A techno obsession: Inside the hard, fast rise of Teletech


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The simultaneous success of Teletech and the artists it nourishes is evidently built on a grounding of trust. Dubbed a “synergy” of “two things pulling in the same direction” by Anton, he believes momentum should not exist just for the levelling-up of Teletech parties, but for the artists that play them as well. “When they want to take the next step up and put a bit of a focus on themselves, because that trust is already there they’re coming to us like: ‘I’ve got this idea, I wanna do a record label party for my own label, I wanna do a curated night looking at people from my hometown that are coming through at the minute’ – and we’ll be more than happy to facilitate that. So with KI/KI, we did that, for VTSS’ For Your Entertainment we did the tour, Charlie Sparks’ night, Trym’s all night long in Glasgow, SPFDJ at FOLD… the list goes on. We’ve got something where we can give people that whole thing from emerging DJ to headliner and that’s where we pride ourselves.”

Teletech evidently cares a lot about its artists, but considering it is a predominantly techno-led event, then, how does it consider the roots of techno in Black culture when booking artists? The same names crop up on many of their line-ups, and there’s been a lack of diversity on some bills and among their agency roster, opening a wider discussion on the hard techno scene and its platforming of Black artists.

“Although techno is rooted in Black history, the hard techno scene isn’t full of Black artists being platformed as headliners currently. This is something we recognise and we’re actively using our platform to help change. We’re working with emerging people of colour to help bridge that gap and make the next set of headliners a more balanced and representative demographic true to the roots of the genre,” says Anton, exampling names including Theo Nasa, Xiorro, Lucia Lu and TAAHLIAH. “As a Black person in music this is something I feel strongly about and it’s important for me to be part of this change.

“Even before Teletech and XXL, inclusivity of marginalised groups was one of our main focuses and something we were both doing already.”

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“With our line-ups, there’s never an all-male line-up, or all straight line-up,” adds Tom.

“That’s something we’d notice straight away because to us it would look out of place,” continues Anton. “In Hidden, our office is in the club, the diversity runs through from the very bottom to the top.”

“70% of our office are trans or from the LGBTQ+ community,” Tom notes. “Although we’re both straight males, we’re continually in dialogue with everyone from every possible background and representation of what we can come up with in a line-up. I think it’s embedded within us to be mindful. We don’t sit down and say: ‘oh this needs to be like this’ or anything like that, it’s just something that’s natural, because it’s how we’ve worked for years now.”

Teletech has also responded to community dialogues beyond line-up representation. In February Ravers For Palestine’s called for a boycott of E1 “until further notice” after its founder was discovered to have travelled to Israel to serve for the IDF in Gaza. In a statement released at the time, Teletech announced “We’re aware of the situation”, and that 10 planned shows at the East London venue were in the process of being cancelled or rehoused. Planned events have since been rescheduled at North London venue Archives, while E1 announced a new CEO and plans to donate to humanitarian charities, as well as its opposition to “ongoing suffering of innocent people in Gaza.”

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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