What is electro house and who does it best?
House music is electronic dance music that originated in the early 1980s in Chicago. It's like an electronic, minimal translation of disco and is one of the more popular and recognizable forms of dance music today, one in which a repetitive rhythm seems to be the driving force.
Since the 1980s, the genre has grown and branched off into many sub-genres, one of which is electro house. Electro house is influenced by and shares characteristics with pop, synthpop, tech house, and electroclash. Electro house is a very intense style of music: its beauty is glimpsed through a cascade of heavy drops and mind-blowing synths and its prominent bass lines and downplayed 4/4 percussion (usually around 128 to 130 bpm) might include jarring synths and vocal and instrumental samples.
Electro house is gradually making its way into the mainstream but still has a strong underground following. New artists emerge all the time to join the big names that are pioneering the genre. Below, you will find my top 10 favourite electro house songs, in no particular order. Naturally, not everyone will agree, so I invite you to join the discussion in the comment section.
1: Swedish House Mafia--One (Your Name)
"One" is perhaps the most iconic of Swedish House Mafia's songs. It instantly grabs your attention as a kick drum speeds up to form a raw and penetrating bassline before a kick drum starts really kicking.
There is a vocal and an instrumental version; both have something to offer. The vocal interlude before the drop builds suspense and a rise in emotion before a heavy drop of bass, brief vocal chops, and a lead melody that rises above the rest to create a sense of fulfilling escape. That is the true beauty of this tune: it creates a space which is filled with heavy, gritty sounds, yet still allows a sense of liberation.
Listen to Swedish House Mafia's "One" (Your Name)
2: Zedd--The Legend of Zelda
Hardcore gamers will definitely know the influence of this song. While I have never played Zelda myself, of course I recognize the well-known theme tune which Zedd uses cleverly here.
"The Legend of Zelda" starts off with a basic hat and clap beat and with a vocal "check" thrown in for good measure. It gets heavier after Z-E-L-D-A is spelled in a brief break. From here the song takes you on a rollercoaster ride starting with a great build up, weaving in the Zelda theme tune, and gradually bringing you closer to the inevitable drop.
Once again Zelda is spelled but with an increase in tension, plunging you into the bass-heavy drop, still followed by the theme tune. From here on the song does not relent, bringing you along for one hell of a journey. After the second drop it even breaks into a dubstep interlude for a few bars before launching right back into the 4/4 house beat.
When it finally winds down, you're left to catch your breath and contemplate what just happened.
Listen to "The Legend of Zelda" by Zedd
3: Daft Punk--One More Time
"One More Time" is possibly one of the most recognizable songs, not just in electro house but in house music as a whole. This song leans towards the funkier side of electro with the infamous French duo blasting out a vocal-heavy masterpiece.
It's about celebration and enjoying oneself, but not in the cheesy, poppy way we know all too well. It begins by building the synth and a kick that gets heavier with each phrase. When it drops into the main beat with its well-known lyrics, you know you're in electro heaven. It's a song of beautifully fleeting chords and funky bass undertones with an extremely relaxing vocal break in the middle and a soft and fluffy synth playing in the background. It elevates you to a place of peace and happiness before gradually bringing the melody back in, dropping you back down to a funky, nostalgic zone.
For many people, this song will indeed be nostalgic as well as beautiful. It truly is a masterpiece.
4: Deadmau5--Moar Ghosts N Stuff
"Moar Ghosts 'n' Stuff" is a very clever production by one of the most unique producers out there at the moment. It is from Deadmau5's second album, "For Lack of a Better Name", and begins with Chopin's Funeral March ("pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you"), a creepy synth and a sinister voiceover (a line from the 1957 film The Brain From Planet Arous) and then drops into a crazy, funky synth-line which sucks you in and doesn't let go until the end.
The beat is a refreshingly simple 4/4 kick, hats and clap. Every so often the song has a brief orchestral break. At the midpoint there is an emotion-building break in which a high-pitched lead covers a raw bass line which gradually rises in intensity before dropping right back into that lovely synth-line which gives the song so much character.
Moar Ghosts N Stuff is a funky electro house song that you just cannot help but move your feet to.
Listen to "Moar Ghosts N Stuff" by Deadmau5
5: Avicii & Sebastien Drums--My Feelings for You
Avicii is quickly becoming a popular face in the electro and progressive house scene, releasing a lot of tracks with a big anthem vibe. This song is in collaboration with Sebastien Drums and was released before other well-known tracks like "Levels". It is a great electro house song with a beautiful, emotion-driven lyric of "my feelings for you have always been real". It has a really nice chord sequence of raw bouncy sounds, all merging to create an atmospheric, head-bopping tune.
It's one of those songs that affect you on more than one level, both physically and cerebrally. The beat moves you and the vocals create a mood. The song itself puts you in a happy mood, while the vocals are tinged with a melancholic truth. Overall, it is an amazing song.
6: Wolfgang Gartner--Illmerica
"Illmerica" is an absolutely astounding piece of work. It has so many different elements you discover something new each time you listen.
It builds nicely into a bass line driven 4/4 beat before introducing different fresh elements, including string instruments and a growling, voice-like bass line that's carries the song through its bombardment of electro synths and beeps. The break in the middle provides the listener brief relief from the overwhelming insanity, but it's relief tinged with anticipation because we know we are going to be launched straight back into that wonderful whirlpool of sound.
The song continues to grow right up until it ends. A great song by a producer who is quickly establishing his talent.
Vidoe for "Illmerica" by Wolfgang Gartner
7: Calvin Harris--Bounce (Michael Woods Remix)
This is one of the best electro house remixes out there at the moment. The original by Calvin Harris is a good song, but the remix by Michael Woods simply blows it away.
It starts off with a fresh-sounding beat before breaking into the synth line from the original, which is twisted into an atmospheric build. It drops into a jaw-dropping electro bouncy melody which almost leans toward the Dutch house side of house music. As the song progresses, it only gets heavier.
This is one of the most original and unique remixes I've heard. It is impossible not to move to this one, with its quirky synth, roaring breaks, and a nice tight drum beat keeping it all together. In my opinion, this is the best remix of this song and is actually better than the original.
Listen to "Bounce" by Calvin Harris (Featuring Kelis)
8: A1 Bassline--Breathless
This song will, as the name suggests, leave you breathless. It instantly hits you with an extremely hard kick while a strange melodic chiming voice rattles above it, then chords and a vocal come in to nicely introduce you to one of the hardest drops known to electro house.
Even as I sit here typing this while listening to the song, I can't help but move around! It's a rare thing, an electro house song that hits you hard while cushioning your blow; its unrelenting bass makes you so unbelievably pumped up that you feel like you are ready for anything, but in a way that oozes positivity and creativity. It literally blows the sub-woofer away, pounding it with a heavy 4/4 kick matched with a punchy sub bass, on top of a cascade of sounds and a lovely vocal. It all comes together for 3 minutes of anarchic bliss.
Video for "Breathless" by A1 Bassline
9: Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party--Antidote
Knife Party and Swedish House Mafia collaborate (battle?) here, providing us with an extremely dark yet invigorating song.
The laughter at the beginning creates an immediate tension that takes on a dark and sinister vibe, accelerating its animosity quickly before dropping. When that drop hits; there is no antidote. You are dragged into an unrelenting electro vibe and the vocal break does not provide any sort of relief, only a heightened sense of edginess. Once again the song hits you like a freight train, throwing subtlety out the window, going into a frenzy of adrenaline-fueled tension.
The whole song is elevated by the wobble bass line which adds to its general meanness. The synths add to this feeling with razor-sharp leads and melodies that compliment the overwhelming feeling of uncontrollable insanity. Overall, this song is an amazing achievement.
Video of "Antidote" by Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party
10: Michael Woods--No Access
Last but not least, we have "No Access" by Michael Woods. Not only is he talented at remixes (as we heard with Calvin Harris's "Bounce",) he also makes incredible originals.
What makes this song so special is the bass line which introduces us to the main part of the song. For the first two bars, it rips through the empty space before a heavy kick drum makes an appearance. It roars through the track until a higher-pitched synth-lead comes in to join the party, creating a build that eventually drops into a massive, anthem sounding main section, rich with chords, melodies, bleeps, and that raw bass line. The song never lets up for its duration, bringing you along for one hell of an adrenaline-pumping journey. When it ends, it leaves you wanting more, which is never a bad thing.
Browse here for electro house music (Swedish House Mafia, Zedd, Deadmau5, Avicii, Daft Punk, etc.). I highly recommend them all.
There we have it, my top ten electro house songs. I believe each song brings something diverse and original to the genre but of course, they all have the characteristics of classic electro: great melodies, epic bass lines, and a tidy 4/4 beat.
I hope you enjoyed this list. If you want to add any tunes or respond to this article, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading.
Thunderbolt on January 16, 2017:
Sounds cool ..
I also recommend DJ BL3ND and his insane psycho awesome mixes ...
Especially the one named : Monster mix !!!!!!!!!!!!
Listen y'all and feel the joy of dance
Alice R. Dixon @ Retozon on November 10, 2016:
This is great info to know. I really like to be active Thanks for sharing.
Mister Terrific from United States on January 16, 2015:
Daft Punk's song, "One More Time" is one of the best songs ever made, and it's still holds up to this day.
Royce on January 16, 2015:
Some pretty sick tracks here, I love "one" by Swedish House Mafia, have you ever heard the original mix? It's just the beat with no vocals, It's beautiful :D
camillo777 on September 24, 2014:
btw... illmerica is the best! i did not know it! really blows me away!
camillo777 on September 24, 2014:
Is it up to date?
Joey Ramos on August 27, 2014:
K391 Joruney 2014
Billy DiMeo from Boston on April 26, 2014:
Love the list man. Awesome job!
Detrax on January 18, 2014:
The songs on this list are all pretty good but im confused about you picking moar ghosts and stuff from deadmau5 when hes got songs like the original ghosts n stuff, strobe and aural psynapse
Sammy Kikwai from Kenya on January 06, 2014:
I definitely loved this list!
Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on October 31, 2013:
The list has some amazing songs. I personally like Daft Punk - One More Time.
Muhammad Abdullah on October 01, 2013:
i love music :*
i'm impressed about your discovery
Andre on June 29, 2013:
Not a bad list but why does no one ever include the classics .. Stuff from the Paradise Garage our genres were built on. And Frankie Knuckles tunes from when the term House was coined!
House Rage on March 16, 2013:
How did you learn so much about electro? I feel newb.
franck on February 19, 2013:
Ca se voit que vous ne connaissez pas http://musicforparty.net
Bifbuzz on February 09, 2013:
original music clips superb !!! like it
Breakbot on February 06, 2013:
The youth of the people in this post shows vividly when Daft Punk isn't winning by a landslide.
Akhenaten on January 30, 2013:
Thank you - 6KM jog is easier with these tracks.
electrohouse on January 15, 2013:
Listen to this. You'll probably want to revise your list and add this song to it.
YOURE COOL on January 14, 2013:
Do you have any songs you recommend me any pop songs and electro house songs that would go along together pretty well?
HumanPerception (author) from Ireland on January 10, 2013:
No problem AyeJay, glad you enjoyed the article!
AyeJay on January 10, 2013:
Thanks for the help in expanding my house music repertoire!
HumanPerception (author) from Ireland on January 07, 2013:
@JJA: No problem! Glad you enjoyed it.
JJA on January 07, 2013:
Thanks for the article mate, i found it very useful
HumanPerception (author) from Ireland on December 15, 2012:
@Person: Thanks for the support. I don't have a problem with people disagreeing with my opinion, that's how healthy debate is sparked; however I don't like people being rude about it. Also, @someyoungguy, I have a lot more than 10 electro house songs in my music library.
Person on December 13, 2012:
@someyounguy: There's something called an opinion, and you need to learn what that is. That word was mentioned frequently throughout the article.
Besides, just because something is old doesn't make it any less better. That's like saying masterpiece paintings of the 19th century are becoming less relevant because PhotoShop exists.
someyounguy on December 13, 2012:
blaaaa... you call this top ten?!? newbbbbb... these are such old & over-played songs. My guess would be these are the only 10 electro-house songs in your itunes, hate to be a d!ck but someone had to say it.
sue on November 16, 2012:
I l'm a big fan of house music and I enjoyed the choices you provided:)))))
I love it!!!!!
Maxx on October 31, 2012:
woooooow it's perfect! I immediately got a few songs to my ipod done!
kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on October 27, 2012:
I am not a fan of house music, so I cannot really make a comment on the content, but I was wondering what and how people write about music.
I find it rather peculiar that there are so many votes in your poll, so it seems that you get traffic, but why no one wants to leave a comment?