Techno Music Is Racist?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Techno music is often associated with underground clubs and raves, but some people are now saying that it’s racist. Is techno music really racist?

The Origins of Techno

The origins of techno are often traced back to the city of Detroit in the early 1980s. The first techno tracks were produced by African American artists such as Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, who were influenced by electronic music from Europe and Japan. These early techno tracks were characterized by their use of synthesizers and drum machines, which gave them a distinctly futuristic sound.

Techno became popular in Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly in Germany and the United Kingdom. In Germany, techno was associated with the underground club scene, where it was played at all-night parties known as raves. In the UK, techno was embraced by the rave culture that developed around illegal outdoor parties known as free parties.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, techno began to be associated with racism and xenophobia in Europe. This was due in part to the fact that many techno tracks featured samples of German or British military music, which could be seen as glorifying war. Additionally, some people claimed that the anonymous nature of techno music made it difficult for non-white people to gain recognition within the genre. As a result of these associations, techno has often been considered an unwelcome form of music in many European countries.

The Influence of Techno

Techno music has been around for decades, and it has been criticized for its supposed racist undertones. While it is true that techno music is often associated with African American culture, this does not mean that the music itself is racist. In fact, many people of all races enjoy techno music and find it to be a fun and energizing genre.

Techno music is not inherently racist, but it can be used to perpetuate racism. For example, some techno songs contain samples of racist speech or images, which can make listeners feel uncomfortable or even scared. Additionally, some techno clubs have been known to discriminate against people of color, which can make the atmosphere seem unwelcoming to non-white clubgoers.

Despite these potential problems, techno music is still a popular genre that is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. If you’re interested in exploring techno music, there are plenty of great artists and tracks to check out. Just be aware of the potential pitfalls and strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone involved.

The Racist Connotations of Techno

Techno music has often been associated with racism, due to the predominance of white artists and listeners within the genre. This stereotype was further perpetuated by the popularity of the music amongst skinheads and neo-Nazis in the early 1990s.Despite its close association with these groups, techno music does not actually have any racist connotations or lyrics. In fact, many of the pioneers of techno were black artists, such as Juan Atkins and Derrick May.

The Problem with Techno

Techno, a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 1980s, has been increasingly criticized for its lack of diversity. In a 2016 essay, Music Matters co-founder Marcus Boon argued that techno’s four-on-the-floor kick drum sound is rooted in white supremacist ideas of black music as primitive and animalistic.

Other critics have pointed to the lack of people of color in techno’s history and its roots in Detroit, a city with a long history of racial segregation. In recent years, some producers and DJs have been working to increase diversity in the genre, but critics say more needs to be done.

What do you think? Is techno racist?

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