Corona cleared most dancefloors, and turned DJs into streaming knob twiddlers. But just before the collapse, techno peaked – not artistically – but as corporate festival fodder, e-arobic muzak for the masses, who where fed up with anachronistic indierock, nihilist logo trap and bombastic shameful childish EDM. But is techno dead? We have collected some visual evidence:
The crowds finally found pleasure in more mature electronica in the good old safe Detroit/Berlin/Roland tradition. But the new heros – djs like Solomun, Nina Krawitz, Drumcode & Charlotte de Witte broke away from the often black blank bedroom image of stealth-mode classic techno bedroom auteurs, they have no problem playing cheesy techhouse, uptempo prog trance and 90s classics and being open and happy about it – dancing for days like coked strippers. The “real” purist techno underground – who prefer to buy rare vinyl from obscure imprints on discogs, discuss remakes of 80s drum machines, noddle modular synths and play for exclusive crowds of trainspotters retro-nirvana was under treat so they reacted – and nailed the new parasitic bizztech industry sucking the blood from their “true” subculture – so the anti-biztech meme was born as a comment on the following bizztech characteristics: A/ The influx of rich kid DJs using PR, ghostwriters and SoMe managers etc. on the techno scene. B/ The oversaturated EDM scene needed to “go back to the roots” for a more adult, less gimmicky sound and hihjacked techno C/ The need for novel sounds for safe mass spaces for intake of horrible dance aerobic drugs D/ general greed trend – invest in PR and recoup on the festivals or thru sponsor deals E/ In biotech ghostwriters making enormous amounts of over-compressed loopbank based semi minimal/trancy festival ready tracks for sale online for instagram-strong headliners with Spotify and beatport playlist insider connections… F/ A lot of idealist dis sucked dry from the cocaine “honeymoon is over syndrome” G/ Corporate style marketing, weekly posed pro gram photos, dull generic obvious music, hardware producers out of touch… H/ Bizztech using Paris Hilton as a role model, not Jeff Mills. I/ Bizztech exposed the “techno underground” as a parallel universe to the backpack goden age rap continuum – 90s retro is king. J/ Bizztech artists is paying 5-10k for a front cover and bribing journalists = mainstream modern pop music business and marketing ethics – now applied to techno. Now biztech is popping up in the dance music press, the blogosphere and the worst techno memes ever group on facebook, where a funny dude called Mitch Davis use it to promote his satirical music videos.And the next step is killing of the old elite via #metoo: Erick Morrilio committed suicide after accusations, and manic Detroit icon Derrick May is getting slandered – get the popcorn ready – immortal techno is about to turn around once more in its grave. So back to the bedroom, back to the pirate bunker party where it all started. Even the “Mozart of techno” – Aphex Twin – felt the crisis, and released a mashup of a remake of a 1982 synth – the sh101 – that – dispite its clever new feature – having a separate sound for each key – a first on a monosynth – is more collectable fanboy retro merchandise than 2020 music tool – please make some software James… The high priest of cosmic minimalism, Jeff Mills, is not shy on merc – skateboards, car key chains and even a very rock n roll leather jacket… To top it off, parts of the black community feels techno has been hijacked by whites. As far as I remember, US techno was inspired by YMO, Yello, Suicide and Kraftwerk – as well as Japanese instruments and scifi. Techno – like all music – used to be ours. Reclaim all music – corona killed the cash element – nobody except Spotifys CEO can life off streaming. As always, blame it on technology – in the beginning, of techno – one had to physically find weird vinyl and expensive music machines designed for jazz and rock and abuse them beyond the manual, learn how to record, master, package and print the result – to a micro-scene using fax machines – WITHOUT ANY YOUTUBE TUTORIALS or manuals or internet! Now you can take any phone or laptop and slap some loops together and put it online in a day from scratch – tracks are like coins in a online streamning casino, and the real goal is live dj jobs, free drugs and sponsor deals. So maybe we should go back to enjoy, play around with and compose music for fun again?