What Are the Current Names for Techno Music?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Techno music has come a long way since its early days in the underground club scene. Today, there are a variety of subgenres that fall under the techno umbrella, each with its own unique sound and vibe. In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of some of the most popular current techno genres and their key characteristics.

The Origins of Techno

Techno music has its roots in Detroit in the 1980s. The first techno tracks were created by DJ Pierre, Juan Atkins, and Derrick May. These DJs and producers took inspiration from a wide range of music, including funk, soul, and disco. They created a new sound that was darker and more robotic than anything that had come before.

Detroit techno

Often referred to as the birthplace of techno, Detroit was home to a number of influential producers and DJs in the late 80s and early 90s. Artists like Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson were instrumental in developing the Detroit sound, a style of techno that was characterized by its hard-hitting beats and sparse, hypnotic melodies. While the Detroit sound has evolved over the years, it remains one of the most popular and influential subgenres of techno music.

Chicago house

The origins of techno are found in the Midwestern city of Detroit, Michigan during the 1980s. The first use of the word “techno” in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. Techno is a form of electronic dance music (EDM) that is characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beats, often accompanied by synthesizers and electronic percussion.

The popularity of techno music spread from Detroit to Chicago in the early 1990s, where a new style of techno music called “Chicago house” developed. House music is a subgenre of EDM that originated in Chicago clubs in the 1980s. House music is characterized by a four-on-the-floor drumbeat, synthesizer basslines, and off-beat hi-hat cymbal patterns.

Chicago house became popular in European clubs in the early 1990s, and UK garage, a British version of garage house, also gained popularity in the UK during this time. By the late 1990s, trance music, which is characterized by hypnotic rhythms and melodies, had become popular in Europe and was beginning to gain popularity in the US.

In the early 2000s, techno music began to gain popularity in North America, particularly in Canada and the US. The rise of electronic dance music festivals such as Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival also helped to increase the popularity of techno music in North America. Today, techno is one of the most popular genres of EDM, with artists such as Skrillex,deadmau5, and Tiësto becoming household names.

The Development of Techno

While the origins of techno music are often debated, the current soundscape of techno is always evolving. New producers and DJs are constantly pushing the boundaries of the genre, making it difficult to pin down a definitive sound. However, there are some common elements that are often found in techno music.

Acid house

Acid house is a subgenre of house music developed around the mid-1980s by DJs from Chicago. The style was defined primarily by the “squelching” sounds of Roland’s TB-303 electronic bass synthesizer-sequencer. Acid house spread to the United Kingdom and continental Europe, where it was played by DJs in the late 1980s in the underground rave scene. By the early 1990s, acid house had moved into the British mainstream, where it had some influence on pop and dance music.

The style was characterized by deep bass lines, synthesizer riffs, drum machine patterns, and occasional samples. Acid house tracks were often used by club DJs to fill in the gaps between records; as such, it influenced the development of mix tapes and DJing culture. The genre’s name is a reference to LSD (acid) and its association with mind-expanding experiences.

Techno hardcore

Techno hardcore (or simply hardcore) is a subgenre of techno that developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Like other forms of techno, it is generally characterized by a fast tempo, repetitive beats, and heavy use of synthesizers and drum machines. However, unlike other forms of techno, it often features vocals or lyrics (either samples or sung by live singers), and it is often more aggressive in sound.

Hardcore techno is often associated with the rave scene and parties that take place in illegal warehouses or abandoned buildings. It was one of the first genres of electronic dance music to gain popularity outside of Europe, and it has influenced a number of subsequent genres, including gabber and hardstyle.


Rave music is usually characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, synthesizers, and occasional samples. It is often associated with the late 1980s and early 1990s rave scene in England. The style is often described as either danceable or listenable.

The Different Types of Techno

Techno music has many different names, depending on the subgenre. The four main types of techno are minimal techno, acid techno, dub techno, and hard techno. Minimal techno is the most popular type of techno, and it is characterized by a minimal amount of instruments and a focus on the beat. Acid techno is a subgenre of techno that is characterized by its use of the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. Dub techno is a subgenre of techno that is characterized by its use of delay-heavy textures. Hard techno is the heaviest and most aggressive subgenre of techno.

Hard techno

Hard techno is a subgenre of techno that developed in the late 1990s. It is typified by a fast tempo (usually 140–160 BPM), Detroit-influenced sound, and the use of acid synths, deep basslines, and aggressive drums. Hard techno is often played in nightclubs and festivals.

Minimal techno

Minimal techno is a form of techno music that emphasizes simplicity and repetition. This style of techno is characterized by minimalist composition and stripped-down arrangements. The music is often repetitive and driven by a simple, pulsating bassline. Minimal techno is often compared to microhouse, as both genres share similar sonic characteristics.

The origins of minimal techno can be traced back to the work of early 20th century composers such as Erik Satie and John Cage. These composers created music that was based on repetition and minimalism. In the 1980s, these ideas were adopted by the techno scene in Detroit. Artists such as Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson began making techno music that was based on these principles.

In the 1990s, minimal techno began to gain popularity in Europe, particularly in Germany. The German city of Berlin became a hotbed for this style of music. Minimal techno reached its height of popularity in the early 2000s, with many club tracks being based around simple, repeating basslines.

Today, minimal technos popularity has waned somewhat, but the genre still has a strong following among underground dance music fans. Many modern producers have been influenced by minimal techno, incorporating its elements into their own styles.

Tech house

Tech house is a subgenre of house music that fuses elements of techno with elements of house. The result is a sound that is both techy and housy, often with a bouncy, groove-oriented feel. Tech house tracks are usually between 125 and 130 BPM, and they often feature vintage synthesizers and sampling.

The Future of Techno

Techno music has been around for a while, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact, techno is only getting more popular as time goes on. With the rise of electronic music, techno has been able to branch out and experiment with new sounds and styles.

Techno 2.0

Techno 2.0, also known as EDM (electronic dance music), is a newer form of techno that is becoming increasingly popular. This type of techno is generally more upbeat and fast-paced than traditional techno, and often incorporates elements from other genres such as house and hip-hop. Techno 2.0 has gained a large following among younger people, and many famous DJs and producers have started to experiment with this style of music.


Post-rave is a type of techno music that developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is usually characterized by minimal, glitchy, or ambient soundscapes, and often features samples from vintage electronica albums.

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