Techno, also known as tekno, free tekno, and hardtek, is a genre of electronic dance music that originated from German electro-pop and American house music in the 1980s.
The genre has come a long way in the last few decades, from its humble beginnings as an underground sound played exclusively at basement raves or nightclubs, techno has now taken center stage in mainstream pop culture.
But by tracing its evolution over time, we can appreciate how far this genre of electronic dance music has come and understand why it continues to captivate so many people today.
So let's take a journey through the history of techno music, exploring how it rose from relative obscurity into a major part of mainstream culture!
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History of the Genre
Let's look at how techno music carved its own genre in the electronic music scene, and answer the question "What is Techno Music?"
The Birth of Techno Music Techno music was born in Detroit, Michigan in the 1980s, when young African-American musicians started experimenting with electronic sounds and drum machines.
The genre's pioneers, including Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May, were inspired by the futuristic sounds of German electro-pop bands like Kraftwerk and American house music.
In the early days of techno, the genre was largely confined to the underground rave scene, with DJs and producers spinning their tracks at illegal parties in abandoned warehouses, basements, and other secret locations.
The gritty, industrial sound of techno reflected the tough, working-class neighborhoods of Detroit where it originated, and it quickly gained a devoted following among the city's youth.
As the 1990s began, techno music started to spread beyond Detroit and the Midwest, finding fans in major cities around the world. The sound of techno became associated with the counterculture movement, and its fans were drawn to the rebellious, anti-establishment ethos of the genre.
Techno's popularity continued to grow, and by the mid-1990s, it had become a global phenomenon, with major festivals and raves held in cities across Europe and the United States.
Sub-Genres of Techno
As techno music evolved and diversified, new sub-genres emerged. Some of the most popular sub-genres of techno include free tekno, hardtek, acid techno, and minimal techno.
Each sub-genre has its own unique sound and style, but they all share the same basic elements of techno music, including driving beats, synthesizers, and a futuristic, electronic sound.
Techno in Mainstream Pop Culture
In recent years, techno music has become a major part of mainstream pop culture, with DJs and producers headlining major festivals and playing to packed crowds at clubs and venues around the world.
Techno's popularity shows no signs of slowing down, and the genre continues to evolve and innovate, with new artists and sounds pushing the boundaries of electronic dance music.
Reviewing the Music
Now, let's look at 10 of the best Tekno remixes and originals.
1. Bad Memories by MEDUZA (Felix Jaehn Remix)
The Felix Jaehn remix of MEDUZA's "Bad Memories" elevates the original track's already-infectious melody with an added layer of techno-inspired beats. The remix expertly blends the soulful vocals with a driving bassline and shimmering synths, creating a dancefloor-ready track that appeals to fans of both pop and techno.
The production is precise and polished, highlighting each element of the mix to create a cohesive whole. The collaboration between Felix Jaehn and MEDUZA showcases the power of cross-genre creativity.
2. Miss You by Oliver Tree (Bozubuck Remix)
This remix of "Miss You" takes Oliver Tree's melancholic vocals and sets them against a backdrop of glitchy, glitchy synths and propulsive techno beats. The result is a track that feels both introspective and energizing, with the contrast between the moody vocals and upbeat instrumentation creating a sense of tension and release.
The production is inventive and playful, with unexpected drops and shifts in the arrangement that keep the listener engaged from start to finish.
3. Somebody To Love by Basstrologe
Basstrologe's "Somebody To Love" is a quintessential techno track, with driving beats and hypnotic synths that create a sense of forward momentum. The repeated vocal sample adds to the track's emotional resonance, expressing a sense of urgency and longing.
The gradually building arrangement keeps the listener hooked, building to a satisfying crescendo. The track is a great example of how techno can be both emotionally evocative and physically invigorating.
4. Pon De Replay Tekkno by TEKKNO
TEKKNO's remix of Rihanna's "Pon De Replay" takes the original track's dancehall-inspired rhythms and infuses them with pounding techno beats. The remix creates a nostalgic yet contemporary sound that is both familiar and new.
The updated production breathes new life into the early 2000s hit, appealing to a new generation of listeners while honoring the original track's infectious energy. The remix demonstrates the creative potential of using techno to re-contextualize and reimagine older songs.
5. Another Love by OsTEKKe
This track is a slow-burning techno ballad, with its atmospheric synths and distant vocals creating a sense of dreamy detachment. The track gradually builds in intensity, with new elements (like glitchy percussion and distorted vocal samples) being added over time.
The result is a track that feels both introspective and immersive, with its subtle changes in texture and dynamics creating a sense of hypnotic trance.
6. CAN'T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD (TECHNO) by BASSTON & Tazzy
This remix of Kylie Minogue's classic pop hit "Can't Get You Out of My Head" is a masterful example of how techno can be used to transform even the most seemingly innocent songs into dancefloor fillers. The propulsive beats and hypnotic synths create a sense of urgency and momentum, while the repeated vocal sample ("la la la") adds to the track's sense of catchiness and sing-ability.
7. Another Love Tekkno by TEKKNO
TEKKNO's remix of Tom Odell's "Another Love" is a powerful example of how techno can be used to transform emotionally heavy songs into something that feels physically exhilarating. The track takes the original's emotional vocals and sets them against a backdrop of pounding techno beats and distorted synths, creating a sense of tension and release that is both cathartic and energizing.
The production is inventive and playful, with unexpected drops and shifts in the arrangement that keep the listener engaged from start to finish. Overall, this remix is a testament to the power of collaboration between artists from different genres and the transformative potential of techno music.
8. Shooting Stars by Flume & Toro y Moi (triple j Like A Version)
Flume & Toro y Moi's rendition of "Shooting Stars" was released as part of Australian radio station triple j's Like A Version series, where artists perform a cover of a song they love. In this version, the duo puts their own unique spin on the original by Bag Raiders, infusing it with Flume's signature glitchy beats and Toro y Moi's smooth vocals.
The result is a dreamy and atmospheric electronic track that captures the essence of the original while adding a fresh twist. The Like A Version performance was widely praised for its creativity and musicality, and helped to cement Flume's reputation as one of the most innovative producers in the electronic music scene.
9. Dancing On My Own by Maltorian
Originally performed by Robyn in 2010, “Dancing on My Own” has become a staple in dance music. Maltorian, a rising techno artist from Sweden, delivers a driving remix of the track, adding a pulsing bassline and reimagining the vocal melody to create an energetic, high-energy dancefloor anthem.
The remix stays true to the emotional core of the original while infusing it with Maltorian's signature techno sound, resulting in a track that is both infectious and emotionally resonant.
10. Summertime Sadness by Martin Bravi
Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" has become an iconic song in pop culture, but Martin Bravi's techno remix of the track adds a new dimension to the emotional ballad. Bravi's remix features a thumping bassline, soaring synths, and driving percussion that transform the track into a euphoric dancefloor banger.
Despite the remix's high energy, it never loses the melancholic undertones of the original, creating a track that is both uplifting and emotionally resonant. Bravi's remix is a testament to the power of techno to transform even the most unlikely source material into something truly magical.
Overall, these ten tracks represent some of the best and most innovative techno remixes and original tracks of recent years. From artists both new and established, each track showcases the unique sound and creative potential of this ever-evolving genre.
Whether you're a die-hard techno music fan or just a casual listener, there's something on this list for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
Plus, to listen to the full collection of our favorite techno music, check out our playlist now!
To listen to the full list of songs, click here.
In conclusion, techno music has come a long way from its humble beginnings in underground raves to its current status as a major part of mainstream pop culture.
Its evolution over time and the rise of its sub-genres have contributed to its continued popularity, with new artists and sounds pushing the boundaries of electronic dance music. It is clear that techno music is here to stay as it continues to captivate so many.
As rave music produced by techno producers continues to increase, we can expect other forms and sub-genres to develop.
Whether you're a die-hard techno fan or just discovering the genre for the first time, and whether you use the word techno, tekkno, or hardtekk; there's never been a better time to explore the world of techno music!