French house  

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French house is a late 1990s form of house music, part of the 1990s & 2000s European dance music scene and the latest form of European dance music. Influenced by French disco, the genre is also known as "Disco house", "Neu-disco" (new disco) "French touch", "filter house" or "tekfunk". The music is notable for the "filter effect" used by artists such as Daft Punk, and sometimes uses vocal samples. bassline's depth.



French house is greatly influenced by the 1970s Euro disco and especially the short lived space disco music style (a European (mostly French) variation of Hi-NRG disco). Space disco was very popular in France, with artists like Cerrone (Supernature), Sarah Brightman (I lost my heart to a starship trooper), Space (Magic Fly) and Sheila B. Devotion (Spacer) during 1977 - 1979. Space disco was very similar to Hi-NRG disco and the main difference was artistic and on the fact that it was focused on Sci Fi themes. Those artistic influences and the sci fi themes, became a part of French house, and that specially shows on the music videos.

The second influence was the late 70s / early 1980s P-Funk music style, and especially the George Clinton and Bootsy Collins hits of that era. The main reason for this, could be that during the early 80s, the discoteques in France use to handle P-Funk as part of USA's disco, especially after the Disco Demolition Night took place in USA. Also USA's legendary disco band Chic produced Sheila B. Devotion biggest hit, "Spacer", a milestone of the space disco style, still popular at the time (as a dancefloor memory) to most Center / Center-West Europeans. So, the local marketing did the connections and labeled P-Funk as disco for a short while. A third reason was the appearance of those P-Funk artists, which looked very "space age" and somehow looked relatives to "space disco".

A third influence are the productions of Thomas Bangalter. His solo material, along with his work as a member of Daft Punk, significantly impacted the French house scene during the mid-to-late nineties.

MCM Europe was the first TV channel that promote French house to the rest of Europe during that time. For the years 2000-2002, French house became the main addition of MTV France's "Party Zone". After 2001 M6 and M6music also aired many French house videos.


The first French house experiments (which at the time called "disco house" and "neu disco") became notable in the international market between 1997 - 1999. Daft Punk, Stardust and Cassius were the first international successful artists of the genre and their videos show their "space disco" roots.

The mass international commercial success of the genre, started during 2000, because of artists like Bob Sinclar, Etienne de Crécy and Modjo. Galleon and David Guetta followed the next year.

Today most French house bands and artists have moved on to other music styles, notably 2000s Eurodance and electro.

Terms, origins and variations

The term "French house" first used on MTV UK & Ireland during the Christmas holiday period of 1999. It used on an MTV News special, to describe a so called "French house explosion" phenomena. Bob Sinclar was interviewed, as well as Air and Cassius. That news special later aired on all the MTV local variations worldwide, spreading the term and introducing the "French house" sound to the mainstream.

Prior to that (1996 - 2000), "French house" was known to the Europeans as "neu disco", "disco house" and "new disco".

One of the biggest markets for neu disco at the time, was Greece and especially Athens. A local music shop called Discobole Records imported the records direct from France and middle class clubs like City Groove dedicated totally to the genre between 1998 and 2001. In Greece this music style was promoted as "disco house". At the same time, disco house began to gain success in Canada. During 1999 many events also took place on Spain's Ibiza, a very popular destination for British tourists.

French house always had two very close music flavors: The dominate one, is what the French still refers as "the French touch" and it is the style that greatly influenced by the 70s space disco. The second one, is more close to pure Euro disco and greatly influenced by the 70s productions of Alec R. Costandinos. During 2002, those two flavors split. French house remained faithful to the established "French touch" sound, focused more on Euro disco-like vocals and calm down the "space disco" themes. The last tribute on the space disco genre, is Bob Sinclar's 2006 megahit "World, Hold On (Children of the Sky)", which had a video based on a science fiction theme. Space disco influenced productions continued during 2007, but with local only success. Disco house grew to a "heavy" instrumental version of French house. After the split, very quickly became a "gay" music style, very popular on Greek Islands like Myconos, Lesbos, Zakinthos and Lefkada.

On Ibiza, disco house took later another direction: It combined vocals and some elements from the UK's speed garage (a mid 90s music style) with a local latin flavor. On 2007, many underground disco house productions belonged to this Ibiza school.

French house influenced Benny Benassi for the creation of his "tek-house" music style (also known as "pumping house"). That short lived music style became very popular during 2002-2004 in condinental Europe, with artists such Benassi Bros., Royal Gigolos and Shana Vanguarde. During 2007, a crossover of tek house and French house appeared in the French market, with limited success (promoted mostly through the M6Music music channel, W9 and NRJ Music). Most of those hits end up remixed in a 2000s electro to reach mainstream audiences, mostly of the new established dance music style called "Tecktonik"

Artists associated with style

French house music has gone on to influence a range of artists, including Eric Prydz and Steve Angello.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "French house" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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