techno music

Techno emerged as a musical style and metagenre in the 1980s, partly associated with new, computer-generated, sound/composition technologies available to musicians. Techno is often conflated with house and ambient music, or used contiguously with the whole corpus of electronic dance music. It became closely associated with a particular social setting, being the staple music at large-scale parties – raves – which, with the associated use of the drug Ecstasy, generated considerable controversy (and moral panic) in the early to mid-1990s in the UK.


The defining musical characteristics of techno are, in most cases: a slavish devotion to the beat, and the use of rhythm as a hypnotic tool (usually 115–60 beats per miute); these are primarily, and often entirely, created by electronic means; a lack of vocals; and a significant use of samples.


There are a number of variants, or subgenres within techno, often linked with particular record labels/regional scenes. The"`proto-techno" of the original Detroit creators of techno shows a mixture of influences, especially German electronic band Kraft-werk's "assembly line technopop", and the funk of George Clinton and Parliament. From this basis came "Detroit techno", a stripped-down, aggressive funk sound, played mostly on analog instruments and characterized by a severe, pounding rhythm, and hardcore techno, speed metal tunes played on Detroit techno instrumentation. Subsequent variants included the more accessible and commercial "techno-rave"; "breakbeat", a style using sped-up hip-hop beat samples; and "tribal", with rhythm patterns and sounds drawing on Native American and world music.


Some techno performers have moved progressively with and through a number of these styles; e.g. the Shamen's initial recordings combined psychedelic rock with hardcore rap rhythms, while their later work makes greater use of samples, drum machines, and heavily amplified guitar sounds.