In Defense of the Gatekeepers: Why House and Techno Need Standards

House and techno pulsate with a transformative power. On the dance floor, repetitive beats build, emotions surge, and a sense of unity washes over the crowd. But for some, this experience is threatened by a rising tide of commercialism and dilution of the genre’s core values. Enter the gatekeepers – those who fiercely defend the “true” house and techno, often accused of being elitist and exclusionary.

Here’s why, in the case of house and techno, gatekeeping deserves a second look:

Protecting a Legacy: House and techno emerged from underground communities with specific cultural and sonic identities. Gatekeeping ensures that the genre’s history, the struggles and triumphs that birthed its unique sound, aren’t forgotten. It’s about preserving a legacy, not just a beat.

Maintaining Quality: Not everything with a 4/4 kick drum is house or techno. Gatekeepers champion high production standards, skilled DJing, and a deep understanding of the genre’s technical aspects. This isn’t about shutting out new sounds – it’s about ensuring that innovation builds upon a strong foundation.

Fostering Community: House and techno thrive on a shared experience. Gatekeepers can act as guides, introducing newcomers to classic tracks, iconic DJs, and the unwritten rules of the scene. This creates a sense of belonging and ensures that the dance floor remains a space for those truly invested in the genre’s spirit.

Combating Commercialization: The mainstream often co-opts underground movements, stripping them of their raw energy. Gatekeepers call out tracks that prioritize mass appeal over artistic expression, reminding everyone what truly makes house and techno special. They champion independent artists and record labels that keep the flame burning bright.

Gatekeeping Isn’t Exclusion: Contrary to popular belief, gatekeeping doesn’t have to be exclusionary. It can be about education, offering criticism that helps artists develop their sound within the genre’s framework. It’s about fostering genuine appreciation, not just blind acceptance.

Breaking the Algorithm Bubble: Algorithms are great for suggesting similar music based on your tastes, but they can also restrict your explorationMusic critics, however, can introduce you to genres, artists, and sounds you might not have discovered on your own, venturing beyond the algorithmic suggestions.

Music Criticism Matters More Than Ever in the Age of Algorithms

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House and techno are constantly evolving, but that doesn’t mean there are no boundaries. Gatekeepers aren’t elitists; they’re passionate custodians of a sound and culture that holds immense transformative power. They ensure that the dance floor remains a sanctuary, not a watered-down version of itself. So the next time you encounter a gatekeeper, don’t see them as an obstacle. See them as a guide, someone who wants to share the true magic of house and techno.

House and techno are vibrant genres in a constant state of flux. New sounds and styles emerge all the time, pushing the boundaries of what the music can be. But that evolution doesn’t mean anything goes.

Us at Peace of Mind, along with others like us, hold a deep reverence for the foundations of house and techno. It’s not about exclusion; it’s about passion. We understand the transformative power this music holds and the unique sound and cultural identity it embodies.

As guardians of the scene, we at Peace of Mind and others strive to ensure the dance floor remains a special space. We want to keep it from becoming a generic, watered-down version of itself. Our role is to curate and share the true magic of house and techno.

We understand that house and techno are ever-evolving. While we hold a deep respect for the genre’s history, we’re always open to debate and discussion. After all, Peace of Mind has nearly 40 years of experience in this scene, and we’re constantly learning. If you have a different perspective, we’re happy to hear it. But remember, our experience allows us to offer a unique perspective on the true magic of house and techno, which we’re eager to share with you.


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