A comprehensive and (mostly) accurate timeline of the history of techno music, from its earliest origins to the present day.
Origins of Techno
The first record that is generally considered to be techno was released in 1982. “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force was a hip hop track that incorporated electronic sounds from Kraftwerk. This song is often cited as the first techno record.
Techno is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the mid-1980s in Detroit, Michigan. It was developed by a group of African American DJs and producers who were influenced by the electronic music of Europe, such as Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Techno is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat, often with synthesized or sampled percussion and basslines. The genre tends to be minimalistic, with few or no vocals.
Detroit techno is a type of techno that was developed in Detroit, Michigan in the mid-1980s. It is characterized by its use of synthesizers and drum machines to create a repetitive, hypnotic sound. Detroit techno is often minimalistic, with few or no vocals. The genre was pioneered by DJs such as Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, who were influenced by the electronic music of Europe.
The first wave of techno originated in the Midwestern city of Detroit in the early 1980s. At that time, the music was simply called “house,” named after the notorious Chicago nightclub, The Warehouse. House music was a direct outgrowth of disco, with a harder, more electronic sound. Detroit’s first techno artists include Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, who later formed the influential group Inner City.
The Birth of Techno
Techno music emerged in the late 1980s from the Detroit underground rave and club scene. Its earliest influences came from a combination of African American music styles such as house, electro, and Detroit techno. In its simplest form, techno is a type of electronic dance music that is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat.
The Belleville Three
The Belleville Three is a group of three techno producers who were born and raised in Belleville, Michigan. They are Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. These three artists are often credited with being the inventors of techno music.
Techno is a type of electronic dance music that was developed in the Detroit techno scene in the late 1980s. Techno is characterized by a fast tempo, repetition of electronic patterns, and a lack of melody or harmony.
The Belleville Three became friends while attending Belleville High School together. They each started making their own electronic music using synthesizers and drum machines. In 1987, they founded the record label Underground Resistance which released some of the earliest techno tracks.
Techno started to gain popularity in Europe in the early 1990s. The Belleville Three continued to produce and perform techno music throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
Cybotron was an electronic music duo consisting of Juan Atkins and Richard Davis. The pair, who met while studying at the University of Detroit Mercy, is widely credited with being the first to coin the term “techno” to describe their futuristic, robotic sound.
Their debut single, “Alleys of Your Mind”, was released in 1981 and quickly gained popularity in the underground club scene. Cybotron’s sound was a stark contrast to the disco and pop music dominating radio stations at the time, and their use of synthesizers and drum machines was revolutionary.
While Cybotron only released a handful of singles, their influence can still be heard in today’s techno music. Juan Atkins would go on to form the influential group Model 500 and is often referred to as the “Godfather of Techno”.
Techno in the 1980s and 1990s
Techno music began in the 1980s as a form of electronic dance music characterized by a repeating four on the floor beat and synthesized melodies. The first techno tracks were produced by Detroit-based DJs and producers Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May, who were influenced by the electro-funk sound of Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-hip hop.
The Second Wave of Techno
In the early 1990s, a second wave of techno artists emerged, including British producers such as Luke Slater, Dave Clarke and Andrew Weatherall. These artists continued to explore the harsher, more experimental side of techno, often incorporating elements of industrial music and dub. By the mid-1990s, techno had become one of the most popular genres in clubs and raves across Europe and North America.
The Third Wave of Techno
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a new wave of techno music began to emerge. Producers like Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, and Dave Clarke started to experiment with faster tempos, more intricate rhythms, and more experimental sounds. This period is often referred to as the “third wave” of techno.
Third wave producers were also influenced by other genres of music, including house, drum & bass, and even metal. This led to the creation of subgenres like “hardtechno” and “schranz.”
Although the third wave of techno was not as commercially successful as the first two waves, it was highly influential on subsequent generations of electronic musicians. Many of the producers from this period are still active today, and their influence can be heard in the music of artists like Disclosure, Skrillex, and Justice.
Techno in the 2000s and 2010s
Techno music has come a long way since its origins in the 1980s. In the 2000s, techno music evolved and took on a new sound. This new sound was a result of the influence of electronic music and the underground rave scene. The 2010s saw a return to the original sound of techno with a focus on minimalism and abstraction.
The Fourth Wave of Techno
The Fourth Wave of Techno is marked by a return to the underground. Artists like sheds, Kyle Hall, and Moodymann found success by hearkening back to the roots of techno, producing tracks with a raw, minimal sound. This wave also brought about a new generation of techno producers, many of whom were influenced by the music of the early 2000s.
The Fifth Wave of Techno
The fifth wave of techno began in the early 2010s and is characterized by a return to the use of hardware instruments and a stripped-down, minimal sound. This wave is often referred to as “post-techno” or “nu-techno” and includes artists such as Robert Hood, Shed, and Marcel Dettmann.
Keyword: A History of Techno Music: The Timeline