A style of Electronic Dance Music that started to appear in the mid 1990's. As with many other other styles of House Music, it shares that 'four on the floor' beat (4/4 beat) but often featuring off-beat bass stabs in the earlier releases. Typically has a fast tempo (around 145-150 BPM). Early tracks often incorporated vocal diva samples and a synth sound known as the 'hoover', plus lengthy percussion drum rolls. The later tracks would often have lengthy intro and outro drum and percussion segments for long DJ mixes.
Its origins can be traced back to clubs on the UK gay scene such as Trade, emerging from the 'Hard Bag' style often championed by the late Tony De Vit. The style started to spread across to the straight scene from the very late 1990s, with club nights such as Tidy, Sundissential and Storm promoting the style. Hard house DJ's/producers included Tony De Vit & Ian M, BK, Andy Farley, Andy Pickles & Amadeus Mozart (Tidy Boys), Lisa Lashes, Rachel Auburn and Lisa Pin-Up, to name but a few. Hard house record labels include Tidy Trax, Nukleuz, Jump Wax Records, and Tripoli Trax.
Confusingly, the term Hard House is sometimes used in reference to the house tracks that were being released in the US prior to the term being adopted in the UK: typically a 'harder'-sounding house style coming out of New York City.
The northern British hard house variant bounce now has its own Discogs tag, 'Donk' (referring to the bassline sound regularly used on these records). 'Bounce' on Discogs refers to a specific hip hop style.