What is Acid House?

JD Rinehart

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What Is Acid House?

Acid house is a style of electronic dance music that first appeared in the mid-80s and has been making waves on the scene ever since.

It’s a genre that has evolved over time, with its origins rooted in Chicago house music and rave culture.

Before we take a deeper look at what Acid House is we wanted to start you off with five of the best acid house tracks.

Top 5 Acid House Tracks

Frankie Knuckles – Your Love

Box Energy – DJ Pierre

808 State – Flow Coma

Orbital – Chime (12″version)

Mauric – This is Acid

History of Acid House

History of Acid House

Acid house originated in Chicago, USA around the 1980s, when producers began to mix sounds from Roland TB-303 bassline synthesizers with other instruments to create a new sound.

This began with the revolutionary sound of ‘Acid Tracks’, composed as early as 1985 by Phuture and first played on Chicago’s club scene.

As partiers experienced its psychedelic effects, they started to refer to it affectionately as “Ron Hardy’s Acid Track”, setting off a chain reaction that led to its official release in 1987.

This distinctive sound was dubbed “acid” because it had a psychedelic feel to it – much like the effects of LSD!

The genre quickly spread throughout Europe and eventually made its way to clubs all around the world. 

This pioneered a new era – an exciting 80s acid house movement! 

What makes Acid House Unique?

So what makes Acid house unique?

Acid House was created by the Roland TB-303
Roland TB-303

Iconic Electronic Synthesizer -Sequencer

Acid house’s minimalist sound combined house music’s ubiquitous programmed four-on-the-floor 4/4 beat with the electronic squelch sound invented and produced by the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer.

Acid house is directly associated with the Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizer and while the Roland factory in Japan only made a limited number of these machines between 1981 and 1984 these iconic synthesizer sounds can now be created with music production software.

Using the innovative machines by Roland TB – 303 DJ Pierre of Phuture and Sleezy D went on to create the iconic track “Acid Tracks”, often credited as being the first true acid house record.

The innovation is attributed to Chicago producers DJ Pierre of Phuture and Sleezy D and they can rightfully be crowned the pioneers of this genre.

Comfortable Dance Tempos

Nearly all acid house has a bpm of 120-130 beats per minute, which makes it great for dancing.

Exploration of Texture

On top of this, there are often layered samples of classic soul and funk songs that help create an upbeat party atmosphere.

Sometimes these samples are distorted or altered through effects such as chorus or delay, resulting in an even more trippy sound. All in all, Acid house is designed to make people dance and have a good time! 

Mixes well With Other Dance Music Genres

The acid house scene blends seamlessly with other electronic music genres including big beat, Detroit techno, deep house, breakbeat hardcore, and psychedelic trance.

Best 50 Acid Techno Tracks


Why You Should Listen to Acid House Music

If you’re looking for something different yet familiar at your next party or event, put on some acid house and give it try.

You can’t go wrong with its signature squelching basslines combined with funk/soul samples – it’s guaranteed to get people dancing all night long!

Lastly, there are lots of exciting up-and-coming producers delivering some really interesting new takes on acid house music right now – so don’t be afraid to explore! 

Is Acid House Still Alive?

Acid house is still alive and kickin’!

From the summer festival mainstage to after-hours underground warehouse parties, a new generation of music has embraced this exciting genre.

On Jan 6th, 2020 Mixmax posted DJ Pierre’s acid set in The Lab Atlanta.

Check out DJ Pierre’s acid set and hear a set from the most well-known pioneers.


Acid house is one of the most iconic genres of electronic dance music out there today.

Its unique combination of trippy synthesizers and classic soul/funk samples makes it perfect for any occasion where you want people to have fun and dance their hearts out!