The sound, beloved of ravers in Ibiza, Barcelona and Birmingham, comes wrapped in a je ne sai quois more easily identified by sound than described in mere words. You won’t find ‘naughty tech-house’ listed as a category on Beatport or Juno, or ‘NTH’ scrawled on the sleeves at your local record shop. But you will find people lapping it up at Magna Carta, Do Not Sleep, Paradise and Elrow, scores of whom wake up the next day and take to Facebook in order to find the ID of tracks that have left their dishes blasted clean off. Listen to Enzo Siragusa’s ‘Desire’ or ‘Restless Nights’ by Schatraxx and you’ll find its amphetamine-propelled, funk-flecked essence.
Many sub-genres, such as deep tech, purple or donk, were born from certain clubs or collectives. Naughty tech-house, however, is a canon of tracks contributed to by artists from across the scene, all of whom share a singular mission: to cause as much trouble as possible.
There’s even been crossover success. It’s in the DNA of Maceo Plex’s breakout album ‘Life Index’ and forms the basis of Soul Clap’s infamous ‘Extravaganza’ edit. Another peak occurred when Franco Cinelli remixed Cassius’s ‘The Sound Of Violence’, which soundtracked a generation of afterparties and captured the sexuality and sleep deprivation of naughty tech-house forever. And then there’s this infamous sub-genre’s biggest hit: Jamie Jones’ remix of ‘Hungry For The Power’, which blasted from UK daytime radio in 2011 and had the entire populace caught, as one, in a moment that will never be forgotten.
Naughty tech-house isn’t a movement, it’s an atmosphere. It’s what happens when you distil three decades’ worth of dance music history into the present, the right here, right now, the “Are you up for it this weekend?” It’s the greatest sub-genre ever identified, because it makes you feel glad to be alive – time and time again.
Check out the official NTH playlist on Mixmag’s Spotify