Think outside the box
Welcome to dannyhowells.com! This is a website that chronicles the golden age of house music. If you are looking for the godfather of house music in the 1990s and beyond, look no further. Danny Howells is right up there when it comes to influence, inspiration, and innovation.
House music has been around for a long time. If you look at the beat structure of this genre of electronic dance music, it’s easy to see why. It’s unmistakable. The time signature, the beat pattern, and all other indicators of house music have been around since at least the time of disco. It’s pretty simple and it’s pretty basic, but never let its simplicity distract you from the fact that it is very catchy, very infectious, and very powerful.
It is no surprise that house music evolved the way it did.
You have to understand that it came from the underground. This is not some sort of corporate-produced music.
US Type of music
It’s not like somebody had a commercial agenda from the get-go to impose this type of music to the rest of the United States.
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You really can’t say and point to a specific section of a map of the United States and say that it came from there. Now, I know that this is probably going to ruffle some feathers. This is probably going to step on the toes of many people who claim to take ownership over house music.
It’s easy to see why people would want to claim house music. It’s very rich and very influential. A lot of electronic dance music now— regardless of its form, regardless of where it’s popular, and regardless of its creative reach and level of evolution— owes a lot to house music.
Just because people don’t acknowledge it and just because they don’t wish to appreciate it or even become aware of it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. The tie is there. It’s unmistakable. If you have ears and a brain, you should be able to make the connection. It’s one of those things that people don’t want to admit, but still exists. It has an agenda of its own. It lives and people are just going to have to get over that fact.
So with that said, it’s easy to see why a lot of people claim ownership regarding house music, but I think this is just really a modern example of the old saying: Success has many fathers, but failure is always an orphan. Few people would like to take credit for a flat-out failure. People don’t want to own up to their mistakes. This is part of the human condition.
What else is new? On the other side of the equation, people would love to become part of something that was successful. People would love to take ownership of, and credit for something that went well. Again, this is part of the human condition, this is baked into human nature, and there’s really nothing to see here. This is just part of who we are.
There seems to be some sort of tug-of-war between the East Coast, West Coast, and the Midwest regarding who pioneered house music, when it happened, and what forms it took. This really is quite sad because if you look at house music and how basic its structure is, you really can’t help but spot the unavoidable.
The unavoidable conclusion is that it pretty much came of its own and that many different DJs, operating at many different places at many different times, came up with bits and pieces of what would later be the distinct house music sound. That’s the best we can do. That’s the best we can arrive at because that’s the closest to reality.
Danny Howells played a big role in this evolution. While he focused primarily on the East Coast, you can bet that a lot of his influence went to Chicago and of course, Chicago influenced him back. This also applies to places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. That’s how music works. It’s kind of like how microorganisms genetically influence each other.
Did you know that two different species of bacteria when put together can actually interbreed? They can exchange genetic information and out comes a new species of bacteria. That’s how recombinant DNA works. The same applies to creative processes, believe it or not.
You have to understand that whenever you put two creative people in the same room and they have a conversation and they exchange ideas, some of those ideas start to mutate. Some of those ideas are actually just lying dormant, waiting for the right trigger.
Now, it may seem like the idea of the other person really has nothing to do with the first idea brought to the table by the first person. Well, that’s how it looks on the surface, but you don’t really know how inspiration works. None of us knows. It might just be triggered by a word or it might just be triggered by a sense of urgency. Regardless, this electric atmosphere comes up with really interesting ideas and this is manifested in great music.
Don’t let the simplicity of house music fool you. The blues after all, is very simple. It’s only a few bars. It’s not all that complicated and it’s very predictable, but guess what? People all over the world still love the blues.
Given this reality, it should come as no surprise that house music is here to stay. Sure, it’s been rebranded. It now comes in many different flavors and it’s been regionalized, but the core DNA or the core “code”, so to speak, of house music remains alive and well and will continue to remain very viable and vibrant long into the future. Danny Howells, one the pioneering DJs of house music, plays a big role in this. So, do yourself a big favor. Enjoy the music and enjoy the sounds, but also appreciate where it came from.
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