Back in the late 70's music created with synthesizers became very popular. Under the
influence of this music a German group called Kraftwerk started to make this
music a bit more danceable, with this the electro was born. A young guy
in Detroit heard Kraftwerks work and was inspired by it. With the
help of his Roland 808 drummachine he made a song. With this he created a 'completely
new' musical stream which he Christened: "Techno" ('Because it sounds like technology').
He made a record which got picked up in a club in Chicago called 'The Warehouse'.
The people liked it and started to dance! Since then it was called 'house' after
the club they had heard it in.
In the beginning it all sounded like a kind
of mix between hip-hop and electro (with the Electric boogie dancing) and was very much inspired by Kraftwerk and groups like Africa
Bambataa. The other stream, which until then had nothing to do with House or Techno, that started to really rise up was Ambient. This descendant
of New Age music is very relaxing. The first music called ambient was a cd by
Brian Eno, who has since then been known as the Godfather of ambient.
In the late 80's a group called 'Phuture'
released a record called 'Acid Trax' which totally stunned listeners and the techno-scene
all over the world. It sounded so new, so cool! It was made with a Roland TB-303,
this device was originally made to create bass-lines, but it was very hard to
get a bass-line out of it. You could, on the other hand, get very dirty lines
out of this device with whichPhuture made their song. Since then the music with
those sort of sounds is called Acid.
In 1987 a group of DJ's called M.A.R.S. released
a single called 'Pump up the volume'. This was the first real commercial succes
with a house-song. Many where influenced bye this succes and since then house-music
was hip. The parties started to pop up everywhere. They where elegal at first,
but later on big parties where organized and clubs started to put house and techno
nights in their programs. The parties where often very long and lasted a whole
night. The dancing was very exhausting and something was needed to keep dancing
through the night. This something was XTC, a drug that could keep you awake and
fit all night. This use of drugs (highly overrated by the press byetheway) caused
a wave of critiscism towards house and the parties and many governments forbid
the parties. They continued to be given all over the world and house/techno rised
In Holland (where I live) a form of house started to rise in popularity called
'Hardcore' (or as it is now known "Gabber"). This music is incredibly hard (with
beats of up to 200 Per minute) and very simplistic melodies. The relatively new
form is called 'Happy hardcore', this is hard, but with vocals and piano's and
stuff. It doesn't sound as obscure as some hardcore does. The man who (almost)
singlehandedly made Hardcore and Happy Hardcore a commercial succes is DJ Paul
Elstak. He had a few hits and promotes the gabber and hardcore scene all over
Also in the early 90's bands like Altern 8 and especially
The Prodigy made some very interesting and quite innovative music. This music had very fast and complicated rhythems and The Prodigy scored
quite a few hits with it. Probably influenced by the success of The Prodigy a stream called 'Jungle'
came to the attention of the public. This music has it's roots in reggae, techno, jazz and just about
every other music-stream you an imagine. At first it was only popular in England,
but it's really rising here in holland and the rest of Europe. I've heard a very
cool Jungle track from Juan Atkins recently, so in America Jungle has broken through
Music of the past, present and the future?
Note: This text might be a bit dated by now. Not all current
styles are featured, but it's still a good source of information to enrich your knowledge.
Another style which has some followers
is easy-tune. The house/techno scene has picked this up as well and some pretty
cool stuff in this genre has been released. The other hot item is called Trip
Hop. This is a sort of instrumental Hip Hop (hip hop without the rap). Some
pretty cool stuff has been released in this genre too.
There are many more genres (like GOA-Trance,
Acid-Jazz, Club, Dub, etc..), but then my story would be far to long, so I'll
keep it at this.
In the beginning some people said that
house and techno would be gone in a couple of years, but they're here to stay!
I enjoy techno and ambient very much and hope that many will discover the beauty
of this music! Techno is here to stay!!
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