Techno is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word “techno” about a specific musical style was in 1988.
Many elements have been cited as uniquely characteristic of techno, such as its repetitive beats, synth lines, and distorted bass lines.
Techno Definition and Meaning
What is Techno? When it comes to music, it’s essential to know what techno is. Alvin Toffler first described this genre of electronic music in his book, The Third Wave.
It was influenced by no-beat techno artists such as Juan Atkins and was popular in the 1980s. This term has become a defining characteristic of electronic dance music. The musical form is divided into two primary types of techno: electronic and ambient.
The term “techno” is a combination of synthesized sounds and sampled audio. It gained popularity in the 1990s in America and Britain and is now popular with young people in clubs.
The genre is frequently instrumental and produced to be played as part of a continuous DJ set. The style is characterized by a repetitive four-on-the-floor beat, usually with an ordinary time signature.
Typical tempos are 120-150 bpm. Some techno artists use electronic instruments, including drum machines and synthesizers. These techniques are common in electronic music, and some producers even incorporate vocals into their music.
History and Origins of Techno
The history and origins of techno are complicated, but it is rooted in Detroit. In the early ’90s, DJs Juan Atkins and X played raves, accompanied by underground groups like Underground Resistance. The Tresor label has become the center of the Berlin-Detroit Axis and a hub for techno worldwide.
Its roster of artists included vital figures from Detroit’s thriving techno scene. In addition to the pioneering work of Mills, other key figures of Detroit’s techno scene moved to Berlin, including DJs, DJ Rush and Cajmere.
In Europe, techno music grew into a thriving underground scene, but it was almost ignored in the US. The growth of the rave scene in Europe was one of the main reasons for its popularity, while in the US, it tended to lag. Today, the genre has morphed into various styles, ranging from pop-oriented acts like Moby to anti-commercial stances, such as Underground Resistance.
Before it was known as techno, the genre had been called “electronica”. While the term is often used generally, techno has a specific and distinct identity. The genre has been attributed to Juan Atkins and two others, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. All three men were high school friends and were influential in the development of techno.
Techno Genres and Bands
There are many subgenres of techno music, and the genre has been around for decades. It has influenced many famous bands, including mainstream rockers such as U2, and has become one of the most popular styles of electronic music in the world. But what makes techno so distinctive?
Below are some main types of the genre and how they differ from each other. Furthermore, read on to discover some interesting trivia about the genre:
While most people associate techno music with disco, it is distinctly different. The rhythm is almost always in ordinary time (4/4), which means there are four quarter note pulses in one bar.
A kick is placed on each quarter-note pulse, a snare, or clap on every second or fourth, and an open hi-hat sounds on the second eighth-note pulse. It has become a popular music genre, and artists in this genre continue to rise in popularity.
Techno has been described as all of the following: an African American art form; an invention; a style or sound; a culture; a feeling or emotion; a way of life; and an attitude.