When most people think of techno music, they think of something that arrived on the scene relatively recently. Many would never guess that techno had anything to do with social revolutions. As it turns out, techno music has been around since the 1980s and played a part in at least three social revolutions between 1980 and 2014. Thus far, we have experienced 40 years of people letting loose and dancing away to the electronic and energizing sound of techno music. Here we will explore those three revolutions that techno helped spark.
1980: Detroit Births Techno
In the 1980s, Detroit was expanding due to the booming motor industry. At the same time, Detroit was experiencing a significant economic crisis. The burden of social and economic pressure led to a drop in population. There was no population to fill the immensely growing area, and a vast majority could not afford to uproot and move away.
The citizens of Detroit began clinging to music to relieve their boredom and stress. The arrival of synthesizers in music was starting to become famous. One of the first groups to spark interest was a German band called Kraftwerks.
A Detroit group, the Belleville Three, spearheaded the first social revolution with their new combination of music. The Belleville Three consisted of Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. This Afro-American group drew the inspiration for their music from Afro-American beats combined with electronic sounds such as those from Germany.
The trio had their music picked up by radio stations and migrated over to England and Europe. A famous radio DJ named Charles Johnson, AKA The Electrifying Mojo immediately loved the music of the Belleville Three and did not hesitate to add it to his radio show.
With the unique sound attracting attention and gaining traction, new artists and influencers began emerging on the scene, including Jeff Mills, Mad Mike Brooks, and Robert Hood. The latter two started a movement dubbed the Underground Resistance. Their contribution to the crusade launched a social revolution towards self-realization and resisting the concept of big industries. Followers experienced a deep sense of community and individualism that others considered unusual beforehand.
1989: Beats in Berlin
The introduction of techno music spread overseas, reaching Berlin with a favorable reception.
At the time, Berlin remained separated by the Berlin Wall. The wall and the suppression that accompanied it stifled creativity and experimentation with art and expression. Once the wall no longer shackled the people of Berlin, creativity exploded into their culture. Art galleries, magazines, and other artistic ventures and businesses sprung into empty leftover buildings. A boom of immigrants arrived to experience what Berlin’s revolutionary conquest offered.
Feeling limitless brought a wealth of talented individuals ready to demonstrate their craft. The youth of Berlin began emerging as leaders of this newfound social revolution. The concept of freedom brought techno to the forefront with underground techno clubs popping up all around Germany. Berlin’s twist of techno revolved less around vocals and added more bass.
Some of Germany’s most recognizable clubs and artists emerged on the heels of the introduction of techno. The musical clubs included the famous E-Werk, Der Bunker, and Tresor, and the artists include DJ Westbam, DR Motte, Paul Van Dyke, and Marusha.
2014: Kiev’s Crisis
In 2014, Kiev, Ukraine, was suffering from the catastrophic condition of the country. Unemployment rates skyrocketed, corruption of politics increased, and an economic crisis befell them. Broken pacts lead to invasions. Protests consistently turned into riots and stormed into Independence Square.
Young citizens of Kiev worried for their future. These students had no career choices to look forward to due to the economy. The ticking time bomb of societal uproars had to stop, so the youth decided to step up to the plate. Eventually, the protests spread to people of all ages who felt fed up with the state of their country.
In an attempt to process their frustrations and disparity, young musicians formed a social revolution centered on a passion for music. This movement birthed a party called Cxema, which was arranged by a young man named Slava Lepsheev. Cxema attracted the attention of people all around Ukraine.
This party refused to give in to any circumstance. Distances didn’t matter, nor location. Anywhere that they could hook up their equipment was utilized. These spots included buildings no longer in use, outdoor parks, or below bridges. As long as everyone continued to value the unity of their community and retained their love for music, Cxema prevailed.
HAMED WARDAK & THE REVOLUTIONARY POWER OF TECHNO MUSIC
Hamed Wardak currently splits his time between his home in New York City and On the island of Puerto Rico. (Hamed) Wardak is the son of a former defense minister for Afghanistan. Hamed Wardak is an entrepreneur and recently joined the techno music world, creating, producing, and performing his new artistry in underground techno clubs all over the world. Hamed Wardak is known as Valen of Wicked.