Influenced by German electro-pop, Chicago style house music and re-envisioned as an underground subculture in 1980’s Detroit -- techno music has grown from being a form of dismissable counterculture to one of the most popular music genres. And while Europe is most widely associated with the continued enhancement and diversification of techno, with centres such as Germany, Belgium and the entirety of the Balkans providing the landscape for growth and performance, the development of the genre and its offshoots is still undeniably a global phenomenon.
Here we are sharing with you a select number of techno styles, complete with recommendations that should light a flame to your personal selection.
A lot of techno music relies on bass loaded sounds and a fair share of what we like to call “funk house” style (inspired entirely by the African-American music movement; most notably jazz and motown!) which can be clearly identified through the signature sounds of recording houses such as Defected Records. And here is where we give you our first recommendations! If you are looking for something more disco-esque, an excuse to dance, we urge you to try the following tracks!
CamelPhat - Hangin' Out With Charlie
Sandy Rivera - Try A Little Tenderness
Selace - So Hooked On Your Lovin (Gorgon City Extended Remix)
Another wildly popular offshoot of techno is much heavier than what we have shown you above. The beats are louder, more aggressive and are more commonly used in “raver settings.” Regardless of whether neon lights, bucket hats and sunglasses indoors are your thing, we can guarantee that the perfect synchronicity of this style of music still has the potential to impress many. You may even find your new running tracks among these.
Chemical Surf - I Wanna Do
Dennis Cruz - Bad Behaviour
Yaeji - Raingurl
Pictured above is is Berlin based, Korean born techno artist Peggy Gou. Popular through both Boiler Room and her appearances at Berghain, Peggy Gou’s tracks are an easy find at most German techno clubs.
Bonus suggestion -- Jigoo by Peggy Gou
Now, maybe the last section isn’t necessarily your cup of tea and that’s fine. The whole point of the article is to help introduce some of the most fantastic styles of the genre and prove that techno is far from being repetitive and harsh on the ears which many people fear it to be. So maybe on your next Karachi beach adventure, or the next time you and your friends are on an intercity road trip, these happy melodic techno tracks will amplify the experience.
Gallago - Lifeboat
Ronald Christoph - Take Off, Baby! feat. Orlando (Original Mix)
Whilk & Misky - All By Myself (Mall Grab Remix)
Pictured above is Bosnian-German DJ Solomun at the Théâtre Antique d'Orange in France for Cercle. His music style tends to be mellower than artists such as the legendary Boris Berjcha.
Bonus suggestion -- Hypnotize by Solomun
Oh. We’ve been saving the best for last. Oh yes, indeed. So this is where I have to start you off on perhaps (in my biased opinion) the best sub-genre techno music has to offer. Artists from all over, whether in Western mainland Europe, Turkey or right here in Pakistan -- are drawing inspiration from ethnic beats originating from all across the Eastern regions of Asia. This includes a variety of Indo-Aryan and Middle Eastern influence, and the outcome is something unimaginably euphoric. I cannot possibly explain how the raw sounds of instruments like the tabla and sitar create a tempo that raises the overall vibration in any setting through words, so I suggest you listen. Here are a plethora of songs to get you started but here’s the warning -- once you fall down the oriental techno rabbit hole, it’s impossible to come back.
Check out my accompanying playlist for your initiation while also making sure you catch our two flaming, freshly released local tracks!! Click here.
And to close things off, here are two contemporary techno projects of Pakistani origin. Both have released songs this year inspired by their heritage and can be spotted on the list above.
Maya - Woh Lamhe (Maya Remix)
ZOH - Barood