Clubbers' Decktionary: Scouse House aka Donk, UK Bounce, NRG
A guide to the myriad genres of clubbing, from Trouble's DJ Hobbes
Scouse House aka Donk, UK Bounce, NRG
Proper noun, 130–140 bpm
Relentlessly, um, bouncy and uplifting strand of hard dance/house/trance music, characterised by banging kicks, speedy snare rolls, basslines which (literally) go ‘donk’, gaudy synths and clichéd vocals sampled from happy hardcore, house, hip hop, R&B and pop hits.
Most popular across the North of England and Glasgow in the early 90s, as well as holiday destinations Magaluf (Majorca), Malia (Crete) and Torrevieja (Spain), not to mention other parts of Spain, the Netherlands and Australia, where people prefer to jump around mindlessly to its tougher cousin, NRG.
The staff of 3 Beat Records in Liverpool found themselves in something of a bind in the early 90s. Resident at local club 051, DJ Lee Butler had been playing the more poppy variant of hard dance that had started appearing in the shop but no one had come up with a specific title yet to distinguish the new strand. In a meeting with his staff one day, manager Pezz jokingly referred to it as Scouse House. Bingo. 051 was forced to close in 2005 but other venues soon grabbed the baton and, like the proverbial cockroach, the music endures.
Local trio Ultrabeat hit No 2 in 2003 with ‘Pretty Green Eyes’, following it up with a string of top 40 hits before releasing Ultrabeat: The Album in 2007 (No 8 in the UK album chart, no less), collaborating with happy hardcore pioneer-cum-trance player Darren Styles on commercial dance anthem ‘Discolights’ (No 23), in 2008. Australian DJ Alex K and solo DJ/producer Hypasonic are also significant, while Mickey Modelle vs Jessy had a UK Top Ten hit, in 2006, with ‘Dancing In The Dark’, which had originally appeared as a white label called ‘Donk In The Dark’ by Ignostikz vs The White.
You might well hear some Scouse House at Back to the Future, the Arches, Glasgow, Sat 25 Aug.