The story of techno starts with the Belleville Three; Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May. These pioneers of the Detroit techno scene attended high school together and with their friendship, created the birth and blueprint of techno as we known it. All noting Kraftwerk's clean, beautiful sounds (as well as European synthesizer music) as the catalytic influence to the techno sound, there was also a lot to be said for the a period where disco boomed which caused many to take up mixing.

After Atkins had taught May how to mix records, the two of them embarked on a period of music making together with other known DJ’s, and formed a so-called ‘party crew’ called Deep Space Soundworks. By the early 80’s young techno talent was beginning to be nurtured and high school clubs like Brats and Gables were promoting dance music in their local scenes and clubs. During this time Atkins, often referred to as the main ‘originator’ of techno, was recording with Richard Davis as Cybotron and receiving great press for their ‘Techno City’ release in 1984. Of the 80’s, Atkins had to say:

“Within the last 5 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!” (1988)

‘Emerge’ techno did, and in full force. The oscillations of technology as a sound were felt in Chicago club scenes, it was felt in the acid house rave environments in the UK like Back to Basics in Leeds and in Germany at the UFO Club. Today techno pops up in uncountable subgenres and its divergence is huge, it’s a form of music that is still thriving and always evolving.


  • Ben Klock ▶ Ben Klock is a German techno DJ and producer who has released on labels such as BPitch Control, Ostgut Ton. He runs his own label Klockworks and often spins at the Berghain in Berlin.

  • Boys Noize ▶ Alexander Ridha has been making music since 2004, he is label owner of a label of the same name and has worked with many relevant artists.

  • Carl Craig ▶ A Detroit native, he is well known within the field of techno music and has been releasing music since the mid 90's under a mad amount of aliases.

  • Floorplan ▶ Robert Hood is a founding member of Underground Resistance and is often considered the founders of minimal techno.

  • James Ruskin ▶ Born in Croydon in the 70's he's another big figure in the Detroit techno scene and founded Blueprint with Polson in 1996.

  • Jeff Mills ▶ The most widely known Techno DJs and producers, Jeff is known all around the world for his Radio DJ performances. He is Label owner and boss at Axis Records, Chicago, Illinois.

  • Juan Atkins ▶ Juam is widely credited as the originator of Detroit techno along with Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, known as the Belleville Three.

  • Nina Kravis ▶ Born and raised in the Siberian City of Irkutsk in Russia, she is one of the breakthrough techno producers of the last 5 years.

  • Speedy J ▶ Jochem George Paap born in Rotterdam was a veteran of minimal techno and owns his own label, Electric Deluxe.

  • Surgeon ▶ Surgeon, aka Anthony Child, has been at the forefront of Techno since 1994. He is the label head of Counterbalance and Dynamic Tension and was one of the first wave of DJs to use software like Ableton Live.

  • Theo Parrish ▶ Theo grew up listening to the likes of Miles Davis and Nina Simon and so developed his unique brand of soulful house/techno. His genre hoping DJ sets are world renowned

  • Kenny Larkin ▶ A detroit native, Kenny has been making soulful techno for over 20 years, and has influenced many of today's techno aficionados.

  • Carl Cox ▶ Carl Cox is a veteran of the music industry with two of his record labels and shaping the British house and techno scene in the late 80's.


One of the things I love most about techno is how much room there is to maneuver within what’s generally considered a fairly rigid framework. I first fell for its mutated forms; Modeselektor’s eclectic yet catchy Monkeytown and Pantha Du Prince’s shimmering classic, Black Noise. BNR’s electro leanings helped me bridge the gap from jungle-head to Dettmann & Klock enthusiast, and artists such as Laurel Halo and Kassem Mosse would go on to seal the deal for me between the concrete walls of underground. There’s energy to party and space to contemplate. Any action becomes it’s own dance in a way, whether I’m listening recreationally, on the job or on the move. Especially on the move, because walking is techno.

Homework was always a daunting prospect, especially when I hadn’t resonated with some of the more ‘essential’ releases. Eventually, I made my way to pioneers including the cosmic Juan Atkins and techno-avantist Jeff Mills. With Paula Temple’s monolithic boomers and Holden’s analogue excursions, the dub techno of Porter Ricks and Actress’ abstractions, Voices From The Lake’s self-titled masterclass in minimal-ambient and ventures into club music from noise artists such as Pete Swanson, techno continues its thirty-something year tumble down the rabbit hole

Tayyab Amin (Pitchfork, Truants, FACT, Dummy and more)
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