Tuesday 5 November 2013

Mixmag: Tech-House Strikes Back

Last week, Mixmag's Seb Wheeler wrote an article basically slating tech-house music. The dance publication asked me to write a response, which you can dig into below. 


As someone who has recently been championing the tech-house movement, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disgruntled after reading Seb Wheeler’s recent article for Mixmag entitled Stop The Tech-House Takeover. "Over-polished percussion" and "simple chord progressions" are descriptions which snobby Seb tries to use as daggers, but they're actually the reasons why tech-house is so attractive to underground party goers the world over.

There’s something special about its repetitiveness. The uniting of groovy house and bearable techno allows clubbers to get straight down to business on the floor without off-kilter build-ups and off-key vocalists behind multiple drops in tunes, something which is mostly found in the makeup of deep house. I know it might be hard to believe to some, but there are real human beings out there who couldn’t give a shit about a euphoric vocal drop. It's just not a necessity in today’s ever-changing dance climate. All of that euphoria can be found in tech-house, if you take the time out to dissect it.

Known names like Maceo Plex, Heidi, No Artifical Colours, Andhim and Defected’s newly-signed Lee B3 Edwards are a few who know how to bring out the complex sides of this house spin-off. B3, for example, can show you a grimey edge of tech-house you never knew existed, while Plex keeps things industrial and eerie.

London’s Tech Twinz, aka Ben Murphy and Louis Frederick, are budding tech-ers and regular DJs at the city's EGG Nightclub. For them, as Murphy explains, making the move from deep to tech-house was a no-brainer: "We started off as deep house DJs/producers and made some really good tracks and got a lot of good bookings. But as our name got bigger, we started to get even bigger bookings to support top tech-house/techno DJs, like Derrick May, Mark Henning, Martin Buttrich and Moodtrap. Listening to the sound they were bringing, we quickly fell in love with it and started to produce and play that sound ourselves."

He continues: "You can have the simplest bassline and put a basic kick and snare behind it and the crowd will dance all night! Isn’t that what it’s all about? Plus, we’ve noticed that the tech-house/techno bookings bring a much better crowd of music lovers. Plenty of deep house DJs and producers are starting to realise this now, too. Deep house will always be around and be loved, but I think tech-house is just sneaking ahead of it now and will continue to do so."

Oh, and as for shuffling becoming a "recognised sport" – rightly so! The sonic energy that the sound gives off was made for the dance move. You just wait until the rest of the 'urban house' crew make that transition from deep to tech-house and straight-up techno. All hell will probably break loose, but I’m looking forward to being up in the heat.

This also appeared over at Mixmag.net: H E R E