It’s Dec 9 – National Techno Day. Who knew?! 

Maybe you’re thinking that techno is that “boom, boom, boom, boom” stuff you can feel in your chest as it blasts through a kick-ass sound system. 

Or maybe you think it’s dance music. It’s both of those and a lot more.

Techno was first used as a separate musical genre. Since then, it’s been called ‘house’ or ‘hi-tech soul’. If you’re familiar with Trance music, that also has deep roots taken directly from techno.

The roots of what we know as ‘Techno’ music, go back to the late 80’s in Detroit – specifically 3 guys named Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, and Juan Atkins. These 3 were making dance music and bringing their records down to Chicago to sell and play in their clubs. Many say Chicago is the birthplace of house music.

The german group ‘Kraftwerk’ should also receive credit for bringing techno to life. They were making computerized music back in the 70’s before it was called ‘Techno’. The techno trend has since spread to many European countries including Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and the UK.

I think of techno as a sound with a consistent deep, driving pulse behind it and not so much of the high frequencies of the hi-hats and other sounds. You may not have heard much of the sounds used in techno before. It’s kind of futuristic. It triggers a very unique response. It’s underground and powerful. And it comes straight at you – sometimes grabbing you and taking your soul on a journey. 

Techno has developed a lot over the past 20 years and some of it sounds very different than where it came from. Some of the current sounds are a bit euphoric and melodic [that’s the trance influence]. 

I’ve had a lot of fun researching the history of techno music preparing for this article and my mix. I decided to play the songs starting from the beginning of techno in the 1980’s, moving through the 90’s up to the current sounds of techno. You’ll hear the noticeable difference in sounds, quality and musicality. Keep in mind, the early sounds of techno were made using very basic equipment so they’re not as clean and tight as today’s music. Some of the vocals may seem off key a bit as well. Because of this, the mixing was a bit of a challenge to pull off. But I’m happy with the result, which you can listen to here –

Some of the songs I’ve picked include ones I use to play back when I was a DJ on my college radio station WMLN-FM in Milton, Ma. Those were the good old days. I remember spending tons of hours sifting through the extensive vinyl collection we had looking for hidden gems I didn’t even know I liked.

Some songs of note..,.

Human Resource = Dominator [1 of Netherlands biggest techno songs from the 90’s], Juan Atkins = Triangle Of Love [1 of the earliest songs made by a founder of techno], and a song from Derrick May called “Strings of life” that has no bass line and uses more house-style sounds from early techno.

Enjoy my tribute to Techno!

About the Author, JP Lacey

MCrochester finger lakes wedding dj new york mc wedding planner

Your frequent hand washing Master of Ceremonies; DJ; and Lighting Designer

All weddings and events are performed by me. I help you play the rhythm of YOUR night. You get exclusive access to my expertise and creative mind.