There’s no consensus on the definition of the label “Business Techno.” It’s a type of techno music but there are two opposing schools of thought as to whether it is a negative or positive label. It involves personal perspectives on factors as DJ fees and the ages-old battle between the underground and mainstream.
Referring to a disc jockey’s material as Business Techno indicates one of two possible definitions. It can be a pejorative that implies the DJ’s output is little more than unimaginative sell-out music. It could also be a simple recognition that today techno disc jockeys are able to get rich and travel via private jet.
The term goes back to a Twitter post in April 2018. It was reportedly first used by the Berlin-based producer Shifted in a response to techno-creator Truncate commenting on a review of Anja Schneider’s EP “Prosperity” which opens with the claim that “techno is the new tech house”. Shifted tweeted back: “BUSINESS TECHNO is the new tech house” and a new insult or sub-genre of music was coined.
So what is it?
It’s difficult to fully determine what Business Techno music is. More often than anything else, those in the industry leave it at “you know it when you hear it.” Beyond that, defining it often involves having and spending money. It also involves booking the same disc jockeys to play the exact same sets to the same crowds every single week, and the use of facial recognition technology as part of the entry process.
The Business Techno set is similar to such superstar DJs as Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki. They’re the reported influencers of the electronic music genre. They’re attractive, have many followers, and are happy to rent their brand to various corporate sponsorships. Historically speaking, techno’s roots are underground while these disc jockeys want to make money.
One person who is especially outspoken on the subject is electronic music’s own Scuba. In one of his more memorable musings, he addresses the insulting aspect of Business Techno. He says it’s “a term made up by people who are jealous of other people for making more money than them.”
So are those who use the label as a put down calling out “sell-outs” or are they simply jealous DJs who are annoyed because their careers aren’t successful. One thing seems clear, it’s a label that has become a tool to fit the personal agenda of the individual utilizing it. It has, in short, become weaponized.
Business Techno can’t be easily defined in terms of a specific artist or sound. Many say it’s about success, capitalism, high-priced tickets, nightclubs where security takes priority over the real rave experience, and DIY venues being converted into what some call “Instagram-friendly” places. Perhaps Business Techno’s definition is more about a personal mindset. One thing is certain, whatever else it is, Business Techno balances on the concept that techno music is not necessarily a culture but a commodity
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.