Try to create a music, which no one has ever heard. It is so broad, new, and unexplored even the creator cannot even place a name for it. As Derrik May put it, “We had to crack some serious codes, we did things no one else would do, played music no one else would touch. Those were some brave times” (Sicko 67). A name was finally concocted by a group called the Belleville Trio. May, one of the trio, stated, “We were calling it techno. Nobody really gave it that name. I think it was just the obvious title for the kind of music we made (Silcott 46). The actual word is said to have originated in Detroit, along with pretty much everything else having to do with it. So, what exactly is techno, and how has it had an influence? In order to comprehend techno, along with its simply deceptive grooves, and how its uprising has brought on a dramatic change in American as well as European culture, there must be a deep reaching with the mind alone into an electronic culture, along with letting the influence run through the body.
The life of techno is not nearly long enough to recap and write on for even a few paragraphs. There is hardly any sources on techno as well. But, anyone who is living in the twenty-first century can remember hearing the word or its vibe. Here is the beginning. A Roland TB 303 Bass Line Machine started it all. A DJ by the name of Pierre discovered a “crazy frequency sound” when he was messing with one in his home studio (Silcott 42). DJ Pierre ran the most fluencial group on the global scale, Phuture. The Roland 303 then became discovered as a inticing, great machine. Many of them were used and produced many of the first “Acid Tracks” (Silcott 44). Although the 303 was originally intended to provide bass lines for a practicing guitarist, it set the record, however, for the birth of techno (Silcott 45).
Rarely known to anyone or anything, techno was a freakazoided, undulating, gurgling, psychedelic, wah wah sound that had no meaning, no purpose. In recent history, it has spread to more cultures and countries than any other music (Sicko 16). Its demand is incredible, considering only a small portion of it has main streamed.
Techno may not reach to everyone, but it has appeared in large events where millions of people have experienced its voice. For instance, the opening and closing themes for the 1998 Winter Olympics were created by Ken Ishii, a worldwide know artist. Also, a huge event, known as Britain’s Love Parade, plays techno on throughout the nights.
Like any other music form, it is very difficult to pinpoint who exactly was the first artist. One man, known as Juan Atkins, was at least one of the early pioneers. Atkins said, “You gotta look at it like, techno is technological” (Savage 2). Another famous group, the Dust Brothers, who are better known now as the Chemical Brothers, have had a few hits even in the United States. Since an American production team had the name Dust Brothers, they made the switch to their more well-known title (Rule 3). They brought in a unique style from the U.K. that highly appealed to the U.S. clubs and inhabitants. Other groups, such as Orbital and the Aphex Twins, have also been there since the early days of techno (Savage 1).
Atkins met a man named Richard Davis in college. His idea was “Hey, let’s get everybody together and jam.” Atkins had always been making music since he was young so they tried to accomplish making a career out of the music that they loved so much. They had one central idea in techno: the harmony between man and machine (Savage 2). That is where it all began, and started forever growing into an accepted style of music, in the nation, as well as the world.
The awakening of techno was a great one. Although in actuality it seems as if techno originated in Europe, it was originally only a few styles brought from there that were perfected and flourished in the United States. An Englishman, by the name of Danny Boyle, produced techno music themes for Shallow Grave and Trainspotting which featured Leftfield and Underworld, respectively (Sicko 16). Most of the exposure to Europe was included in London during promotions form Megadog to make dance music performance work called Midi Circus (Savage 1).
However, in America, the adaptations of techno were much more rapid and wild-fire-like than those of Europe. American films, like Blade, use many artists instead of just one. Although the soundtracks provide a diverse range of music types, the techno tracks are a unique style that releases a great sense of speed (Sicko 17).
The first proven compelling outlet for techno was a show on MTV called “Amp”. The show put the techno beat to images that were much more memorable (Sicko 17).
Where techno really woke up was in Detroit, Michigan. After the originating of the music, and its main streaming, Detroit artists went back working in the Underground, while many other nations were still main streaming into pop (Sicko 162). Even though techno has made the enormous journey from the Detroit neighborhoods to each of the seven continents, America is still its toughest obstacle, which is ironic because that is where techno originated (Sicko 186).
The future sound of techno will possibly be put together by many new machines. It represents a radical departure from traditional marketing techniques and the promotion of personalities (Sicko 186). In the present, techno is all about speed. It is a perfect groove for traveling. It has many repetive rhythms, melodies, and other perspectives that give the listener tons of electronic stimulation (Savage 2). The speeds will be enhanced, new musical styles will be produced, and even computer processed rhythms will be recorded. It is a major pop phenomenon, within which everyone lives (Sicko 2). The up and coming effects of techno have already been realized. A man named Alvin Toffler, wrote in The Third Wave, “The techno rebels are, whether they recognize it or not, agents of the Third Wave. They will not vanish but multiply in the years ahead” (Savage 4). As it has been said, techno will only get larger in the years to come, just as any other music does. The difference with it, though, is that it will keep on going,. Most likely because the style does not actually change, and since it is usually the song known, instead of the artist. So there are no celebrities to follow around and keep track of, just the pure hits. One of the best things that has happened to techno is that it finally caught up to the future it has been serenading for some many years (Sicko 202).
In conclusion, techno has had a great influence on society, lives, and culture in America. With just a small glimpse into techno, its simply deceptive grooves, and story, its effect is dramatically dramatized. Through its history, life and events, through the first artists, American and European, through its exposure, and finally its everlasting march through time into the future, it has sent out wavelengths of sound waves that have been interpreted in each and every persons’ own way. It is so unique it is baffling. It has caused riots, “raves”, non-stop parties, millionaires, and dead-poor people through its arrival. Techno has, in effect, changed culture in America.
Cheeseman, Phil. “The History of House.” webpage http://www.hyperreal.org/music/library/history_of_house.html. 16 Feb. 2000.
Rule, Greg. Electroshock! San Francisco: Miller Freeman, Inc., 1999.
Savage, John. “Machine Soul: A History of Techno.” webpage
http://www.hyperreal.org/music/library/machine_soul.html. 17 Feb. 2000.
Sicko, Dan. Techno Rebels. New York: Billboard Books, Inc., 1999.
Silcott, Mireille. Rave America. Toronto, Ontario: ECW Press, 1999.