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Techno Music

Abandoned factories turned festival grounds, late-night rave parties, and moody vibes... That's what comes to mind when we think about Techno music. Although the genre seems to be made especially for the underground scene, more people and areas pick up on the genre every day. But to fully understand what a genre is about, you'd do well to catch up on its background, change in sound, its artists, and its labels. Well, here is all the info you need...
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Table Of Contents:
Techno Music - A Brief History
Techno Classics
Techno Music- Characteristics
Techno Music - Artists
Techno Music - Labels
Techno Music - Events/Festivals

Techno Music - A Brief History

Many point in the direction of Techno capital Berlin when the origin of Techno music comes up in a conversation. Although that is indeed one of the hotspots, it's not where the rise of the genre originally started. In fact, Techno music first made its appearance in Michigan in the mid '80s, where the so-called Belleville Three (Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May) laid down the foundations for the genre.

From there on, the genre spread to Europe and - most importantly - Germany. The party scene in Berlin picked up rather quickly and Techno music became a heavily featured style of music in the slew of parties that emerged in the late '80s and early '90s. The rest is history; Germany - especially Berlin - is still widely regarded as THE Techno hotspot on this globe and the genre continues to spread to other globally renowned areas.

Techno Classics

With the likes of Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May having earned and retained their stripes as THE pioneers of Techno, it's no surprise that a few of their tracks are widely regarded as Techno classics. You'll find a small selection of well-known Techno Classics from the mid-to-late '80s and early '90s below, just to give you a taste of what it sounded like back then.

Model 500 - No UFO's (1985)
Rhythim is Rhythim - String Of Life (1987)
Inner City - Big Fun (1988)
Model 500 - The Chase (1989)
Psyche - Crackdown (1989)
Mental Mayhem - Joey's Riot (1990)
Joey Beltram - Energy Flash (1991)
Laurent Garnier- Wake Up (1993)
Dave Clarke - Wisdow to The Wise (1994)
Paperclip People - 4 My Peeps (1998)

Techno Music - Characteristics

Critics might call Techno music repetitive whereas fans might call it gripping and spellbinding. The fact is, however, that both are right. Techno doesn't often favor experimental rhythms over their sturdy 4/4 beats. Depending on the Techno track in question, the tempo might vary between 120 BPM and 150 BPM, although the higher BPMs are a bit extreme and almost exclusively found in combination with Trance or Goa.

The preferred instruments during the early days of Techno certain were the Roland TR 808 and 909 drum machines. Even today, the recognizable 808 and 909 sounds are a heavily featured element in Techno music, which is why the genre hasn't strayed from its roots that much.


Techno Music - Artists

Besides the before-mentioned Techno pioneers, the list of today's Techno champions features a lot of extremely talented individuals as well. Below you'll find a small selection of 'em. Feel like we left out an important Techno artist? Post a comment and we'll consider adding him or her to the list.

Adam Beyer
Alan Fitzpatrick
Ben Sims
Carl Cox
Carl Craig
Derrick May
Ellen Allien
Fritz Kalkbrenner
Guy Gerber
Joris Voorn
Juan Atkins
Julian Jeweil
Kevin Saunderson
Laurent Garnier
Maceo Plex
Marco Carola
Mark Knight
Martin Eyerer
Maya Jane Coles
Nina Kraviz
Ricardo Villalobos
Richie Hawtin
Robert Hood/Floorplan
Paul Kalkbrenner
Sven Vath

Techno Music - Labels

And of course, there are also a lot of labels fully or partially dedicated to Techno music. Below you'll find a number of labels that regularly release Techno.

A-Wave Records
Bedrock Records
BPitch Control
Cocoon Recordings
Ellum Audio
Hotflush Recordings
Plus 8
R&S Records
Stil Vor Talent
Toolroom Records

Techno Music - Events/Festivals

Although there are tons of Techno events or festivals worth mentioning, we've only listed five of the most leading Techno happenings below. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below.

Time Warp

Time Warp is as close to Techno heaven as it gets. The event made its first appearance in 1994 in Ludwigshafen, Germany before settling at Mannheim for most of its editions. Time Warp has since seen highly-anticipated raves in the Netherlands, Argentina, the U.S., Italy, all completely packed with a global crowd of Techno fans coming to see Techno heroes such as Sven Väth, Carl Cox, Chris Liebing, Maceo Plex, and Richie Hawtin. And for good reason too! Who doesn't remember the stupendously good live set of the legendary Carl Cox at Time Warp in 2008? Check it below if you need to refresh your memory!


No other festival breaths Techno like Awakenings does. It's the largest outdoor Techno festival in the world and king of the hill on the European Techno calendar. Annually granting Techno lovers the weekend of a lifetime with their two-day offering, Awakenings attracts around 70.000 visitors in a weekend and fills out its line-up with Techno champions such as Joris Voorn, Sven Väth, Nina Kraviz, Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, and more. If you're looking to take in Techno music in all of its shaped and forms, Awakenings is where the search starts and ends.

Sonus Festival

If there's one thing we've learned, it's that Croatians know how to party. And this counts for Croatian Techno fans as well. Their beloved Sonus Festival consists of five days and five nights filled with driving Techno beats and the more delicate touches of Techno. The artists showing off their skills here are, of course, among the best in the world: Chris Liebing, Dubfire, Marco Carola, Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, you name it!

Dimensions Festival

Although not as strongly engaged in Techno music as the other Croatian Techno oasis mentioned above (Sonus Festival), Dimensions Festival takes place at a location that's extremely suitable for that specific style of music. Held within the grounds of Fort Punta Christo in Pula one week after big brother Outlook Festival, Dimensions is all about the underground sounds in Electronic Music. Techno music is definitely a good fit for such a description.

I Love Techno

With a name like that, how could you go wrong? Although I Love Techno has gone through a lot of change since its first edition in Gent, Belgium in 1995 and now represents a broader part of the Electronic Music spectrum through a grand total of four stages, the festival still has Techno at its core. And that's all that really matters, right?

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