Martin Ikin, San Pacho, and Kaysin on the State of Global Tech House
Aug 9, 2023
B. I. Empey
3 min read
“What's the tech house on right now?” wonders Martin Ikin upon entering the green room at Reach Entertainment’s '90s rave revival event. He’s basking in the glow of his recent performance at EDC, just as San Pacho is, from his set the previous night. Both, among Europe’s leading tech house artists, chat with Gray Area about tech house's direction, with special attention to its trending subgenre: Latin tech house.
“I'm intrigued by Martin's perspective; he's a trailblazer,” remarks San Pacho post his set and while Ikin finishes his.
San Pacho, a rising talent in Latin tech house, acknowledges Ikin’s pioneering role: “He constructed this scene. So, his views might be weightier than mine. But as a newcomer, I can provide a fresh perspective.”
TECH HOUSE SOUNDS
“Latin tech house revolves around vibrant percussion and sultry vocals,” says San Pacho. “My current focus is collaborating exclusively with Latino artists for Latin tech house tracks.”
Ikin observes the dynamic nature of global tech house. “The scene is always evolving. You subtly adjust as trends emerge.” Rooted in fundamental sonic elements, he adds, “Solid beats form the base. And right now, the 808 bass vibe seems predominant. I'm also into integrating synths and captivating vocals.”
As a seasoned jazz pianist, Ikin infuses his tech house tracks with rich textures. “I invest in synthesizers, and I'm drawn to innovative synth use.” He gives a sneak peek into his latest collaboration with Noisia, which showcases unique synth work. “We premiered it at EDC. It's titled ‘Burning’ and uses a sound I created on an ARP 2600 clone.”
San Pacho, in contrast, relies on crowdsourcing. “I tweeted an open call to Latino artists. The outcome was some incredible tracks, like 'A Dalè' which I played at EDC.”
The dialogue with both artists highlights that tech house is morphing, fueled by innovative collaborations and experimentation, challenging previous boundaries.
“There used to be distinct regional tech house sounds,” notes Ikin. “But now, these differences are fading. The genres are blending more.”
While San Pacho sees Latin tech house booming in the Americas, he feels Europe leans more towards traditional house. He observes a bpm shift in Latin tech house. “It was 126 for a while. Now, it's edging faster. Odd Mob, for instance, does fantastic faster-paced house.”
San Pacho contemplates this shift. “I'm mulling over experimenting in that direction.”
Such explorations, combined with collaborations among producers, indicate a robust future for tech house in an increasingly interconnected world.
A week later, Gray Area converses with Kaysin from Repopulate Mars.
“Tech house has diverged into multiple styles,” Kaysin points out. “We see minimalistic sounds from Cloonee, and the bold beats of Fisher and Chris Lake. With such diversity, tech house remains intriguing and open for further exploration.”
He mentions several emerging artists, including Local Singles and Truth x Lies, praising the current dynamism. “There's talk of the 'bubble bursting' for some genres,” he says. “But with tech house's many offshoots, it’s always evolving.”
For Kaysin, tech house's global resonance and the influx of novel sounds within the subgenre indicate a renaissance.
Reflecting on contemporary global tech house, Kaysin concludes with a beaming smile, “It’s profoundly special.”