When House got Hard
Late 1990s (1995+)
In the 90s as various dance subgenres began to appear in the UK, things started to get more intense. The result of dance music’s mainstream success was that it became omnipresent on British dance floors, and as the rise of the superstar DJ began to take hold, LGBTQ+ clubbers began to search for their own sound and their own superstar DJ.
Wanting to provide a safe space for Queer and Gay clubbers to meet and party together, Lawrence Malica approached the now sadly demolished Turnmills nightclub with an idea to showcase London’s LGBTQ+ scene on a massive scale. The party, which started at 4am every Sunday after the traditional club events had finished became legendary and birthed a new harder and faster style of house music.
The party, renamed TRADE, had only the DJ to champion the sound now dubbed Hard House. Tony De Vit was an instant hit at TRADE having cut his teeth over many years as one of the UK’s premier “Gay” scene DJs. TRADE embraced him like no other. His technical skill, original musical style, and ability to flawlessly read a dance floor propelled Tony to global success, and as club promoters started to see the potential of Tony and Hard House as a lucrative alternative to mainstream dance music, LGBTQ+ culture was once again thrust into the limelight and Tony right along with it.
Tony died in 1998 of complications due to HIV infection, but his star burned bright for many years to come and he is now considered not only a pioneer of Hard House but as a bona fide legend of electronic dance music as a whole.