The History Of Techno – Part 4
The summary of Detroit techno history
The young Techno-Heads of Detroit did not want to hand over their brainchild to the big capitalist music publishers dominating the market and let adhesion contracts deprive them of their creativity and intellectual property. The musicians known as the Belleville Three launched their own labels. One of them, Kevin Saunderson with his label KMS, published breathtaking tracks on which timeless beauty wandered. As a member of Inner City, he even made the jump to the mainstream charts with the track “Good Life” .
Juan Atkins built the foundation for high-quality Techno music from Detroit with his record label Metroplex. With the compilation TECHNO! The New Dance Sound of Detroit, Atkins presented to the world the ultimate form of this new musical genre. His early work is conceptualized as a manifesto and is regarded by many future musicians in Europe and America as a source of inspiration. The label Transmat by Derrick May represented yet another creative point of view with which the technological progress of electronic music was embedded in the blossoming cosmos of Techno music from Detroit. Eddie “Flashin” Fowlkes who is famous for his avantgarde mixing style published several tracks in collaboration with Atkins. Like the Belleville Three, he is part of the inner circle.
Parallel to the development of Techno from Detroit, new House music from Detroit became an innovative export hit and began its triumphal march. Especially the subgenre Acid House is considered to be the final preliminary stage before the breakthrough of Techno. From dancefloors of Ibiza and specifically through DJ Alfredo, news about this eclectic precursor of Techno was carried particularly by would-be party tourists from England into the clubs of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield. Very soon, Acid House and the consequent consumption of XTC became the prerequisites for the perfect party. Especially in In England, laws were passed against dancing to Acid House and against its culture.
And yet – dance and celebration are a basic need of humanity, deeply rooted in our human DNA.
And yet – prohibitions have only inspired the underground even more to be creative, and from this inspiration, the dance culture of Techno was catapulted into the next round. Last but not least, Italian DJs and producers like Casco alias Alexander Robotnick from the Italo Electro Disco genre or Charlie with “Spacer Woman” joined the ranks of European inspirators.
As post punk pioneers of the New German Wave (Neue Deutsche Welle), the Swiss group Grauzone let the song Eisbär flow into 1981, a hypnotic track with the charismatic vocals of singer Martin Eicher, carried by sub-bass grooves. The track also captivates by means of its shredding chopping sounds accentuating the experimental playing of a synthesizer. The arrangements of Eisbär show the elements which are stylistic character-istics of Techno music – on the scale between pressure and release.
Los niños del parque by Liaisons Dangereuses – Chrislo Haas, a founding member of DAF, amongst others pumped a catchy tune into the early 80s – a timeless interpretation of electronic music.
Visage. Soft Cell. Anne Clark – who still performs powerful concerts today and tours across Germany. The foundation from which techno music could develop was based on a period of about twenty years. In these two eras, pioneers and sound tinkerers on both continents have inspired each other, listened to each other. Fundamentally, it can be noted for the Afro-American producers and DJs that the pursuit of independence, rebellion against injustice and smoldering racism, as well as the tragic prevailing mood triggered by the succumbing of one of the largest centers of the American automobile industry, but also the belief in a better future make Techno music a political statement..
Their vision of futuristic music highlights a wide range of electronic compositions up to the present day, from which in turn numerous new subgroups have emerged. From the experimental visions of Stockhausen to Kraftwerk, from the gay disco and dance scene of New York and Chicago to Electro, Ambient, Industrial and to the Europe of Post Punk Electronic, Synth-pop and Acid House, Techno found its definition in Detroit.
All the musicians, DJs, producers and sponsors so enthusiastic about the technological progress of this genre have contributed to something great – this asset must be nurtured and protected especially in today’s times.
Kay-Uwe Lenk*DASFAX | Techno Berlin
Literatur: Wikipedia der aufgeführten Künstler; Rave on! von Matthew Collin; Electronic Germany von Christian Arndt