Techno in the Noughties Techno in the Noughties

Techno in the Noughties

By Jamie Lee

Techno in the Noughties Techno in the Noughties

At the turn of the century, “techno” was a full-swing umbrella term, embodying many distinct and distinguished subgenres. The 2000s particularly would find electronic dance music, or EDM, at the forefront of the movement, especially coupled with raves and festivals, while techno seemed to take more of a backseat. Rave culture caught fire during the late eighties and nineties, priming techno lovers with highly percussive drum and bass tracks for a seamless transition into genres like dubstep, trap, and house especially. Techno, though taking a backburner for a lot of the 2000s, was directly influencing many more mainstream genres like hip-hop and pop. The foundational elements of techno – experimentation, unification, and creativity – flourished in these newfound subgenres like dubstep, trap, house, and EDM. But techno was alive and well especially in Berlin, where “microhouse” and more minimalist music occupied the soundwaves and culture still undergoing changes since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Modeselektor

Modeselektor

Dubstep is more focused on syncopated rhythmic patterns, a riff off UK garage music with hints of reggae. London’s Plastic People club promoted dubstep and is often considered one of the driving forces behind its European success. Trap takes into consideration the influence of southern American hip-hop, combining the hard-hitting bass lines of electronic techno with the smooth sounds of R&B as well as the heavy use of snare. RL Grime popularized trap with iconic tracks like “Scylla” and “Core.” Electro house, or just house, combined elements of synth-pop and tech in popular songs like Tom Neville’s remix of Studio B’s “I See Girls”, D. Ramirez’s take on “Yeah Yeah” by Bodyrox and Luciana, and Fedde Le Grand’s “Put Your Hands Up for Detroit.” During this period, Soundcloud became incredibly vital in the creation and dissemination of techno during this period and remains of the utmost importance to this day.

DJ Ellen Allien

DJ Ellen Allien

EDM DJs like Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Push, Ferry Corsen, and Rank 1 brought electronic dance music to the forefront of mainstream, but true techno music was experiencing a lull in popularity worldwide. Even so, the genre was strong in Berlin during the 2000s. German techno became much more minimal during the decade. Producers and music organizations formed in major cities across Germany, like Cologne, Chemnitz, Munich, and Frankfurt. But the movement was towards Berlin, where DJs founded their own labels. DJ Hell created International Deejay Gigolos; DJ Good Groove founded Good Groove Music, Multicolor Recordings, and Frisbee Tracks; DJ T had Get Physical Records and even started Groove Magazine. At the end of the 1990s, labels were similarly formed especially by women like Ellen Allien, who kickstarted the international careers of Modeselektor and Paul Kalkbrenner. The trend was towards the unification of techno artists in a country that was still reeling from the effects of the Berlin Wall.

And now, techno “music” was expanding to include other forms of art, like design. Berlin hosted a number of clubs, lounges, bars, and even offices with a minimalist lifestyle inspired by techno music. There was no saying what wasn’t allowed; suddenly, techno was everywhere. Even more so, there was no barrier between acts across the globe. Techno became the universal language that everyone understood – all around the world, people were partying together without boundary.

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