Bleep's History of Techno

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Duncan » 16 Aug 2012, 11:58

Blimey, this is a mighty thread. Loads of stuff that I'm unfamiliar with (I love that Change - The End track in the second post). I'll absorb the rest over the weekend when I've got more time. Cheers, keep it up.
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 16 Aug 2012, 20:04

ELECTRONIC BODY MUSIC/ METAL DANCE

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Throbbing Gristle

Ralf Hutter had described “The Man Machine” as “electronic body music” , Deutsche Amerika Freundschaft (DAF) called their own material “Körpermusik” and Front242 named an EP after the term in 1984. It’s a wide umbrella of a genre, but essentially it was notable for a much heavier, less melodic sound that had its roots in the industrial music that Throbbing Gristle had created in 1976.

During the eighties it became the bedrock of much of the more muscular, darker electronic music that would emerge from places like Belgium (laying the foundation for New Beat in particular) and was influential in the mid-west of the US, specifically in Chicago through Wax Trax! Records. Later bands like Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Ministry (changing their image drastically) and Nitzer Ebb would all emerge from this scene and there’s still a considerable “EBM” movement in Chicago to this day.

I’ve shied away from calling industrial a major influence on techno at this particular point. The reason is because the genre itself is pretty wide in range - there’s the “Metal Dance” period of the early to mid-80’s, but at the same time a much more experimental side that incorporated noise was emerging globally, from Italy to Australia and Japan. So rather than trying to crowbar the whole genre into the post, I’ve picked out a few of the more important bands and records from it. It would then become more complex in its sound later in the decade as bands used sampling and more sophisticated production techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqnVneEBpgQ

Throbbing Gristle were central to industrial music, helping to coin the term and with their explosive, almost terroristic attitude, producing a definitive gap between them and virtually everyone who encountered their music. I would argue that they took the sound collages of Tangerine Dream’s early material such as Atem to a much more simplistic, minimal level and coupled it with abrasive lyrics, but their third album, “20 Jazz Funk Greats” eschewed the experimental, calling in a drum machine and sequencers. 1979’s “Hot on the Heels of Love” would be another European record that found its way onto the dancefloor of Detroit before long, but it would be the work of the duo Chris and Cosey that permeates techno’s history more keenly - after the band split in 1981 they produced a number of sparse, evocative and albums on Rough Trade that have stood up to the test of time and more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-muNXZk4wU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnXHdD3Mh_o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWpx4wwS-Co

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv10JeOPuAo


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Cabaret Voltaire

Formed in 1973, Sheffield's Cabaret Voltaire were another cornerstone band in the genesis of this sound. Signed to Rough Trade, their three early albums were dark, austere, primitive and in my opinion, lack something that marks out them as a great band - more a case of experimenting with form. They eventually found a more commercial and ultimately dance-friendly sound in the mid-eighties. Richard H Kirk would go onto have a considerable solo career in terms of output.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zwtGZRQjMk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prOjE8gyRL8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1fQZg2oVno


The industrial/metal sound would be augmented by bands like Die Krupps, Australia's SPK, Clock DVA and Front242. Labels such as Wax Trax! and Nettwerk helped it expand. Alongside them came a gothic element from Italy with bands such as Kirlian Camera and Neon, plus a handful of bands started to emerge from Yugoslavia, including Borghesia and the legendary Laibach, who would turn to more rhythmical material later in the decade (to their detriment I might add).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL63xYjppkc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mpwtaw20kfs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1gOdo78SqM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPBpYIZC9PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr1aLsRMHPc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2xekaDT8eY

I'll return to bands like Front242, Skinny Puppy and the like when we go to Chicago.
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 17 Aug 2012, 21:09

Hi-NRG

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Patrick Cowley

Giorgio Moroder's sensual, simmering arpeggios in "I Feel Love" would set off a particular form of the genre that emerged its way from the increasingly muscular discos of San Francisco, New York and across the rest of America (in particular in places like Texas). Eschewing strings for samples and synthesizers, this would be in many eyes disco's nadir, as its bright flame crashed and burnt not too long after.

The synthesis of hypnotic grooves and the appearance of "Adam" (Slang for MDMA) for recreational use initially in Dallas before being banned by 1984 resulted in a pulsating form of this electronic sound christened "Hi-NRG". DJs were able to blend records like these seamlessly given their somewhat simplistic nature. Sadly most of its famous exponents are no longer with us, succumbing to the armageddon that was AIDS in gay culture during the eighties. Sylvester was without doubt the scene's most celebrated face, but the legend behind it was the much-missed producer Patrick Cowley. "Relax" and "Blue Monday" are in my opinion pop's debt to Hi-NRG.

Its influence on techno is one that is buried deep withi and not one that many contemporaries will care to admit, but it was here that the hypnotic element vital to its DNA was born. Even today, the best Detroit DJs still drop Hi-NRG tracks to remind people of the genre's roots - but also mostly because they're seriously blistering party records whose euphoric power on the dancefloor has not diminished one bit. Everyone should listen to Danny Boy and the Serious Party Gods once in their life on the dancefloor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue2UXnxp8Rs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lne4izAcT5w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX9q1UsduOs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCYdfRsIB8c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bTXg9HptxI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzZvgQ-AgQg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRqqoDliXvU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPLrXFw76Qg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftJZomwDhxQ
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby never/ever » 18 Aug 2012, 11:05

Finally got these pages to load- the oerload of Youtube-clips here causing the Adobe plug-in to crash multiple times....


Nice write-up! Bit of a throwbackl to the 70s and 80 when I listened a lot to anything from kosmischer musik to the pounding beats of Frontline Assembly and assorted Nettwerk-butcheries.
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?."

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 18 Aug 2012, 11:21

Thanks for all the kind compliments!

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby The Write Profile » 18 Aug 2012, 12:00

Superb stuff, Toby, really enjoying this. Nice to see you mention Cabaret Voltaire, they're one of my favourites from that era. If I'm honest, I prefer the earlier stuff- the 1978-'82 era that starts with the early singles ("Slugging for Jesus", "Do the Mussolini" etc) and ends with the magnificent Red Mecca/ 2 X45 LPs- there was a harshness to their stuff -albeit often allied to that cut-glass, fractured groove that became their trademark- that set them apart.

Something for you to ponder. If we take it as read that disco and its derivatives have made up pop's "primary colours" for the last 20 or so years, why has it become so? What has made it so enduring?

Keep up the great work- lots of stuff I need to investigate.
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby mission » 20 Aug 2012, 08:22

Excuse the interruption to what is a six-stitching thread, but that whole latter portion of the post covering electronic body music - the Cabs especially - took me straight back to the end of highschool.

While the 60s beat revival went on around us, a few perverse Australians clung desperately to the idea that sequenced machine music was the future.

From Severed Heads



to Jim Thirlwell



I listened to this shit at maximum volume through some Texas Acoustic Research speakers which I wish to this day I still had.

Anyway, back to a fascinating thread - thank you, Bleep
Good.

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 20 Aug 2012, 08:47

I'll be mentioning Severed Heads in due course. One of the key aspects of electronic music's growth with certain artists was isolationism. Artists or acts in certain areas developed a sound that wasn't influenced much apart from say, Kraftwerk and maybe a handful of others. As it wasn't particularly popular either, I think that to a certain extent the music took its own course rather than being informed by pressures from labels and the like. Cabaret Voltaire are an example of this I feel.

This part of the thread covers the music up to and including 1983 - the reasons for I'll explain later.

If we take it as read that disco and its derivatives have made up pop's "primary colours" of the last 20 or so years, why has it become so? What has made it so enduring?


An answer to that could take up a whole book. I'd say to make it as brief as possible.

1. MDMA
2. Allied youth movement that quickly went global
3. Clubbing culture became common - no longer the strict preserve of the elite/fashion conscious - also lost what might have been perceived as gay connotation (i.e men became comfortable with the idea of dancing)
4. Anyone could make it (cheap hardware followed by computers)
5. Global language
6. Hypnotic, hedonistic escapism
7. Exotic (places like Ibiza and Goa ensured that it shed its mainly urban preserve)

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 20 Aug 2012, 20:23

ELECTRONIC MUSIC AROUND THE GLOBE

By 1983 the influence of disco, Kraftwerk and bands like Tangerine Dream had begun to make an impact. From Australia to Japan to Europe and North America, a coterie of groups and small duos were producing electronic music that would influence techno for the next three decades.

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Formed in Sydney in 1979, Severed Heads are emblematic of the isolated electronic act ploughing a furrow that would eventually see them decades later recognised as important pioneers. A label recently put out a 4 CD boxset of unreleased material from the early eighties that sounded as if it had emerged from Detroit in the late 90’s. A relative sense of distance in these embryonic times for electronic music produced music that wasn’t plagued like today, where a motif or idea is endlessly copied within around 3 months. In those days these acts would chance upon production techniques with the new, unusual equipment that they had to play with. This sense of relative experimentation and time left alone produced some vital music that still sounds fresh today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZbDzXX8YE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUpMIaz3XJQ


Image

Following on from synth pioneers like Tomita, Japan’s trio of Haruomo Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi were ostensibly a technopop in the Kraftwerk tradition, but their classicist reinterpretations of Asian melodies, western pop songs via the medium of electronics has endured to this day. Tracks like “Firecracker” and “Technopolis” embedded themselves into the early DNA of techno, although it’s interesting that despite Japan being the land of the synth today, they composed most of their material on American hardware. Their live shows from 1980 were the equal of Kraftwerk’s ambitious 1981 Computer World tour, if not better. Unofficial 4th member Hideki Matsutake would produce pioneering cosmic techno under his “Logic System” guise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqoWryBLmNI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slrQ-cW7IfU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdalyjjfVxY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTpmSK_FPaI


American synthpop flourished too. Although they would change direction considerably soon after, Al Jourgensen’s Ministry project would initially be much lighter in tone. A number of other synthpop bands, some influenced by the dark tones of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s soundtracks would make their mark, albeit briefly during this period before disappearing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Gj-cRYtqk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-JdYKZw60Y


In Europe, Tangerine Dream threw off the shackles of their rhythm-less beginnings and embraced the austere drum machine. Their live album Poland from October 1983 has a distinct 808 electro feel to it. Although much slower in pace, their records from this period were sampled hugely later by bands such as FSOL and Global Communications.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haPeHBMnPyw

In France and Italy, the italo explosion would produce some distinctly unusual and odd records that still sound remarkable today - completely unlike anything else back and then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E61bV55RKCs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=332JsSR8phY

We’ll finish this chapter in the next post as 1983-85 would turn out to be an important and revolutionary period in the history of techno.
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 21 Aug 2012, 18:59

MINIMAL WAVE

Image

We finish this part of the birth of techno by turning to Minimal Wave. A genre that didn’t have a name until very recently, it was similar in style to some of the music that we’ve already heard, but was a much wider grassroots phenomenon, including a large number of acts across America. It is also notable for CLEM, a pre-internet mailing list that provided contact information for the artists involved within the scene itself - the precursor to the 313 and others that sprung up with the advent of the internet.

http://www.worldhelix.com/clem.html
http://minimalwave.com/

Minimal Wave is notable for its sheer obscurity. In 2009 Veronica Vasicka created a label within parent Stones Throw with the same name (thus coining the term) with the aim of reissuing many records that were released originally in such small quantities that they were regularly reaching 3 figure sums when sold by collectors. Much of the music does have an unpolished, uncomplicated sheen to it, most likely produced in bedrooms on cheap four-track portable recorders. The lowly cassette does seem to have been a preferred format option in many instances and it’s probably the one genre where they are deemed valuable. I see this era a little like Nuggets-era garage punk, comprised of a number of bands and acts with the lifespan of a mayfly whose sheer obscurity and appeal meant that it would take over two decades before they emerged again, the dust having been blown off their discographies by a new generation of listeners, mostly via uploaded mp3s on youtube. FACT - Oppenheimer Analysis are the UK's most well-known export of this era - Andy Oppeheimer would go onto become the world's foremost expert on NBC terrorist weapons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvmW2weubck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caP3tAmMEbc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwKYaA5E_9k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_DVOooSoj

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPyUmpl1Nqw


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1983 is our cut off point for this phase of the history. Why? It’s the year that MIDI, or Musical Instrumentation Digital Interface, was launched. This acronym is a protocol language that allows musical instruments, controllers, computers and other devices to communicate with one another. It kickstarted a revolution in electronic music, allowing producers and composers to control and record more ambitiously and at the same time lessening the need for more people in the process. Here was the birth of the bedroom producer.
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 23 Aug 2012, 21:47

CHICAGO HOUSE Part 1 - Roots

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xsrz-6U_hc

It is perhaps a little ironic that Steve Dahl's "Disco Demolition Night" - the reactionary event in 1979 that was emblematic of disco's eventual demise - was staged in Chicago. Within five years Chicago was the epicentre of America's next musical evolution, the emergence of house music. Whilst we won't go into too much detail on it as a whole, techno's genesis is incomplete without some further exploration.

Image

As I mentioned at the start of this thread, a young disco DJ called Frankie Knuckles from New York had left the Big Apple in the late 70's, invited to play at a new club in Chicago called "The Warehouse". Playing mostly disco and R & B to start with to a gay black and hispanic crowd, Knuckles' popularity soared. At the turn of the eighties he began to experiment with playing more electronic material, including synthpop and Italo until he left the club in 1982 as the venue had doubled admission fees and was seeking a more commercial direction. He set up his own club, The PowerPlant, shortly afterwards.

By then, shops in Chicago, most notably Gramaphone Records, were starting to put vinyl into a section called "warehouse" or "house" as they were constantly being asked for records "played by Frankie at the Warehouse". The etymology of the phrase is still a little unclear as Knuckles had also started to incorporate simple, drum-machine driven edits that he would play on a reel-to-reel player during his sets, which could be the first proto-house records - certainly there's no doubt that these primitive, raw tracks were usually the ones that people sought. The person who sold him the drum machine, Derrick May, we'll talk about later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeX6fmlbezs

Radio would also play an extremely important part in the genesis of house music. By the early 80's the Hot Mix 5 were the dominant DJ crew in the city, playing on WBMX. the only station that played disco in the wake of Disco Demolition Night. Founded in 1981, it comprised Farley Keith, who would later become "Farley Jackmaster Funk", Mickey "Mixin'" Oliver, Scott "Smokin' Silz, Kenny "Jammin" Jason and Ralph Rosario. Their eclectic shows on Saturday night became so popular that they would also contribute an hour-long mix on Friday lunchtimes. By the time house had exploded across the city in the late 80's, they became a crucial focal point as new producers sent tracks for them to play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUeMFG4wjJw

The first Chicago House record is Jesse Saunder's "On and On", released in 1984 on his own label. Notable mostly for its historical worth rather than any inherent musical value, it still has the vital rhythm blueprint that defines the genre. Like the TR-808 in New York, a new wave of cheap Roland drum machines that were MIDI-enabled had appeared on the market in 1983. Due to limited memory, they were much more synthetic in their timbre, with only handclaps and cymbals being sampled. The TR-909 would be the backbone of both house and techno for the next 30 years, tripling in value over time due to their authenticity. It is one of the inherent aspects of this music that a cheap machine that was attempting to emulate real sounds would become so cherished for its synthesis. The TR-909's younger companion, the TR-707, was much cheaper and had even less sampling ability, but became a staple of Chicago House over time. The TR-909 for some reason would be more popular in Detroit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVDCtxTs2oQ


During the latter half of 1983 a new DJ had taken over at the Warehouse. Renamed the Music Box, it had installed a much louder system and the resident, Ron Hardy would become the true legend around Chicago House's genesis. His style of DJing was much more energetic than Knuckles, mixing his own disco edits on Reel to Reel, funk and Hi-NRG in a manner that had not been witnessed before in terms of the sheer attack of the sound. He even innovated a way to play records backwards. For many, the intense sound and noise generated at the Music Box was revelatory and it was within this cathedral of sweaty escapism that House music was born - virtually all of the producers that made music had been converted instantly on the dancefloor in front of him. Hardy's energy and innovation as a DJ rightly masks some of the criticisms aimed at him (one was that he couldn't blend records, preferring to cut swiftly instead) and his place in the DJ pantheon is assured - like Larry Levan he died at far too early an age after drug and alcohol addiction in the nineties.
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 27 Aug 2012, 20:14

Chicago House - Part 2 Larry Heard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUo58TkF6rc


Ron Hardy’s sessions at the Music Box were a revelation. Within 18 months both Trax Records and DJ International had started; two labels that would be the centrifugal force in the evolution of a genre that was rapidly becoming known as “house music”. Bedroom producers who had witnessed Hardy’s sermons would be ushering out their own “boxjam” tracks soon enough, eagerly wanting him to drop them on the legendary Music Box system.

Image

One of the ironies however is that the greatest of all producers from this era was someone who didn’t go to the Music Box and wasn’t particularly interested in night life / hedonism as a rule. Larry Heard had spent the seventies playing in jazzfunk bands and listening to Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gentle Giant and Yes. He joined a number of session groups in the early eighties playing keyboards and drums before acquiring a synthesizer. Having met gospel singer and DJ Robert Owens, the two of them would embark on a career that saw them lay the foundation for much of both house and techno. The two of them would work together as Fingers Inc, whilst Heard himself would release solo material under his Mr Fingers alias.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhJv6qBOZbw

Heard’s first outing was in 1984 but under an uncredited alias called The It. Yet it was the sultry melancholia of his debut “Mystery of Love” that immediately took house in a direction away from the pumping party direction that much of the genre was already heading. This was a deeper, more introspective sound fused with a rich emotion that gave Chicago House a vital identity at its inception. The power of gospel’s emotive call and response mixed with a powerful, raw electronic vibe would spread like wildfire through the city’s clubs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dEee7IDuhw

Heard’s masterpiece is “Can You Feel It” - again another euphoric slab of electronic soul. His innate ability to produce tantalising melodies remains to this day, but the period between 1986 and 1992 was his golden era, in particular the 1989 album “Amnesia”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaQgR65VUmg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf8KnPHbViU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB9d8DHMZi0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzh1msMIpt0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FkVaoe_BSE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CKenI4srLE
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 30 Aug 2012, 21:03

Chicago House Part 3 - Trax Records and the explosion of house music '85 - '87


In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove.
And from this groove came the groove of all grooves.
And while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldy declared,
"Let there be HOUSE!"
and house music was born.
"I am, you see,
I am
the creator, and this is my house!
And, in my house there is ONLY house music.
But, I am not so selfish because once you enter my house it then becomes OUR house and OUR house music!"
And, you see, no one man owns house because house music is a universal language, spoken and understood by all.
You see, house is a feeling that no one can understand really unless you're deep into the vibe of house.
House is an uncontrollable desire to jack your body.
And, as I told you before, this is our house and our house music.
And in every house, you understand, there is a keeper.
And, in this house, the keeper is Jack.
Now some of you who might wonder,
"Who is Jack, and what is it that Jack does?"
Jack is the one who gives you the power to jack your body!
Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake.
Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly worm.
Jack is the one who learns you how to walk your body.
Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all Jackers together under one house.
You may be black, you may be white; you may be Jew or Gentile. It don't make a difference in OUR House.
And this is fresh.



By 1985 both Trax Records and DJ international Records would be the primary forces in the distribution of Chicago House music across both the US and by 1986, to Europe.
With Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles the primary DJs, a rush of records within two years gave birth to the genre, establishing the likes of Marshall Jefferson, Ralph Rosario and Mark Imperial as its early stars.

Jefferson's soaring, piano-driven epic "Move Your Body" immediately upped the ante, becoming an instant classic. "Ride the Rhythm" and "Lost in the Groove" were deeper cuts, slowly but surely moving Chicago House into more abstract territory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPVvY0HzPiI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvIrda8g2P8


Adonis Smith took the Dell's No Way Back and turned it into a sleek "jack" monster, stripping down to whispered vocals and the barest of synth lines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TeJdet4_7M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuTm6K-S2hU


Hot Mix 5 crew member Farley Williams, aka Farley "Jackmaster" Funk would turn his hand to recording, producing some raw box jams, although it's clear that these lacked any sort of musical talent to start with. Trax Records was pretty loose with quality control from the outset, often pressing poorly made records. The business decisions of the label were fast and loose from the outset, an inimical problem that has beset Chicago house musicians ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgH8vNcNr8w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHDqizdGED0

A year later though, Farley Jackmaster Funk, utilising the skills of Jessie Saunders (who had released the first house record) decided to cover Isaac Hayes "I can't turn around", featuring the considerable talents of Darryl Pandy on vocals. The track had originally been covered by Steve "Silk" Hurley but failed to catch fire. This version though, had other ideas. Being picked up by UK DJs in the fledgling club scene and then by London records, it ended up hitting #2 in August in the UK charts, announcing the arrival of Chicago house in Europe. Hurley would go one better six months later, as "Jack Your Body" hit the #1 spot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M8Pa4kQCmg


Image

ACID

The TB-303's role in the genesis of techno is unexpected. Roland designed it as a bass guitar emulator, but in the mid-eighties Chicago house musicians began to use it as an oscillator, producing a sound that became known as "acid" over time. The etymology of the phrase is again a little uncertain, but "acid" was slang for "hot" in the city at the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKbLI8EufNo

Phuture, a trio of DJ Pierre, Spanky and Herb J, released a raw nine minute boxjam christened "Acid tracks" by Ron Hardy in 1987. The reaction to the hypnotic tracks by Music Box regulars was by all accounts out of this world - boxjams were never quite the same again. Acid house was here to stay.

A couple of years ago a record turned up, originally released in 1982 by Charanjit Singh called "Ten Ragas to a disco beat" - using of all things, what sounded like a TB-303. Was he pre-empting acid house by 5 years?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUqnPYwoiF4
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno

Postby Toby » 01 Sep 2012, 12:58

So I've disabled the embedded youtube links - I'll keep just the 3 previous posts worth so that it doesn't take an hour to load each time.

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno (youtube links now disabled)

Postby Toby » 02 Sep 2012, 23:34

Chicago House Part 4 - The best of the rest from '85 - '88 and the rise of Hip House

Chicago's importance in the bigger picture of the evolution of dance music is that it laid the bedrock foundation for both techno and house. As we'll see in a bit, the influence of these tracks would be essential for the early trajectory of techno from Detroit. It was also responsible for a number of classics whose appeal remains undimmed even after 25 years or so. Part of that remains in the raw, first-time nature of their genesis - tracks pummelled out on grooveboxes and drum machines and laid down without a great deal of thought or recourse to re-editing, something that with the advent of software would lead to too few masterpiece and far too many heavily overproduced tracks disguising a blatant lack of composition skill. Adding to that, the somewhat inconsistent nature of the hardware and the far-too-commonplace problem of losing a rhythm pattern or particular synth patch sound would mean that it was all about grabbing that sound or pattern and laying it down as quickly as possible. There's something about the very raw sound of tracks made at this time, particularly in the mastering process, that many producers clamour to reproduce today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kup0BdoLzbg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANt0FjxcVm8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_J2zeu6Rqk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML3w4HIMHpY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAM8P8V0Hjs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxodGkgnIa8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8MUR-Neay8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXuQb8Ln6_g

HIP HOUSE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2zNvBNTnHg

By the latter part of 1987, Chicago House had begun to mutate, gaining in tempo but taking in the powerful influence of Hip-Hop. Young Chicago producers Tyree Cooper and Fast Eddie laid claim to the birth of a genre that spliced the two together, but there is a strong argument that this sound was born separately in the UK a year previously via producers such as M/A/R/R/S (Colourbox), Bomb the Bass and S-Express, all of whom enjoyed considerable global success with hit singles. Before all of them however was The Beatmasters "Rok Da House", a UK Hiphouse record from 1986 (albeit a straightforward house record with a rap over it).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_axJuDqrjc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B87snXgV7Pg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHh5rDcQKhQ


The first major Hiphouse record is The Jungle Bros' "I'll House You" - if only terms of the relative gravitas of a hiphop group making a house record and the first appearance of New York producer Todd Terry. The appearance of breakbeats in house records would signify the seeds of rave, hardcore, jungle, speed garage and drum 'n' bass. House and Hiphop would never really come together again in such a fashion and it was to be a brief dalliance. As Chuck D said, "House music is for faggots" - an all-too common view of a music whose roots in the cosmopolitan elegance of disco were not forgotten by others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeO3U1i3hCU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBLZqJfjQ6U
Last edited by Toby on 09 Sep 2012, 18:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno (youtube links now disabled)

Postby PENK » 03 Sep 2012, 09:56

Bleep - are there any good compilations of the '80s house and techno stuff? I've got a few individual artist things but are there any worthwhile sets with all the classics or good overviews, to fill in gaps?
Other than the mp3 set you've talked about doing, that is...
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Re: Bleep's History of Techno (youtube links now disabled)

Postby Toby » 03 Sep 2012, 10:34

penk wrote:Bleep - are there any good compilations of the '80s house and techno stuff? I've got a few individual artist things but are there any worthwhile sets with all the classics or good overviews, to fill in gaps?
Other than the mp3 set you've talked about doing, that is...



I don't know. It's not a music that I've approach via compilations. My knowledge of the genre comes through individual tracks. There is a Soul Jazz acid compilation released 3 or 4 years ago that covers Trax and the early Chicago House records - if you're going to go for one, then their knowledge is usually pretty good.

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno (youtube links now disabled)

Postby Toby » 03 Sep 2012, 21:54

The Birth of Detroit Techno

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We're heading east and back in time by 6 years or so to 1981. New York had disco, Chicago had house, Detroit techno - the final part of the trilogy and the birth of modern electronic dance music would have its genesis in the suburbs of Detroit, a city divided between the affluent white to the north and the bluecollar black suburbs to the south, its very own Mason-Dixon line, the M-102 or 8 mile. The young black teenage youth from the suburbs of Belleville, children of middle-class blacks in the racially progressive automobile industry, would blur that line with their escapist blend of utopia-themed primitive dance music.

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The Electrifyin' Mojo

Like WBMX in Chicago, Detroit’s radio landscape would be hugely influential on the genesis of techno. After attending the university of Michigan in the early seventies, Charles Johnson began a career as a radio DJ in nearby Ann Arbor. In 1977 he moved to WGPR and began a nightly four hour show that would be his domain for at least a decade thereafter. Called the “Electrifyin’ Mojo”, Johnson’s eclectic show was the bedrock on which many within the city heard italo-Disco, industrial, synthpop and all manner of other unusual records, extending to the minimalism of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. He had a propensity to play entire albums without interruption, concentrating in particular on Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Kraftwerk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g1uPkERcpo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIs_T62PkaU

The shows were usually segmented into specific areas such as “The Midnight Funk Association”, “Awesome 84”, “The Landing of the Mothership” and “Star Wars”, where he would select two artists’ records and go back to back with them. Johnson’s irregular show format would eventually find him running foul of the station’s management and from the mid-eighties he would shunt to and forth back between stations, eventually returning to WGPR in the mid-90’s. His shows would become much more like talk radio by then, with him often chatting on-air for up to half an hour, often reading from his book “The Mental Machine”, with the music now concentrating on classic jazz. Virtually anyone who has produced electronic music from Detroit in the last 30 years will have listened to Mojo at some point when growing up.


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The Wizard

Jeff Mills, who has gone onto become techno’s central icon, started his career as a young DJ on Mojo’s show. Known originally as "The Wizard", his shows were usually pre-recorded, often comprising reel-to-reel edits and up to 5 turntables at one time, showcasing a wide range of funk, hip-hop, electro, Chi-house, italo and synthpop. Soon enough, The Wizard was pounced upon by another radio station and for a while, the two of them contested the evening airwaves for listeners. This “Battle” atmosphere, around 1986 to 1987, would be a formative period for many. Mills would later go onto join industrial act “Final Cut” before hooking up with Mike Banks and Robert Hood to form Underground Resistance and then finally striking out on his own by leaving Detroit in 1992. We'll talk about him in much more detail later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjOoHTwn0Qs


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The Scene

Detroit also had a TV dance show called “The Scene”, marketed as an answer to “Soul Train” at Black Americans and dedicated to music that broke early techno records. It became “The New Dance Show” in 1987. Many of the early records from Detroit gained momentum on this show. (I think the clip below is one of the best things on youtube)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OScrghVh15s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdRxsRUE6SE


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaR5wVL9x2I

Ridley Scott's dystopian sci-fi epic would have a huge impact on Detroit's youth - the crumbling state of the city was mirrored by the film's powerful vision. Vangelis's soaring electronic score would also be hugely influential.

All of these elements would play a role in the unlikely birth of Detroit techno. In the next installments, we meet the Belleville Trio of Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson - the men who lay claim to creating the music.
Last edited by Toby on 09 Sep 2012, 18:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno (youtube links now disabled)

Postby Duncan » 03 Sep 2012, 23:10

Bleep wrote:The Birth of Detroit Techno



The Scene

Detroit also had a TV dance show called “The Scene”, marketed as an answer to “Soul Train” at Black Americans and dedicated to music that broke early techno records. It became “The New Dance Show” in 1987. Many of the early records from Detroit gained momentum on this show. (I think the clip below is one of the best things on youtube)





Wow, my evening just got a lot more interesting.

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Re: Bleep's History of Techno (youtube links now disabled)

Postby Toby » 04 Sep 2012, 20:06

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Ken Collier

A small interlude is necessary to provide something of a tribute to Ken Collier, who was a vital cog in the history of Detroit's club scene. Virtually all the major players in Detroit techno are indebted to Collier, who was Detroit's premier club DJ from the late 70's to the early 90's, covering a style that merged from disco and italo to house and techno. A number of them would buy records off him as young teenagers and aimed to best him in DJ battles - invariably they would always lose. Collier died from complications arising from diabetes at the age of 47 - like Hardy in Chicago and Larry Levan in New York, Collier is Detroit's own mythical DJ.

Article about Ken Collier - http://soundcloud.com/user7723438/ken-c ... heaven-pt2