Tech House

Spiritually, tech house was born somewhere in the distance between Chicago and Detroit, 300 miles of frost-bitten North American territory separating cities that somehow spawned the soulful groove of house and the planet-conquering machine music of techno respectively. 

Yet in strictly factual terms, tech house was born in the minds of Londoners sometime in the early 1990s. In the UK, rave was mutating into the ecstatic berserker energy of hardcore, while acid house had come in from the farmers’ fields to the superclubs of the cities where it was either defanged into gospel-heavy ‘uplifting house’ or commercialised by retail into ‘handbag house’: the kind of mum-friendly dance music you might have heard pumping out of a provincial Topshop before Jeff Bezos came along and murdered the British high street.

Anyway, there were some who approved of neither of these developments in the club scene, so they started forging their own way forward – not super-consciously at first, just following their own tastes to sculpt sets that took like-minded dancers through the London night. DJs like Mr C, Eddie Richards and Terry Francis started speeding up soulful US garage music and slowing down banging Detroit techno. Once again, tech house was the sound of those two strains meeting in the middle, and over the next 15 years, DJs like the aforementioned three – as well as Bushwacka and Asad Rizvi – took it from an underground scene to a vibe that began to hold its own against its two parent genres, as tech house conquered dancefloors with a formula that never stopped evolving yet had some enduring signposts.

Take a shuffling house beat and anchor it with a kick that sounds like a murky, hazy thud. Over the top add the kind of majestic, jazzy pads blessed to the world by Detroit techno and give the whole thing groove and rigour with thick, glutinous analogue basslines that feel like velcro pulling your feet back to the sticky warehouse floor. Add considered snatches of vocal and synth melody wherever you so please, a cool minimal sensibility – and, if you’re feeling fruity, maybe the odd lashing of tribal percussion or a nightstalker-y, Vangelis-inspired string swell – and what you have is tech house: a music that can be both hard and solemn, pumping and morose, airy yet concussive, seemingly obscure but rampantly popular. 

In the 2020s, world-famous DJs like Fisher, Solardo, Nic Fanciulli, Dixon and Joris Voorn spread the stripped back tech house gospel across the planet. All of those artists have graced Ministry of Sound, as have Jamie Jones and Lee Foss, who – along with their influential label, Hot Creations – have helped take the sound supernova. Tech house dominates the biggest rooms in Ibiza’s biggest clubs and soundtracks nights out for hedonists across Europe, Australia, the US and basically every continent on Earth that has more night clubs than polar bears living on it. 

The reasons for its popularity? The core tenets of the sound are fixed enough that to remain as constants while leaving enough space in the sound for it to perpetually evolve – in later years, to include elements of EDM and electro. Tribal, dub techno, minimal house, bass music – all have been spliced with tech house to create unforgettable moments on the world’s dancefloors. And in London, its spiritual home is the dance floor of Ministry of Sound. 

Our main room The Box is the perfect arena in which to catch huge global superstar DJs and the hottest upcoming talent at our tech-house events – check the listings and you’re sure to find tickets to a night of white hot tech-house excitement coming up soon. The rooms at our Gaunt Street address – including Baby Box, The Loft and 103 – are all equipped with the greatest sound systems in the city and state-of-the-art lasers for your hands to reach for.

Whether you’re coming into London from further afield or a born-and-bred SE1er, everyone is welcome on the famous dancefloors of the world’s most iconic night club – and with so many incredible tech house parties and events lined up for the months ahead, it should come as no surprise that the scene is something that keeps everyone coming back.