Did You Know Techno Music Was Invented in Michigan?
I always wondered why one of this country's biggest EDM festivals was in the woods in Middle-of-Nowhere Michigan. Then again, I'm not much of a Techno fan, so I didn't really care much to learn about it. But I can see the appeal.
When Skrillex and Steve Aoki were coming on strong in the 2000s, it wasn't uncommon to hear them played at parties, or at the bars. Those songs go hard! Little did I know that one day, I'd be living in the state that invented techno music... or at least pioneered its rise to popularity.
More commonly known as EDM these days, or Electronic Dance Music, "Techno" sort of found its way into people's sound systems (FIRST) in Europe. But that was WAY before it became popular.
In the 1980s, repetitive electronic dance music was starting its origins in Germany and the United Kingdom. It wasn't until 1988 that Michigan, and Detroit, rose to Techno music fame.
The UK actually released a compilation album in 1988 called "Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroit," and from there, it was history.
The music on that album was associated with EDM artists out of the Detroit area. "Detroit Techno" specifically was its own unique thing - mixing music from synth-pop bands like Kraftwerk, and Yellow Magic Orchestra, with African American styles like House, electro, and funk music.
There was also an uprising in science fiction in the 1980s that lended itself to the futuristic sounds that were created by techno artists.
"Kraftwerk are to techno what Muddy Waters is to the Rolling Stones: The authentic, the origin, the real" - Kodwo Eshun, writer for The Guardian
Essentially, Kraftwerk stood there stiff and awkward-like, so Techno could eventually run.
Artists Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, some of Detroit Techno's earliest producers, said a lot of their influences came from European and Japanese artists, that they just took to the next level.
And with the increased affordability of electronic devices like sequencers and synthesizers, the three were able to merge the soul, funk, disco, and electro sounds with modern pop sounds, and thus... EDM, or "Techno" was born.
Juan Adkins spoke to the rising scene in 1988...
"Within the last five years or so, the Detroit underground has been experimenting with technology, stretching it rather than simply using it. As the price of sequencers and synthesizers has dropped, so the experimentation has become more intense. Basically, we're tired of hearing about being in love or falling out, tired of the R&B system, so a new progressive sound has emerged. We call it Techno!"