Though Denver native Eric Galaviz, also known as Hipp-e, has a strong reputation as an innovator of tech house, he’s surprised we even know who he is. Most in Denver don’t.
“I never really thought of myself as a Denver artist,” he says. “I just wanted to get my music out there in some capacity. And at the end of the day, your market is an international one, because when I started, house music was ‘the underground,’ especially in Denver. There have always been a lot of people in Colorado doing it on an international scale, such as Ben A, Jaceo and Vedic, but they viewed their market as an international one, not a Colorado one.”
A decade after throwing his first clandestine party in Denver in 1990, Galaviz went on to become one of the first American residents at the storied London nightclub Fabric, with his duo H-Foundation. That group had a cutting-edge, stripped-down sound that took influence from techno, house and early West Coast artists such as Doc Martin, Jeno and Garth.
“We played at Fabric every six weeks for eight years, and in between that, we would be playing other places in Europe, in Asia, or flying back to the West Coast or Denver. And then we’d fly to London and do it all over again. We were heavily jet-setting at the time.”
It was years later that critics branded the sound H-Foundation produced as tech house, something he is reluctant to speak about.
“I don’t consider myself a pioneer of tech house, and it’s something I try to downplay, because it wasn’t really us,” he says. “It was the old West Coast guys. The term didn’t come up until halfway through our career as H-Foundation, and it all happened very organically, not intentionally. When people started labeling us, we were like, ‘tech house, that’s a great name. It’s techno. It’s house. That’s what we do!’ And now it’s one of the biggest genres, which is crazy!”
Hipp-e opens for Yousef, 9 p.m. Thursday, June 27, Black Box, 314 East 14th Avenue.