Let’s take a quick step back in time to early 80s Michigan, where Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson (otherwise known as The Belleville Three) create the very first songs to fall under the new music genre known as techno.The Belleville Three aimed to create a sound that represented the Industrial character of Detroit, as well as taking some inspiration from Kraftwerk.
What the pioneering trio didn’t expect was the global recognition that the genre gained across the entire world and that more than three decades later, techno would still be regarded as one of the driving forces of electronic music.
Over the last decade however, purists of the scene have become increasingly worried with how said scene has become an industry. In a recent interview, DVS1 drew attention to this issue, claiming that techno essentially now has a commercial value, which has caused it to lose some of its character. The techno heavyweight hypothesised that areas of the genre are being driven by vast amounts of money and the maximisation of profits and no longer by an innate love for the tunes.
Points have been made, but techno’s flag is still flying high and the genre is delivering goods. To celebrate techno for doing what it does best – bangers – we have compiled a 20-strong list of some of the standout techno slammers that have been released this decade.
Nina Kraviz 'Ghetto Kraviz'
Possibly Nina Kraviz’s most famous production. ‘Ghetto Kraviz’ was released in 2011 on REKIDS and was also the lead single on her album ‘Nina Kraviz’ in 2012.It features her own hypnotic vocals, inviting popular remixes from renowned artists such as Regal and Steve Rachmad that would fit perfectly in any top DJ’s arsenal.
DJ Hyperactive 'Wide Open' (Len Faki DJ Edit)
A stomping kick drum is to Len Faki what a warm Red Stripe is to a dark, sweaty dancefloor: essential. Faki leaves his mark on DJ Hyperactive’s ‘Wide Open’ with a remix that has been hung in the techno hall of fame.Released on figure, this record is readily available on Discogs for the sturdy price of £175, which we guess is a testament to the genius of this remix.
George Lanham 'Fullbourn Haze'
As a label, Minimum Syndicat make it no secret that its ethos is strictly pedal to the metal techno, and Fullbourn Haze is the perfect representation of this.Truly a peak-time production, the drop alone is enough to descend any dancefloor into oblivion.
Clouds 'Chained To A Dead Camel'
Released on Overlee Assembly, the Scottish duo Clouds brought an absolute cracker into the world in ‘Chained To A Dead Camel’. Barely a set goes by where Robert Hood doesn’t pay homage to this beast of a tune, which is all the credit we need to include it in our list.
Rendered an instant classic straight after its release on Hemlock Recordings, ‘Bring’ holds no prisoners with a hefty 4/4 kick drum barrage on the ears. Most famously known for being the main feature in Len Faki’s Boiler Room in Berlin, there’s no doubt this heavyweight is recognised as one of the decade’s flagship tunes in techno.
Daniel Bortz 'Steady Note'
A few years ago, theIdentification of Music Group on Facebook held a recurring joke aimed at anyone posting in the group: “before you post, have you checked it’s not ‘Daniel Bortz – Steady Note’?”.Bortz hit the nail on the head with this one with squelchy, brown-noise-esque sounds that could extract the filthiest of bass faces out of anyone.
DVS1 'Black Russian'
For his third offering on Ben Klock’s fabled ‘Klockworks’ label, DVS1 produced some of his finest work with ‘Black Russian’. Still played frequently by Klock among many other techno stalwarts, this tune is one that you could expect to hear deep into the early hours of a Monday morning at the Berghain.
Floorplan 'Never Grow Old (Re-Plant)'
A year after releasing his album ‘Paradise’, Robert Hood decided to beef up ‘Never Grow Old’ which proved to be a successful choice. A common feature in the majority of the Floorplan sets he now plays alongside his daughter Lyric, this song will indeed never grow old.
Bjarki 'I Wanna Go Bang'
Using a vocal sample from Dj Deeon’s ‘2 B Free’, Bjarki showed amazing value for production time, as it only took him 30 minutes to create ‘I Wanna Go Bang’, the acclaimed techno track of 2015. Signed to Nina Kraviz’s label трип, Bjarki admitted after release that the tune was sitting in his hard drive for the three years prior.What took him so long?
Dax J 'Escape The System'
Dax J imposed himself on the world of techno with this hectic release on ‘Arts Collective’. This track has seen the world, with the main man himself famously using it as a base for live mash-ups with classics such as Oxia ‘Domino’, The Future Sound Of London ‘Papua New Guinea’, and Outlander ‘Vamp’.
Jack Master 'Bang The Box' (Slam Remix)
Slam’s remix of Richie Hawtin’s production under his Jack Master alias ‘Bang The Box’ achieved legendary status throughout 2016, with Richie Hawtin himself sending maximum praise to Slam: “Slam’s new updated take on the original, uses the original voice sample (that’s actually mine) and reworks the track into a full throttle stomping jack track perfect for today's dance floors!”.
Manni Dee 'Cameron On A Guillotine'
Moving onto a political note now (sorry not sorry), with Manni Dee releasing an EP on Leyla Records that was a two pronged attack: one of the dancefloors he unleashes it on, and another on the Conservative party.What could David Cameron have done in 2016 that would have made him so angry I wonder? Regardless of the political agenda, this track is a high-octane stomper.
Amelie Lens 'Drift'
Anetha 'Acid Train'
The Parisian based DJ Anetha has earned herself a hell of a reputation in the techno world, with her Boiler Room in 2018 being classified as one of the best techno sets by the platform. This acidic masterpiece backs up the reputation that has been placed on Anetha as one to watch.
Carl Craig 'Sandstorms' (Versus Version)
In an attempt to approach the genre from a different angle, Carl Craig audaciously attempted to combine techno and classical music, and he pulled it off.This masterpiece, while packing a serious punch in the percussion, involves emotive and cinematic classical music simultaneously courtesy of Les Siecles Orchestra. Beautiful.
Johannes Heil 'B2' (Exile 007)
If you went to a techno festival in 2017 and didn’t hear ‘Exile 007 B2’ by Johannes Heil, did you actually go to a techno festival in 2017? This track took the festival scene by storm, and rightly so. The piercing synth lines alone were enough to cause mayhem within all crowds.
Adam Beyer & Bart Skils 'Your Mind'
“You’re losing, you’re losing, you’re losing, you’re losing your miiiiiind”.If you haven’t heard this song, you must have been living under a rock. Drumcode behemoth Adam Beyer paired with Bart Skils creatively used a vocal sample from a Raury and Jaden Smith song sound tracked in ‘The Get Down’ and took the electronic music world by storm.
Deetron 'Blue Bird' (DJ Bone Remix)
Hailing from Detroit, DJ Bone is a masterful producer of techno and a wizard on the decks. His remix of ‘Blue Bird’ by Deetron, released on Subject Detroit is further proof Detroit really is the home of techno.With a 3 and a half minute build-up at the start, this tune gives you the time to sneak out for a quick cig before it even drops!Just make sure you don’t miss that drop.
Paula Temple 'Joshua & Goliath' (Techno Version)
This monster from Paula Temple looks set to be one of the best techno tracks of 2019. When listening to it, the phrase “instant classic” comes to mind. With a kick drum that can be described as sinister, all sorts of DJs will have a wry smile on their face when loading this one up in the 5am zone.
Robert Hood 'Rotate'
Releasing on his own label M-Plant, Robert Hood’ techno expertise shone through in this killer track. We were spoilt for choice with Hood’s productions, and this tune is another representation of a stellar career from the legendary techno DJ.
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