House music is on the resurge – fact or fiction?

It seems the debate about house music and its apparent resurgence rumbles on. Ears To The House thought it had all concluded a few weeks ago, but apparently not. No, it seems The Guardian want to talk about it a little longer.

This was a prospect we dreaded. Surely there have been enough articles written by now telling us Beyoncé Knowles and Drake have jointly saved house music? In a mainstream media which once told us that David Guetta was the godfather of house music – Frankie Knuckles would turn in his grave over the mere suggestion – this would have been little surprise.

But no, this isn’t what happened. Instead, The Guardian decided to speak to Robin S for her take. They then spoke to Jesse Saunders, Byron Stingily and Marshall Jefferson, who all offer slightly different bits of history – and it includes this particularly interesting line from Jefferson…

“I just wish there weren’t remixes. That cheapened the music and led to major artists getting it all on the cheap. I’m working on an album now but I’m under pressure to let other people remix it, which takes 70% of the soul out of the record. The reason why I’m against it is that if a white person does it, they can do the exact same music as what I’m doing now and people say: “Hey, that’s cool. That’s old school.” But when I do it? “Nah, you gotta update that.’.”

Discovering that Jefferson doesn’t like remixes isn’t a surprise – his own discography has remarkably few reworks in it. We don’t entirely agree with his view that remixes cheapen music in themselves – large remix packs for the sake of it do, but a different version aimed at a different audience which wouldn’t otherwise hear it? We fail to see what’s bad about it.

Anyway, kudos to The Guardian for at least attempting to detail the history of house music by speaking to some of those who were there – they even avoid the nonsensical claim that Beyoncé Knowles sampled Robin S. But from what we could see, house music isn’t resurging – because it never went away in the first place…

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