Ain’t nuthin’ but a “G” Thang, Baby.
Let’s get one thing clear: G-house is hot. And it might just blow up in 2014, whether you like it or not. Short for “Gangsta house”, G-house is a sizzling blend of a few proven styles of house music subgenres, plus a healthy dose of gangsta. Its main ingredients include (but are not limited to) ‘deep house’, and most notably: ‘80s hip house. As most novelty subgenres, it has been through some cycles of popularity. And it’s definitely looking like 2014 might be a breakthrough year for the G.
Originators & Innovators
G-house, a well gritty subgenre, is sometimes dubbed “deep house’s meaner brother”. It relies heavily on samples, and it is often accompanied by well-known hip hop vocals, that really give it that gangsta feel. Think Nate Dogg or a pitched down Missy Elliott rapping on top of ‘80s and ‘90s inspired house beats, held up by twangy G-funk basslines and dusty vinyl scratches.
When house music movements start gaining popularity fast, we always seem to ask ourselves the same question: haven’t we heard this before? Well yes, sure we have. The focal point of the G-house scene is its fascination with the mid ‘80s hip house movement. The producers of hip house were the first to fuse elements of hip hop with house music. Think of guys like Beatmasters, De La Soul, Fast Eddie and Tyree Cooper. And who can forget about the commercial successes of the genre, with tracks from the likes of Technotronic, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock engraved in our memories for eternity?
If you’re interested in hip house, be sure to check out this short but sweet documentary from 1989. Although it’s mostly a discussion on terminology, it also tells the story about how the movement came about, directly from the mouth of some key figures in the scene.
So, in what sense is G-house innovating? Well really, this lies mostly in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. Most of the current crop of young house music lovers has not come across the house genre being presented like this before. The last time sounds like these were in demand was in the mid ‘80s and the ‘90s. And hey, if it smells new, and looks new, it must be new. Right? Well for us, the innovation lies in the way producers blend seemingly clashing subgenres, to deliver G-house with an indie twist. More on this in the examples below. Have a listen to the tracks, and decide for yourself.
Here are some noteworthy producers to watch out for in 2014
Amine Edge & DANCE
This French duo is credited as being one of the pioneers of G-house. The big heads behind CUFF, probably the most gangsta label out there right now. Their first release, CUFF Vol. 1, will be out in February 2014. Features tracks by Amine Edge & DANCE, Tough Love, Clouded Judgement and many more.
Shiba San is definitely one of the most mysterious producers out there at the moment. This French producer has a long background in hip hop, and is currently one of the frontrunners of the G-scene. Fuses analog with absolute gangsta.
Although he refuses to be pinned down under the G-house genre, we think it’s safe to say that Jesse Perez is the main G. Makes filthy, bumpin’ ‘80s and ‘90s influenced house with a gritty gangsta touch.
Although he’s from Russia, Sasha, also known as Upstroke, really brings the West Coast G into house music territory. Also fuses elements of acid and ‘80s disco into his irresistible brand of G-house. This is real, this is happening. Yes, you heard it right. House music with wailing G-funk synths. Check it out:
And here’s another sultry jam by Upstroke, which uses a vocal sample of N.E.R.D.’s “She Wants To Move”:
Volac is a duo from Russia, and they really like to give away free tracks. And they’re quality tracks too, by the way. They’ve had releases on CUFF and Rob Made’s Sleazy G. This is what we were referring to when we talked about innovating G-house with an indie feel.
Brazil obviously knows what’s up. Rafael Carvalho is one of the artists being endorsed by Amine Edge & DANCE’s new CUFF label. We’re hoping for a lot more Carvalho goodness in 2014!
Responsible for the UK’s output of G-house vibes. The young Welshman’s track “Make You Do” got a release on Chase & Status’ label MTA Records late 2013. Watch out for him in 2014, he’s probably one of those producers that will carry the G into the mainstream.
What can we expect from G-house in 2014?
If we have learned anything from the past, it’s that when a genre is on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream, there will always be vultures with money on their minds ready to strike. So with this in mind, the genre as a whole should to be able to move away from the current flurry of edits, and be able to stand more on its own. Clearly there is more than enough room for originators and innovators within the realms of this new movement, itching to pave the way for more subtle and innovating hybrids of G-house.
As recent releases by labels like Sleazy Deep, CUFF and Nasty Funk Records have been quite on point, we will be expecting a lot more blazing goodness from them in the near future. We would definitely love to see them deliver a creative injection of new sounds and textures straight into the veins of G-house. Their forthcoming releases could prove key in the evolvement of G-house’s growing palette of sounds.
Here’s to more bumpin’ and grindin’ in 2014!
Foto credits thumbnail picture: Jamel Shabaaz