I miss the 90s. It was a simpler time. You had your choice of three channels on your television, and these channels were not run by robots. You could go to a record store and buy a cassette tape for as little as $10. And you could listen to that cassette tape in your Walkman for hours on end; it would never stop playing!
In this blog post I am going to focus on my favorite electronic music from the 90s. For me, techno will always be synonymous with Detroit, Michigan and the musical innovation that came out of the city in the 1990s. I am going to outline some of the major events that made techno one of the fastest growing genres in electronic music history.
The first major event was when Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May met at Belleville High School. They formed their own music club called “Deep Space.” The Deep Space sound system was unique because it featured a homemade mixer built by Juan Atkins himself. The mixer allowed Juan Atkins to mix different tracks together while they were playing live at parties or concerts; something that had never been done before!
The next major event was when Juan Atkins released his first album “Cybotron” in 1982 with Richard Davis (who later went on to
The 90s were a magical time for electronic music. The music was complex, wild, and free. It was like nothing anyone had ever heard before.
I remember the first time I heard “Da Funk” by Daft Punk on the radio. My jaw dropped. The sound design was so intricate and raw and unpolished. And yet it was perfectly produced at the same time. It gave me goosebumps. I had to learn how to make that sound.
So I set out on a mission to create my own electronic music using only analog synthesizers and drum machines from the 90s: no computers allowed! This blog is an ongoing documentation of my progress as I attempt to recreate classic techno tracks from scratch using only 1990s technology.
Techno is a genre of electronic music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. Many styles of techno now exist, but Detroit techno is seen as the foundation upon which a number of subgenres have been built.
In 1988, a rave party in Frankfurt, Germany was attended by over 50,000 people. As well as selling out major venues like the Kit Kat Club and E-Werk, techno also found its way into underground clubs and listening parties all over Germany. In Berlin, the club scene was centered around the X-Club, where DJs like Doc Martin and Deep Dish played house records for an avid crowd.
In the early 1990s techno achieved limited popularity in the United Kingdom with artists such as Orbital and The Prodigy. By 1993 however, a number of clubs had closed down due to increased police harassment. This crackdown on club culture resulted in an underground movement of illegal warehouse raves which were often held in secret or semi-secret locations; often advertised at short notice by word-of mouth or through underground magazines such as Chemistry or ID with directions being provided at the last minute to those on the mailing list
Techno Music is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid to late 1980s.
Techno is generally repetitive instrumental music, often produced for use in a continuous DJ set. The central rhythm is often in common time (4/4), while the tempo typically varies between 120 and 150 beats per minute (bpm). Artists may use electronic instruments such as drum machines, sequencers, and synthesizers, as well as digital audio workstations. Drum machines from the 1980s such as Roland’s TR-808 and TR-909 are highly prized, and software emulations of such retro instruments are popular.
The genre was pioneered by African American DJs who began experimenting with new DJ gear emerging from the mid-1980s electronic dance music scene in Detroit. As techno emerged through the mid-1980s, its sound was defined by pioneers such as Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Eddie Fowlkes; all four of whom attended high school together in Belleville, Michigan and later became known as The Belleville Three. They took influence from a wide range of genres including Chicago house, electro, Italo disco, funk and electro-pop.
The first recorded use of the word techno
In the 1990s, electronic music was in it’s prime. The 90s saw the introduction of new styles like Ambient, Drum and Bass, Trance, Jungle and Trip-Hop. All of which were spawned from House music.
By the early 90s, house music producers were looking for ways to make their tracks sound different from everyone else’s. This led to the introduction of different styles of house music like deep house and tech house.
Then by 1993 or so, artists started creating a new style known as jungle or drum and bass. This was a faster form of breakbeat that people would go crazy to on dancefloors. Some famous drum and bass artists include LTJ Bukem, A Guy Called Gerald and Goldie (who is also known for his metalheadz record label).
In 1993 or so, trance was in full swing as well. This was another style of dance music that was pretty popular during this time. Some famous trance artists include Paul Oakenfold (who is also known for his perfecto record label), Sasha and Digweed (who are also known for their northern exposure mix series), Tiesto (who is now more popular than all of them) and Ferry Corsten.
In 1994 or so, ambient techno
Hello, everyone! I’m so excited to share this first post with you. I’ll be sharing my favorite tracks from the 90s with you each week and discussing how they’ve shaped my musical tastes. Let’s kick things off with a classic: “Da Funk” by Daft Punk.
The track starts with a funky bass loop and a snare drum hit on the downbeat of every other measure. I’ve always found that groove to be irresistable. The bass line is repeated over the first four measures before introducing a second bass line an octave higher than the first. This second bass line plays for two measures before dropping out and being replaced by synth chords which repeat for two measures before dropping out and being replaced by a high synth lead which repeats for two measures and then drops out completely as the original bass line comes back in. A horn section plays overtop of the bassline three times, backing off each time until only a single instrument remains, at which point it too backs off and we’re left with just the bass line again.
At this point we’re roughly halfway through the song, and what follows is essentially an exact repeat of the first half except that rather than just hearing the horn section drop out one instrument at a time we actually see it