I didn’t always hate tech house. In fact, I used to love it--DJ it even. That was up until sometime around 2013. I was halfway through covering my second Ibiza season, and by then had been deeply immersed in an island that thrived on almost nothing but tech house – the cliche, loop-driven, sample based, drum fill heavy, drop oriented, stale merging of techno and house, where good ideas come to die. Slowly but surely, it was driving me insane.

The same washed out effects, the same beat, the same repetitive, washing machine like rhythms, the same oh-so-predictable drop, like each section of each record was pre-programmed to ebb and flow exactly as the previous one had–-it was doing my head in. Part of me was ready to pack it all in, call it quits, wondering if this was the life for me. But was this just my own bitterness at work? Had months of sleepless nights and hung-over, work-filled days pushed me one party too far? Or was the music everyone around me seemed to love so much as lazy and unappealing as I’d come to believe?

Now I live in London and have a winter in Berlin under my belt, and my distaste for tech house has only grown. Though these days, it’s not a solitary endeavor, or an abhorrence that simmers behind my eyes. I've come to find more and more people who feel like I do about the endless, mundane purgatory that is tech house.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal of tech house. It’s easy. Easy to produce, easy to DJ, easy dance to, packed with catchy vocal samples, simple synth hooks, and big drops made all the bigger with gratuitous effect use–-the hallmark of any high level tech house DJ. It’s slick, highly polished music made by slick, polished looking men in well fitting, black v-necks, pumping out slick, hour-long sets with no less than the four latest, crowd pleasing big room bangers, achieving the perfect snapshot of what the clubbing experience is in that time. There’s something so incredibly lame about seeing two slick, black v-necked sorts flanking an equally slick, black mixer, when all it does it churn out those predictable ticky-tocky rhythms and shiny, compressed beats. But tech-house wouldn’t be what it is without all that sheen to distract you from the glaringly obvious.

Tech-house sets never change over time or from city to city. This is an effect of the crowd’s utter disdain for change. Chance is at odds with their desire for the “perfect” night out, one during which thousands of selfies are snapped, videos are taken, and the experience is blasted across all social media channels, thus ensuring their entire friend network is aware of just how much fun they’re having. It’s hardly the music that’s at the centre stage of the night most of the time. It’s basically backstage. It’s non-music, beats engineered to have as little of an impact on a middling experience as is humanly or technologically possible.

And almost predictably, it’s taken over in Ibiza, especially as “underground techno” nights continue to draw bigger and bigger numbers. Amidst complaints that Ibiza has once and for all, officially, sold out, there are far more places to see black tee’d button pushers slinging washing machine rhythms than there are EDM nights. In fairness though, at least I’ve never seen a cake hit someone in the face as the inevitable white noise effect whooshes through the stacks over the endlessly looping “bum-dudda-bum-da” bassline. You know the one. I’ve heard the up-down “bum-da” bassline of tech house compared to both traditional Bulgarian wedding music and Mariachi music. And while it’s a slight stretch, the truth of it makes me chuckle.

Cakes and Mariachi bands aside, the Ibiza tech house takeover is no laughing matter. Its hegemonic bent helps cast a shadow across the entire island and well beyond, into clubs across the UK and Europe. There is no room for experimentation in tech house. There can’t be.

Granted, some of the more skilled craftsmen who are associated with the genre certainly know how to move between many other styles and sounds. But by and large, those who play and those who listen are looking for nothing more than safe and easy “party music.” It’s all familiar samples stripped from dicier grounds, laid gently atop reassuringly distilled melodies and digestible rhythms, punctuated by the odd drum roll. The only endgame being that “hands in the air” moment, one that must replicate itself again and again in order for the stage time of any self respecting tech house DJ to be considered praiseworthy.

And isn’t that exactly what the “underground” claims to hate so much about EDM? That it’s nothing but the drop? Sure, tech house and many forms of “rolling techno” (it’s slightly edgier yet equally popular cousin) might not be as teeth-grindingly screechy as EDM, but it’s tirelessly formulaic all the same. And the sooner we all accept that no amount of effects, buttons or gadgetry will change that, the sooner we can move on, ditch the middle ground, and inject some life back into some of the clubs and club nights this godforsaken genre has taken over.