History of techno
Dada & the State of Consciousness (1916)
It is 1916. Anarchists Hugo Balle, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco & Richard Huelsenbeck are founding the Dada artistic movement after their first meeting at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. The movement doesn't advocate any ideology whatsoever, but the ''essence of spirit'', freedom of expression, an open antagonism to the World War, the conservatism of the middle class & moral degradation of humankind. The Dada advocate a transfer of ideas via sound rather than via words, considering it more liberal & sincere. Their artistic oeuvre comprises a mixture of languages, which helps destroy the ethnic & social barriers. As standard means of their rebellion, the Dada create music based on newly-formed industrial noises. Compositions by Kurt Schwitters, such as 'Anna Blume' (1919) & 'Ursonate' (1923) seem to have formed a basis for the development of abstract music in the 20th century.
Dada's main inspiration, though, seems to have been Luigi Russolo, an Italian Futurist artist & composer who has designed a series of noise-producing machines i.e. The Noise Intoners ('Intonarumori') in 1912, instruments which have been highly used even by some famous composers like Igor Stravinsky, and which used to depict sounds from nature on various frequencies.
Along with the Dada, the 'godfather of abstract art' - Russian artist Vassiliy Kandinsky experiments in trying to define various shades of colour by using tones.
The Birth Of the Synthesizer (1920)
In 1920. Russian electronics genius Leon Theremin develops the first ever version of a synthesizer. What's really characteristic of this design is that it makes use of electromagnetic waves, meaning that its played without any physical contact with the instrument. The first 'Theremin' produces different tones and loudness level relative to the player's movements in space. Nowadays, the chief producer of this instrument is Robert Moog and his "Big Briar Inc".
Soul & Funk dominate the discos of the 70's. Giorgio Moroder is considered to be the pioneer of pro-synthesizer electronic disco music. Simultaneously, High Energy (Hi NRG) prevails in gay-clubs, while New York based labels such as Sal Soul create an ecstatic version of Gospel.
c) New Wave
The seeds of Kraftwerk yield further developments in late 70's, as Throbbing Gristle, Human League, Ultravox, Cabaret Voltaire, Devo, Yellow Magic Orchestra (from Japan), Simple Minds, Joy Division, Pere Ubu, Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark and Gary Numan hit the lists.
b) The New Romantics
A fresh-from-the-oven generation of young European bands such as Visage, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, heaven 17, Yello, Klaus Nomi, D.A.F., Japan, etc. creates a brand new electronic style! Slowly but surely, Skinny Puppy from Canada & Severed Heads were sure to follow, defining a very tough style, while the first ever Techno club - Talla2XLC - gets opened in Frankfurt in 1984. Eventually, the market gets flooded by Heavy Metal acts, as well as outfits such as Einsturzende Neubauten, Swans, Sonic Youth, etc. where the concepts of "No Wave" and "Noise", put forward by Lydia Lunch, pave the way for the creation of Hardcore Techno/Gabbahouse in the late 80's. The Hip Hop culture, on the other hand, plays a later role in the formation of Breakbeat.
Using the parameters of Glam Rock from the early 70's, the "E" & "U" music, & the concepts of "Eternal Music" of La Monte Young, the former member of Roxy Music - Brian Eno - creates a fresh sound based on atmospheric noise. He names it "Ambient" music, or music which depicts the experience of space, but which, in turn, requires a spatial effect to be experienced fully. 1979 sees the release of his "Music for Airports" album, and various Ambient classics as well.
b) Chicago (Deep) House
Prominent labels such as Trax and DJ International invent a new kind of driving club music, comprising a synthesis of basslines & computer-generated tones. The term "House" owes its name to the Warehouse club, where DJ Frankie Knuckles, together with Marshall Jefferson & Fingers Inc. becomes the pioneer of Chicago House scene.
c) Electronic Body Music
Electronic Body Music/Electro Body/EBM was an idea launched by the inspirational Belgian band Front 242, making an appearance for the first time by being inscribed on the sleeve of their debut 12" single in 1984. Since then, EBM has been a synonym for tough, driven, extremely dynamic, colourful and apocalyptic music, manifested through the works of The Klinik, Nitzer Ebb, Vomito Negro, Frontline Assembly, Ministry, Clock DVA, etc.
a) Bleeps & Clonks
British version of Detroit Techno is based on sharp electronic sounds ("bleeps & clonks") and almost inaudible very low frequency oscillations which owe their existence to the expansion of videogames by the end of 80's. The absolute trend become [LFO, Tricky Disco and Nightmares On Wax.
b) Detroit Goes European
Derrick May & Kevin Saunderson go to England to do some remixes. 808 State & A Guy Called Gerald appear under their influence and develop their own style in Manchester, while their single "Pacific" becomes a legend.
c) UK Acid House
1988 is the year of Acid in the UK. It is also a period of Smiley-culture dominion, together with its imposing fashion, spontaneous Raves & wild House mutations. This DIY culture soon becomes a lifestyle, which helps the formation of many new independent labels. "We Call It Aciiieeed" by D-Mob becomes the hymn of urban England.
d) German House Boom
Frankfurt & Berlin become German House centres #1. Together with Westbam & Sven Vath, other names emerge which are to forge the sound of future House & Techno such as Kid Paul & Dr.Motte, who are considered to be the original founders of Tresor and Turbine clubs respectively. Meanwhile, Sven Vath takes over The Omen club & founds his first label - Eye Q.
e) New Beat
"New Beat - a musical phenomenon" emerges in 1988 in Belgium, born as the DJs started to play acid house on minus pitch with tempo around 110-115 bpm, providing firm ground for the creation of Tekkno later on in the process, manifested through the works of Van Lierop (MNO), Praga Khan, Lisa M, Fatal Error, Public Relation, Tragic Error, Ghentlon, etc. Well presented via the releases on Play It Again Sam label.
Gabba / Gabberhouse
In his live session in Parkzicht Rotterdam, DJ Rob (Rob Janssen) shocks & refreshes the Dutch audience, bored to death by the prevailing twee Disco tunes. Appearing around 1990/1991, the first gabber hit was Speedy J's "Pullover", which was actually recorded in 15 minutes. Hardcore Techno, or Gabbahouse was born, which still remains one of the most extreme musical styles this planet has ever known. The speed of certain tracks exceeds even 1000BPM (Moby's 1992 - "Thousand", The Dreamteam - "Killer Machinery"), making Gabba the fastest possible music on Earth. Terrace (a Dutch techno artist for Djax-up) had fetched on one his 12"s "Hurrah, hurrah, gabberhouse is dead long before it was born" - referring how Gabber was mostly favoured by skinheads and football-hooligans, but Gabba was soon to flood the entirety of Holland, spreading from its main centre, Rotterdam to cities like The Hague and (to a lesser degree, due to the rivalry between the two cities) Amsterdam. Labels such as ID&T, Mokum, Rotterdam Records, Terror Trax etc. emerge in the Netherlands and soon after the whole ideology spread through Europe - everyone chanting "faster, faster"... so the thing got into MTV and mainstream around 1995, when all the clubs were already playing smooth trance and house. Penetration to the rest of the world follows, in particular Germany and the US, creating the New York Hardcore scene.
(1990) Global House Nation
By the end of 1990, a fusion of American & European House & Techno styles comes forth, thus forming new substyles such as Italo House/Latin House (e.g. Black Box), Experimental Techno, Progressive House, Trance & Ambient House.
Pure german invention; really hard and really depressing music, not necessarily fast, being around 130-140 bpm, which didn't live long. Most of the stuff came from Frankfurt, like the PCP Posse. Mostly innovated by early Chicago tracks and acid house. A good example of this genre would be the classic "We have Arrived" by Mescalinum United.
1991 is the year of very popular hard and powerful Techno beats worldwide. The hot-collars of modern music had a hard time accepting well calculated Tekkno anthems such as "Das Boot" by U96, "Anasthasia" (T99), "James Brown Is Dead" (L.A. Style), etc. which obtained much international acclaim.
Since 1992 Britain witnesses the birth of a Techno variant with its origin in Ragga/Hip-Hop frenetic beats and high-pitch samples - an UK style of rave-music pioneered by the Dutch and many old new beat artists such as Praga Khan, etc... The musical style undergoes various mutations and upgradings, passing through the stages of Hardcore Breakbeat, Darkside (a dark, urban sound), Jungle (lots of ragga vocals & samples) and finally its most mature form - Drum 'n Bass, characterized by a profound fusion of industrial sounds, breakbeats, as well as jazz & funky elements, its most prominent protagonists being Goldie, LTJ Bukem, DJ Hype, Nico, Ed Rush, Grooverider, Prodigy and Altern 8 (who also hyped up the media that they would remix Inner City and then Kevin Saunderson called them up and made "Let it Reign" with a8 producing and remixing... ) etc. The derivative to breakbeat culture, its more ambiental cousin - Trip Hop - represents a melange of restrained psycho-beats, human vocals, guitar & bass strings, and jazzy elements, providing an excellent vibe for clublife.
Whereas Techno & House lean towards harder & rawer beats, something completely new appears: Tribal music, considered to be no-man's-land between Hardcore & Ambient; the "thing" around European clubs and warehouse parties in the summer of 1993 prior to the House takeover in 1994. Its primary counterparts being artists such as Cosmic Baby, Oliver Lieb (The Ambush, Paragliders, Spicelab), Trance spawns various subgenres: Hardtrance, Acid Trance, Trancecore (a mixture of Trance & Hardcore!), & eventually - Goa Trance/Psychedelic Trance, a more dynamic, richer and ethno-based version of Trance, which gained global popularity and commercial success as a major style in late 1996 & early 1997, when it started to appear on music television, through labels such as Blue Room Released, Dragonfly, Phantasm, TIP, etc.
Artists such as The Infinity Project, Juno Reactor, Mindfield, & Youth play a major role in reviving the ideologies of the late 60's & early 70's, but this time within a technological agenda.
Regretfully uncredited, pulled out of cyberspace from somewhere... additions and amendments thus far from sakke and myself.