In the late 1990’s, the tech house genre was developed and well-crafted by the pioneers of the sound like Mr.G, Ian Pooley, Steve Lawler, Terry Richards and many more.
This new sound was showcased in some of England’s biggest underground club nights at the time. The likes of The Drop and Wiggle were the stomping ground for this new genre that was steamrolling across the UK
Originally, the music had a clean and minimal production style combining elements of a rugged bassline and a merciless beat that could be found in Techno with the peaceful harmonies and body-moving grooves of house music. Back then, the music dove into the depths of darkness and moody kick drums but kept its shape with its meaningful and emotional melodies compared to what is described as Tech House in the modern day.
This was the beginning of a new movement that still stands, but what has changed since then?
Come the summer of 2011 this new sound had emerged and was catching many club-goers ears. Tracks like ‘Azari & III – Hungry For The Power (Jamie Jones Remix)’ and ‘Noir & Haze – Around (Solomun Vox Mix)’ could be heard on every dance floor across the globe and it felt like a new beginning for electronic music.
Rolling basslines, Chicago house drums and vocal heavy breakdowns, it was a breath of fresh air after what was a very rough period for electronic music that lasted for most of the early and late 00s. This was due to the dominance of sub-par trance and euro trash.
With every revolution comes key figures in the rise. Artists such as Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Miguel Campbell, Solomun, Marco Carola and more were all responsible for this movement that was taking massive strides since it’s early days back in the late 90’s.
Hundreds of thousands of punters would flock to Ibiza over the summers of 2011/12 and rejoice in clubs like Amnesia and DC10 to take in an ear full of this new genre that was taking over.
Trance was officially dead on the Island and a new wave of music had arrived.
Before we knew it, artists were emerging from every corner of Europe, hammering out this new sound, not to mention the knock on effect it had on young aspiring DJs. This was just the beginning.
Following on from these glorious two years for Tech House and its change of style, the new generation were starting to emerge with even more material.
Ibiza was about to change forever. What used to be an island predominately dominated by Trance and minimal, was now starting to make the switch to Tech House. Super clubs like Ushuaia and Privilege were now starting to shift their booking policies. A Monday night could see Armin Van Burren play Trance and EDM, on a Tuesday night you could see Luciano play Tech House and minimal classics.
The Tech House crowd was starting to grow to an all time high and compete with commercial acts due to the genre becoming a gateway for new people to soak up this sound that became popular all around the world.
MK, Patrick Topping and wAFF were flooding the genre with new releases every week, not to mention selling out shows regularly.
You couldn’t go to a club in 2014 without hearing ‘Patrick Topping – Forget’, which at the time, was the go to track for almost every DJ to get the crowd moving. This continued for a while, but as they say, everything that goes up, must come down.
Saturation. It all boils down to that. After years of domination, the genre has become over-saturated and has made the dreaded and often maligned transformation from underground to commercial.
Tracks are starting to sound the exact same, DJs are playing the same sets night after night and it’s now a sub-sub genre where an original sub genre has it’s own sub genres which is very confusing for everyone.
We feel that there’s not enough thought going into the music anymore and that the new generation of Tech-House DJs are being pressured by labels to release track after track, which often means quality is compromised.
This might be the reason why some of the tracks sound the exact same. These producers are under pressure that they just follow the exact same pattern as their last two releases, just because it worked. This needs to stop.
Tech-House these days is now being mistaken for Techno. It’s fair if you are brand new into the underground electronic music culture, but for people that have been indulged in the scene should know the difference between the two.
Is this because of its glorification in Ibiza? Is this because of its commercial popularity ?
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