10 Years Of Tech House: Toolroom Records
Tech House And The Toolroom Sound
It was D.Ramirez’s first release for Toolroom that encapsulated the tech house sound for the label. He took Roog & Greg’s soulful and summery ‘Über’ and gave it an electro sound with a harder edge. We asked Stuart Knight for his take on the remix:
“It was very much the emergence of tech house from a Toolroom perspective. Dean’s always had the ability, because of his production skills, to take bits of other genres and make it his own, and I think what he crossed over very well was the electro sound into the techno sound and that’s where Toolroom felt quite comfortable. A lot of the releases after that had that kind of Toolroom tech house sound to them.”
By merging sounds from other genres, D.Ramirez’s take on ‘Über’ paralleled the development of the tech house genre from the Iberican tribal house days and initiated Toolroom’s introduction into the tech house scene.
For Toolroom, the formulation of the tech house sound chimed with the label’s tastes, resulting in a collaboration between Mark Knight and D.Ramirez that would cement the label’s position in the tech house scene. ‘Colombian Soul’ twisted the prevailing sounds of the time to create a genre-defining track. With a riff influenced by Ame’s ‘Rej’ and beats from Booka Shade, Mark Knight and D.Ramirez created an anthemic electro techno tune. It was ‘a backlash against the commercialism of electro, but not fully down the techno route’, a big record that would appeal to cooler DJs. In an interview with Toolroom TV, Funkagenda (2013) described the track as such:
“That record was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing, you know, it was a really ground breaking record. I just remember, when I used to play it, the reaction was just magnificent.”
Having released a landmark track in the history of tech house, how else did Toolroom influence the tech house scene?