Detroit techno music: a guide to this “historical” music genre

It is no secret that the culture of our generation is, first and foremost, a musical culture. Music media (turntable, radio, tape recorder, CD player, computer) have become universally available, and any innovations in the musical world are spreading through countries and continents at an enormous speed. Along with the music spreads the ideology of this music, its attributes, a certain lifestyle.

One of the first questions young people ask when they meet is: “What kind of music do you listen to?“. Indeed, the most typical division for our generation is the division according to musical predilections. Our motto is, “Tell me what you listen to, and I’ll tell you who you are!“. The band that defined techno music as a trend came from Detroit and has given the name to the special techno music genre called Detroit techno.

Detroit techno music.

Detroit techno is a kind of techno music that appeared in the mid-80s. The first musicians in this style were Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, and Blake Baxter. In 1981, while attending college, Atkins met Rick Davis. Both college students started a musical project called Cybotron. This band brought futurism into the musical world. 

The birth of techno music coincided with the deep decline of the automotive industry in America as a symbolic sign of the post-industrial renaissance. The Detroit techno musical style has been characterized alternately as a dark, isolated set of mechanical vibrations, and as creating a soft, vibrant, emotional feeling. This music was played in clubs in Chicago and Detroit back in the late ’70s, and although it has changed noticeably since then, the famous Detroit sound is unmistakable. 

The second and third waves of Detroit techno style took the music industry by no means the last, although musicians tried to find a combination of unprecedented digital perfection and compositional minimalism of the original Detroit sound. Today, the third wave of this style again began to repeat the aesthetic values of that style belonging to the early period.

Detroit techno music
Detroit techno music

Popular trends in techno music.

Modern techno music has many genres. Some of them are more soulful and lyrical, and others have strong rhythms. It makes techno music to universal music: there is techno music which is more suitable for dancing, listening, and there are also techno music compositions which you can listen to when you doing some other things for example gambling in the best casino on the internet or doing physical exercises at home.

Deep House

Much like classic Detroit, Deep is a quirky blend of House music with gospel vocals. As its fans claim, Deep House is the opposite of all other techno music genres.

Techno trance music.

This music is a music of the mental journey. The rhythms used in trance are much simpler than in breakbeat or jungle, and “foils” of monotone and transparent synthesized string sounds complete the sense of transition into other spaces. Trance music has a huge variety of genres like acid trance, Goa Trance, Hard Trance, etc. If you listen to this music in the car, it starts to feel like the speed is much less than it should be, so don’t get too carried away.

Hardcore techno music.

Hardcore is very simple. We take an ordinary techno-rhythm, make it twice as fast, overlay any jerky sounds, screams and female vocals, 2-3 times faster. If it feels like a jackhammer, that’s fine. Another hit is ready.

Acid house.

The acid in translation from English means acid, and acid, as it is known, is a caustic thing – where it will leave a rusty, or a hole, or even dissolve everything without residue. That’s approximately how Acid House music works, thanks to its trademark “sour” sounds. It’s almost impossible to describe them with words, it’s better to listen to any composition with “Acid Mix” marking once and everything will become clear at once. By the way, it was Acid House musicians, who started to widely use sounds borrowed from other compositions in their tracks, starting the whole wave of processing everything in Acid sounding.

These are just some of the trends in techno music. It is the variety of techno beats that makes techno music such an interesting unique musical genre with an unusual sound.