10 Deep Tech Artists You Should Know
By the mid-2010s, four-on-the-floor styles had hit a plateau of similarity, yet in late 2014 and early 2015, deep tech, a four-on-the-floor genre that is making waves in the scene today, was able to break through the mold into something brilliant.
At the time of deep tech's genesis, titanic genres like house, techno, and trance were well established in all major markets worldwide. This is, of course, a good thing overall, but a less than desirable result of such reverence is stifled innovation.
How can a new four-on-the-floor genre emerge when everyone knows the heavy hitters? Especially with the core element, the quarter note kick drum, being identical throughout the spectrum? The way innovation happens in the face of worldwide establishment is through emotional rebellion. When a community within the larger scope of a genre shirks confinement based on what's come before or what's popular.
People in the UK were well fed of Disclosure, Duke Dumont, and the other artists who keep American radio well stocked with deep house. UK fans knew these styles for decades before they gained commercial success across the pond, despite their fiercely American origins.
They were over it. They still loved the repeating kick drum but wanted something with more zeal, attitude, and fire, even if that fire didn't come in the form of faster tempos or distorted synths.
Deep tech was the natural progression. It channels genres historically built on angst like garage, grime, and jungle but keeps them danceable.
The UK is filled with garage, grime, and jungle shows for those looking to rage, but those looking to groove while expressing their pent-up emotion will find a home on the deep tech dancefloor.
Here are ten artists who are championing deep tech dancefloors around the world.
Jaden Thompson is a UK-born deep tech purveyor with some decidedly New York flavor to his sound. His first-ever releases came out on Cuttin' Headz, the label from the NYC princes of house, The Martinez Brothers. And even though deep tech is a UK sound, New York retains its ability to imbue any artform with its cutthroat attitude. That's the kind of attitude Thompson imbues in his rendition of deep tech.
East End Dubs
For some artists, it's all in the name, and East End Dubs is a prime example of this truth. Paying homage to London's East End, this borough of the massive metropolis exists on the outskirts of the trending city center, and thus it is within the East End where new trends begin. Dubs from the east end helped launch deep tech, and East End Dubs is living up to his namesake.
As obscure or unknown as any subgenre may be, there are always early adopters of the sound that inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Prunk is one of those artists for deep tech, first creating music aligned with those rebellious emotions back in 2010. While mainstage EDM dominated the scene, Prunk was making deep tech. Nothing more needs to be said about how he honors bringing truth to art. Now Prunk is putting on even more deep tech artists with his label, PIV.
Chris Stussy is one of the artists who followed Prunk's footsteps into the world of deep tech. Stussy has had releases on PIV, getting his start in 2014 as the genre's differentiation became salient, and he's headlined PIV records takeovers at London's nightlife institution, Fabric. But Stussy is most certainly his own artist as well with his own unique deep tech style. His record label, Up The Stuss, is solidifying the sound in the larger four-on-the-floor zeitgeist.
Along with historical pushers and modern purveyors, what a genre needs to truly reach the hearts and minds of a larger community are crossover artists. Artists who may be within another realm but are clearly making a journey over to the other side and welcoming others to come with them. Low Steppa is making the journey from house and deep house to deep tech, and with his massively influential label, Simma Black, he is inviting other artists and their fans to join him.
In their relatively short time making music, Nautica have spread the deep tech sound to some of the most celebrated imprints in four-on-the-floor music. They started in 2018 and since have hit Defected, elrow, Solid Grooves Raw, ORIGINS RCRDS, Whoyostro, and more. Each label demands a different exoskeleton, but the deep tech influence is never absent from Nautica.
With hundreds of tracks to his name, wAFF isn't tied to one genre. Deep house. Tech house. Techno. Melodic. He's produced it all, and now he's dabbling in deep tech like a pro. Quality is never an issue when wAFF is involved.
Deep tech wouldn't be a thing without X5 Dubs. While artists like Prunk are on the housier side of the deep tech sphere, refining the fury into something more groovy, X5 Dubs was honing true to garage, jungle, and grime. Proving that the sheer intensity of these genres was still a core element of the new sound he was helping to create.
Secondcity is the vocal sample master. No matter what genre anyone might consider any of his tracks, he has the power to harness the voice and use it to advance his goal of getting the dancefloor moving. As he begins to venture into deep tech, everyone can expect a slew of white-hot vocal cuts soon.
One thing that keeps a subgenre around is a stable of young talents dedicated to its growth. Azaad only started releasing music back in August of 2020, but he's stepped into the deep tech sphere with the same kind of fire that got things started a few years ago. His Instagram bio reads a simple "No gimmicks," and he's not joking.
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