Techno – Circa ’92
There was period in early 1992 that I really got into to Techno. At the time I was under the delusion that I was a DJ and I had a close friend who DJ’d with his brother. Together we did a few back-yard parties and a couple of small raves. It was a fun time. I was a hip-hop head and it was a different scene and some of my friends use to mess with me about it, particularly because the rave scene was full of day-glo and had a hippyish vibe to it.
In reality, I’ve always felt that techno was a natural progression of hip-hop. The production style is the same, drum machines, break beats and samples are the foundation for both and many of the drum loops used in techno are simple classic break beats speed up. But much like Miami Bass and so-called hip-house, Techno was shunned by the hip-hop purists.
I wasn’t heavily into techno for a long time, maybe around nine months and I moved on, but I’ve always maintained an affinity for the songs I listened to at the time. Recently, I was going through my record collection and came across a stack of techno records. I went through and ripped them to MP3 and have been listening to them a lot over the last few weeks, it’s been bringing back some memories. It’s funny, my 13 year old daughter who’s into scremo and punk actually likes most of the songs.
So in celebration of my rekindled love of classic techno, here are my top ten favorite songs from my record collection.
Acen – Close Your Eyes (Metropolis Remix)
This was always one of my favorite techno songs. With its Beatles, LL Cool J and Public Enemy samples, it exemplified the link between Hip-Hop and Techno at the time.
Cold Sensation – Control The Universe (Space Mix)
With the opening line “When the Sun Rises in the West, Our Time has Come”, this song was an instant hit with us. I was really big into West Coast underground hip-hop and this fit my mindset.
De Euromaster – Amsterdam, Waar Lech Dat Dan
This was some classicRotterdamstyle techno, heavy and fast drum betas, full of distorted baselines and harsh electro. Rotterdamwas, to me, kind of like the punk version of techno, simpler but faster and cruder. I’ve always liked the simple harshness of this track, no real melody, just organized noise.
Electroset – How Does It Feel (Original Mix)
This is based on “Blue Monday” by New Order, one of my favorite songs from the ‘80s, this song was around for a while, but it seemed to take forever for us to find it on vinyl. I finally came across a bootleg that had another hard to find classic, the “Hey Jude” sampling “Jude…On A Ragga Tip” as the B-side.
Messiah – There Is No Law
This is probably hands down, my favorite Techno track of all time. It captures the chaotic nature of the music. Everything about this song was perfect to me.
The X Men – Return of a Simple Song
This song, while a classic, is a little cheesy. Using the theme from the Tetris vide game, it was the epitome of techno at the time. The musicians where trying to make memorable tracks by using the most outlandish samples. This, along with the Smart E’s remix of theSesame Streettheme song, stand out the most in that sense.
Pleasure Game – Le Seigneur Des Tenebres
With is hallelujah choir sample and its Indiana Jones sample, this is my favorite of the slower tempo’s techno tracks.
Pro 1 Team – Pitbull
This is a classic and it was pretty creative. If I remember right, I first heard this song on a mix by DJ Barry Weaver. I was a fan of DJs like Doc Martin and Ron D Core, but I remember Barry Weaver always have some of the most interesting mixes. Once I heard this song, I ran to a record store and found this, its just a white lanel with the titles written in pen on it. Not cover, it just came in a paper slip.
RotterdamTermination Source – Poing
This is anotherRotterdamstyle song, but instead of just distortion, it uses the boing sound of a spring as its main rhythm. A little cheesy and very repetitive after a few seconds, but at a rave, it would always get the crowd moving.
Sequencial – Psychotronic (Long Demon Mix)
Probably my second favorite Techno song behind “There is no Law.” The baseline and the synth driven rhythm line was perfect. The “God of Hell-Fire” sample was always cool to me as well. The “Bells of Freedom” remix was cool with its bells and MLK sample.
So there you have it, some of the best Techno Circa 1992. I’ve listened to some of the more modern techno and other forms of electronica, but none of it seems to have the energy and sense of rawness that made these songs so good. Much like Hip-Hop and Punk, it would seem to me that Techno’s best days are far behind it.