The Deep House Artists to Listen to Now

Here we offer you the most satisfyingly torturous genre of music: deep house. Ridiculed as derisive, "missing", stale, and uninvolved, deep house is actually a comprehensive exploration in endurance of the listener, who, while listening to any given deep house song, may allow themselves to be starved for instrument and key, but rarely rhythm.

Roiling and cautious, a good deep house artist knows the power of the song lies in its on-a-dime shift and bass drops as much as its slow-to-arrive moods. Example: suddenly, after a smooth, mild pad has a four-minute vamp, it is now here and with the introduction of a hi-hat at a syncopated rhythm, jaws drop. The listener receives this as a reward for their attentiveness and patience: their desire to groove. Here is an opportunity to share with you some of the finest deep house happening today.

  1. Nadja Lind & Paul Loraine - Making A Difference (Helmut Ebritsch Remix): Nadja Lind and Helmut Ebritsch founded Lucidflow, which puts out some of the finest house music right now. But this remix is a stunning exercise in patience and emotional connection that deep house detractors say cannot exist in the genre. A tender, fragile female voice: "Never before in human history has it been so critical, that we rise to our greatness..." It could be interpreted as a political note, but the remarkable sample gets stunning treatment, with a bottomed-out baseline that climbs up and down, somehow getting thicker and heavier and lower with every down note. In fact, it fills the entire low end, giving an opportunity to reflect on the sample. The song feels like its grinding to a stop or going to break your speakers, but then an upper synth pours in and a sweet vibraphone does a ditty toward the top. For the record, the "Silicone Soul's Hypnohouse Remix" of this song is also very good, with a far less political-sounding theme and even more spare arrangement, but excellent on-a-dime dynamics. Listen: Nadja Lind & Paul Loraine - Making A Difference (Helmut Ebritsch Remix) (Youtube).

  2. Rodrigo Laffert - Snuff Movie: The Chilean producer usually plays in slightly more clean arrangements with crash cymbals and classic house grooves, but "Snuff Movie" is different. It's part of a niche of deep house that forgoes the expertly-mixed sound for something a little more booty-bass and lo-fi, garage- the bass crashing through redlines, giving a thick, bigger-than-thou bounce. Responsible use of percussion and shakers keep this well-paced number in mildly Latin territory. A calm, dubby synth serves as a icy foil. Rodrigo Laffert - Snuff Movie (YouTube).

  3. Ariane Blank, Albena Flores - Feel the Light: Ariane Blank and Albena Flores founded the excellent Shoes, Bags, and Boys label, which features strictly female deep house producers. The result is a consistent and squeaky-clean sound that balances reverb-less drum kits with spacious, distant-sounding samples. The beauty of Feel the Light (and more of Blank's work) is its hypnotic character and control of the mix. The tracks feel like installations, where everything is exactly where it is suppose to be in 3D space. Judicious use of piano and arpeggio reward listeners with easy, well manner beats. Blank's perfect sound is the essence of what textbook deep house should be. Listen: Ariane Blank, Albena Flores - Feel the Light (YouTube).

  4. Gorje Hewek - Calinerie: Ambitious and optimistic, this track digs out of a deep house territory with its joyful melody, but the pace and organ-like synth keep this in house space. Using that lo-fi bass dig to punctuate and reach triumph, it's more sparingly use than Laffert. This one phases in some pensive vibraphone to keep it mildly vintage. Wind and wave samples keep this one feel tropical. The phased organ really does make this track feel effervescent and endless. Listen: Gorje Hewek - Calinerie (YouTube).

  5. Tuccillo - Reckless (Original): Riding high on a strident beat, Tuccillo's control of a huge sample and skill at spoiling listeners with perfectly-timed, subtle additions like organic drum crashes and riding cymbals. Tuccillo gives listeners about three minutes to get into his world until he brings in truly remarkable sample: a three-minute tirade from a female talking through a lovelorn moment. It's punchy, and its engaging- full of attitude; she's whip smart and the stream-of-conciousness delivery is the vocal manifestation of what deep house is all about. "I never hurt you baby, I just make you want me." She states. Listen: Tuccillo - Reckless (Original) (YouTube).