Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Techno is a genre of music believed to have originated largely in Detroit in the mid-1980s. With influences coming from genres such as funk, disco and European house music, Detroit DJs developed the deep, repetitive and bassy sound that came to be known as techno. The song posted above is an example of "Detroit techno" by one of the earliest artists in the genre, Juan Atkins, recording under the name Model 500. Electronic music was becoming increasingly popular at the time, with synthpop bands like the Eurythmics and soft cell beginning to gain popularity through the newly created MTV. Techno and house music utilised the same new technology, drum machines and synthesisers, as the more mainstream bands, but instead creating a new underground scene.

Electronic music is today becoming more and more mainstream. House music in particular is beginning to rise in popularity in mainstream music with artists such as Duck sauce, comprised of Armen Van Helden and A-track. "Anyway" shows very clearly the influences of funk and disco in the genre. There are several contemporary examples of artists making mainstream pop-house tracks today in America and having huge success. LMFAO and Yolanda Be Cool are two other notable examples. These artists all clearly take huge influences from early house and techno music, and are taking the genre mainstream by making their music a lot more accessible to the casual listener.

With the rise of youth club culture today most mainstream artists are striving to incorporate electronic house and techno beats into their music, in order to make their tracks club friendly. Chris Brown is a good example of this, starting off his career as an RnB singer, today he is collaborating with house DJs like Benny Benassi and making music more akin to house. He is just one example of a large number of RnB and hip-hop artists cashing in on the trend. Although there are some Detroit Techno DJs around today who are still holding the torch for the genre and continuing the growth of the underground scene, most notably Theo Parrish, who still makes the kind of funk influenced techno which brought about the genre, and still keeps the genre popular among contemporary audiences.

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