Tech house, a dynamic subgenre nestled within the realm of electronic dance music (EDM), boasts a rich history and a distinct fusion of characteristics inherited from its predecessors. In this exploration, we unravel the unique sonic tapestry that defines the tech-house genre.
Defining the Tech House Genre
Tech house finds its roots as a subgenre of house music, seamlessly blending the characteristic sounds of techno and house. These tracks often feature a techno-inspired kick and bassline coupled with the jazzy, soulful elements of house and minimal dub undertones.
Origins of Tech House
Hailing primarily from the United States, specifically Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, as well as the vibrant dance culture of Ibiza in Spain, tech house draws influence from house, techno, minimal techno, and deep house.
Characteristics of Tech House Tracks
Common Tempos: Tech house tracks usually groove to a tempo around 125 BPM, creating an energetic yet danceable vibe.
Time Signature and Rhythm Pattern: Adhering to a 4/4 time signature, tech house maintains the iconic four-on-the-floor rhythm pattern synonymous with house music.
Rhythm Emphasis: The rhythm emphasis in tech house accentuates each beat with a bass drum hit while highlighting the second and fourth beats with additional snare or clap hits. Hi-hats on the off-beat contribute to the genre's infectious groove.
Typical Sounds: Tech house often features a techno kick and bassline reminiscent of minimal or deep techno, coupled with jazzy, soulful house elements and minimal dub influences.
Tech House Song Structures
Analyzing the structure of tech house songs reveals a common pattern: BABCB, where A represents a breakdown, B signifies a drop, and C denotes a main breakdown. Phrases typically span 4, 8, or 16 bars, with 8-bar phrases being particularly prevalent.
Song Lengths and Versions
The length of a tech house song can vary based on its version, with 'original mix' or 'extended mix' versions generally being longer than 'radio edit' counterparts. The average duration of tech house tracks, according to an analysis of the Beatport top 100 in October 2015, is around 6 minutes and 54 seconds.
History and Global Influence
Tech house's popularity surged in Europe during the early 2000s, with influential artists like Adam Beyer and Richie Hawtin shaping its trajectory in northern Europe, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In Spain, tech house enjoyed significant success, thanks to resident DJs at venues like ROW14 in Barcelona.
Tech House vs. Progressive House
Some confusion surrounds the distinction between tech house and the newer technical form of progressive house. While tech house has a cleaner and minimal style, the newer progressive house form, as exemplified by labels like 'Lost & Found,' embraces atmospheric and moody elements, often featuring instrumental, melodic compositions.
Well-Known Tech House Artists
DJs such as Solomun, Claude VonStroke, and Green Velvet stand out as notable figures within the tech house realm, according to rankings and lists from platforms like "The DJ List."
For a deeper understanding of tech house and its relationship with other EDM genres, delve into additional blog posts that provide insightful comparisons and analyses.
In essence, tech house emerges as a genre that beautifully marries the rhythmic intricacies of techno and the soulful elements of house, captivating dancefloors around the world with its infectious beats and evolving soundscape.