Tell Me Why… TECHNO

The concept that drives one person, maybe the reason why someone else is deterred. So, to quote THE voice of reason, Boy Zone, ‘Tell me why’… you do/do not like techno
Tell me why’… you do Like Techno
by Happa (Samir Alikhanizadeh)

If I’m honest, I don’t actually listen to that much Techno outside of the club. I mainly listen to Korn on repeat, and maybe if I’m feeling a bit crazy some Linkin Park or Papa Roach. Therefore in this article, I’m going to focus more so on the club scene and community that is built around Techno, as opposed to the actual music (you don’t really want that anyway because it would take too long and would get way too nerdy so… nah).

Anyway, even though I do only really listen to it in ze cloob, I do like Techno. It’s proper great. Well, “great” is maybe an understatement, as is “like”. I love it. It’s fucking brilliant. But to say you love Techno is actually quite a vague statement, as it exists in so many good and (in my humble opinion) bad dimensions. In this case, I’m talking about the community and the music. Now don’t worry, this is still about how I love it, but I also kinda don’t… in some ways… bear with me.

For now, let’s have a small and probably slightly wrong history lesson. It was birthed into Detroit in the mid 80’s by a group of African American dudes (legends), and it’s sonic backbone comes from Chicago (House) and Germany (eg. Kraftwerk). By the late 80’s/early 90’s, it had spread over into the UK and Germany like a bad (good) rash and had started to develop its own style in each new country it touched. So as you can see it’s foundations were built on diversity, and this mishmash of backgrounds and influences resulted in a vast scope of styles, scenes, and subcultures throughout the world. This is a really big part of what I love about it. The fact that there are so many different corners to explore, all full of crazily different sounds, really interests and excites me.

Something I don’t love so much is that in the crowd and in the DJ booth today, there is a lack of this cultural variety that it was built upon. You’d think because of its background, Techno would be safe from the prejudicial tendencies that exist in the music industry, but it kinda ain’t. Yet when you can come together will all sorts of people, in a small dark room with a wicked sound system and some incredible music, with no anonymity; there ain’t no better feeling. Whether I was DJ’ing or dancing, many of my fondest memories come from these “small dark rooms”. Those special nights when I have fully let myself go; danced like a madman, took my top off and felt sexy, heard the maddest tune ever, hugged my mates a million times, heard another of the maddest tunes ever and just generally had the best time, will stay with me for ever. And to think that there are still many more of these nights to come fills me with joy. A joy that I mainly owe to Techno.

Now after writing that I kind of want to talk about the music, and go on forever about how much I adore the different sonic complexities that are found in all the different subtypes of Techno, and how much the right kick drum on the right system gives me an erection, and how a good trance-y breakdown sends shivers down my spine, and how good Electro is… but as I said at the start: “…nah.”.

Tell Me Why… you doN’t like techno
by Joshua cantle Jones

Techno isn’t really for me. I’m light-hearted by nature and don’t take life too seriously. On the flip side, I find techno to be very intense and a genre that does take itself seriously. Because of this I find it difficult to relate to the genre and admittedly, a lot of the time, techno to me is insufferable noise. But that’s okay. I understand that not everything is made for me, and the fact that not everyone likes the same things is something to be celebrated. It makes us all different, and makes life less boring.

However.

I have spent the past three years studying in Manchester, where techno has almost monopolized the student night scene. During my fist year, I noticed that the differences in taste I have just praised were being traded for techno, drugs and the outfits to match. This is where my problem with techno begins. Some will say this is just a result of people coming to university, embracing the experience and ‘finding themselves’. I can’t help but feel that for many this was more a result of trying to fit in with the crowd. I must have missed the bandwagon as it came my way.

I have noticed that there are two very different types of techno fan. The first being the techno snob: this is the person at pre-drinks hogging the aux-cord and probably doesn’t want to be friends with you if you don’t like techno (perhaps because they don’t know how to talk about much else). Techno snobs are often easily wound up because of how seriously they take both themselves and their admiration for techno. For instance, I was once asked what my favourite techno track was, which in response I jokingly said “Disturbia by Rihanna”. The lad went red in the face.

The second type of techno fan is the techno sheep, these being the vast majority of techno fans I have come across. These are the people who used to listen to anything that was in the charts before coming to university and then quickly realising that this would no longer cut it if they wanted to be down with the cool kids. In flocks, they all updated their SoundCloud playlists and wardrobes, and started showing up at every secret warehouse techno event they could manage. Just don’t ask them who’s playing.

I don’t hate techno. It is the student culture of techno that I have issues with. An environment where everyone starts to seem the exact same, and where drugs and DJs are depended on for a good night out instead of the company that surrounds you. Hopefully it’s just a phase.

Art by Rubyanna Edwards

One Comment Add yours

  1. Tech House says:

    I appreciate how you keep contributing to the techno community. It really is great. I have already been a long time reader and thought that I would finally reach out to contribute. I found this Spotify playlist and believe it’s suited to this web site and its audience. http://spoti.fi/2v7a0MA I hope everybody likes it!

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