When I was asked to write this article I was sceptical if I was best person for the job, do I know enough about it all? Well anyway I decided to give it a shot. To keep things simple I’m going to talk about the type of Techno London has seen a resurgence of over the last few years. 128-135 BPM not the harder 250-350 BPM Hardcore Techno. To cover the harder stuff is a whole different story.
I’m going to touch on how I view things now and from when I actively started getting involved.
London has always been well known for its progressive and constantly evolving underground dance scene. Over the years England has more and more become a country of mainstream commercialism, its prevalent now more then ever. In defiance to being told what watered down, money making music to listen to and like is why our underground has always been so strong.
It has to be said that Techno has always been here, rolling along in the UK’s depths from the late 80’s early 90’s from such, still very influential figures as James Ruskin, Luke Slater and Ben Sims, out of London, Regis, Female and Surgeon. Overseas in Europe around 2005 was when you started to see influential figures such as Marcell Dettmann and Ben Klock breaking through. They started performing in London soon after but were no where near in demand here as they are nowadays.
In 2011 when my colleagues and I decided to start putting on events we felt the scene in London needed something adding to it. Back then you had the likes of Lost and Plex doing great stuff and the occasional big name appearing at the bigger clubs but there was still a lot more to be done. A lot of new home grown and international talent were on the rise and needed to be known about in London to help progression and add new interest to the genre. I’m not saying we are solely to thank for the recent resurgence its been an over all progression from all angles. But we like to think we have defiantly played our part.
I guess you could say the recent resurgence started around 2010-11 (some may argue this but as I mentioned at the beginning, this is all from my own personal perspective) and from then until today it has been growing very steadily. Right now there are loads more parties going on with new and interesting acts being booked all the time. Some parties are a success some aren’t. But generally speaking I think its safe to say right now our Techno scene is in a good strong state. It’s still not perfect though and I think more could be done by some to support and push the home grown talent we currently have.
I think a lot of the people new to London’s Underground want more pace, technical diversity and progression from their music which is why Techno is becoming more and more popular.
Pretty much every weekend now, between them, the capitol’s Techno events are attracting well over 2000+ people. You can stomp away all weekend till 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. Is it sustainable? Yes I think it is . As the scene carries on growing more people will be attracted in the search for something more substantial and different to what they may have been used to in the past. The exact same thing is happening right now in Malta, Paris and I’m sure a whole load of other places too.
Techno is purely about the music it doesn’t matter if your ugly, beautiful, black, white, young, old, gay, straight, fat, skinny or dressed like a tramp. All are welcome. You could say Techno is just today’s fashion but I wouldn’t be so sure. It’s music of great substance and depth it can be sometimes dark, light and very emotive. It constantly changes and evolves, that’s beauty of it. Total freedom of expression.
Its very true to say that some people have been jumping on the band wagon, using the word “Techno” in their event or track blurb to look cool and current but its always very obvious and their said material usually has absolutely nothing to do with the genre. But that’s their problem and all they are doing is confusing people and making themselves look confused. A few of the larger promoters have questionably jumped on the resurgence but as long as there educating the crowd correctly and doing the genre proud then it’s all good.
What ever music your into just be true to it and yourself.
I asked a few Techno artists local and abroad… “What’s the your most favourite thing about playing or visiting London?” and they replied…
Truss (Perc Trax / OCS / Avian / R&S)
“The diversity of the musical landscape in London is almost unparalleled. As such, I often find an acceptance and willingness amongst the crowds here to allow me to play new or unexpected music within the context of a techno set.”
“Best thing. Customs.. Wait, that’s the worst thing… Best thing is vibe of the city and seeing friends!”
The last time I played took me by surprise. People literally hanging off the barriers, the atmosphere rivaling some of the best parties across Europe. A very knowledgeable and party-hardy rowdy bunch of people!
Dave Flores (Truncate/Audio Injection)
“Favorite thing about playing in London for me is the fact that the crowds are really up for anything. You can go as hard as you want or as deep! They’re up for it! Also the fact that I’m playing in a country where a lot of my earlier influences come from… lots of techno history!”
DJ Deep (Deeply Rooted)
“In my youth London was the place we were travelling (car, boat, no eurostar yet, and sometimes fly) to get a hold of treasures such as US imports or of course British House and Techno, we had great stores in Paris, but they would only have a limited amount of copies per record, so it was often we’d miss stuff. And now every time I get a chance to play in London I remember how much of an important role the city had in my life as a young DJ, not only the record stores, but the whole culture around Music.”
Mike Parker (Prologue/Mote Evolver/MLTrd)
“The best thing about playing in London is the enthusiasm of the fans there. The recent party at Corsica Studios recently was top notch.”
Time for a bit of shameless plugging… As you may of noticed, as ever we have some great stuff out and coming up on EarToGround. Recently you saw Dax J’s excellent Sephora EP and November 3rd sees the release of Cleric’s debut EP on the label, ETG011, Synthetic tails. Soon after German duet, dualit will also be stepping up for their first.
Cover art and released audio links can be found below…
Cleric – Synthetic Tails – ETG011 (out Nov 3rd)
dualit – Raw Material – ETG012 (release date TBA)
Hopefully now after reading this reading this have new interest towards to genre or if you are already a devoted fan and will be rushing out this weekend to rave.
Shouts to: All the EarToGround crew and friends including artists and remix artists, Krista and Ray and all at Jaded, Children Of Tomorrow, Individual Collective, Void, Plex, The Hydra, Corsica Studios, fabric, Nina at Apelago, Veto Music, EPM, Matt at Alchemy, BM Soho, Hardwax, egg and more importantly everyone who buys Techno and comes to the parties. Loads coming up. Do not miss a beat!