late 1980s to early 1990s and really began to gain steam towards the middle and end of the decade.
Known for chracterising many of the elements from 1970s’ disco music, it also took advantage of the contemporary sounds and ‘new age’ production techniques in house music that was being pioneered during that time. The infectious tunes and funky rhythms still make disco house a popular choice of chance music today.
Key Characteristics of Disco House
Some of the iconic musical characteristics of disco house include:
- Funky and prominent basslines
- Sampled vocals from songs of the disco era
- Melodies that are soulful and/or uplifting
- Four-on-the-floor beats
- Both string and brass instruments
- Filtered and filter sweeps
- Very catch vocal hooks
Stardust – “Music Sounds Better With You” (1998)
“Music Sounds Better with You” really encapsulates the disco house genre in many ways. The catchy, looped vocal hook works really well and the underscore of a funky bassline – typical of the style – elevates this groovy track into something that’s utterly impossible not to dance to. It quickly became one of the UK’s bestselling singles in 1998, and is still well-known and well-loved by house fans of all ages!
Additionally, did you know that this hit track uses a guitar riff sampled from the 1981 Chaka Khan song “Fate”?
Armand Van Helden – “You Don’t Know Me” (1999)
Undeniably, Van Helden’s contribution to this list of best disco house tracks is timeless in the true sense of the word. The bassline drives straight to the heart and combined with the Carrie Lucas sample (from “Dance With You”) turns it into an undeniable classic.
Daft Punk – “Around the World” (1997)
Ah, Daft Punk – instantly iconic then and iconic now, the track “Around the World” is a prime example of the blend between disco and electronic that the duo have become known for. Still listening to this anthem today proves a captivating experience for all audiences.
Cassius – “Feeling for You” (1999)
“Feeling for You”, another addition from the tail-end of the 1990s, has an infectious energy to it that you can’t help but feel invigorated by. The feel-good vibes infused into this track by Cassius illustrate the focus of the disco house genre.
Moloko – “Sing It Back” (Boris Dlugosch Mix) (1998)
The Boris Dlugosch’s remix of “Sing It Back” takes the original and transforms it for something truly worthy of the dancefloor. The combination of Róisín Murphy’s vocals and the foot-thumping bassline is something of pure artistry and magic.
Basement Jaxx – “Red Alert” (1999)
If you are looking to get the party started, Basement Jaxx is here. “Red Alert” is infectious in its rhythm and vibrant in its beat. It will get the heart pumping and the feet moving, especially if you’re doing a disco house DJ set gig.
Phats & Small – “Turn Around” (1999)
“Turn Around” uses a really innovatively employed piano to turn up a catchy riff. Complemented by some uplifting and inspiring vocals, Phats & Small delivered another quintessential disco house classic.
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – “Intro” (2000)
Unlike the others on this list, “Intro” is a little different. Made in France, Intro’s funky bassline typical of the genre is combined with an interesting use of dreamy synthesisers that made quite an astonishing and lasting impression on disco house music for years to come.
Additionally, did you know that Intro contains a sample from “Crush on you” performed by the Jets?
Mousse T. vs. Hot ‘N’ Juicy – “Horny” (1998)
Last on the list comes “Horny”. Unsurprisingly, “Horny” is quite a cheeky and funky tune that emerged in the house disco world of the 1990s. With nostalgic disco elements but with a modern twist, it’s a classic that rocks at parties of all sizes and can elevate many a DJ playlist.
Let’s Create the Next Disco House Genre Classic!
The best disco house classics not only took advantage of the musical trends but also the technological developments of the time.
So, if you’re trying to be the best disco house DJ you can be, make sure you hook yourself up with the best DJing equipment and gear on the market.
Whether you’re looking for the right controller or just want to talk all things disco house, make sure to give the DJ City team a call today. Or just let us know what you’re after and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.