Techno HardStyle Hard Trance

WTF is going on?

In a recent ADE interview that popped up on instagram DVS1 goes into detail about how he feels about the current trend of hard techno and how huge it’s gotten recently. He’s not knocking it but he is speaking his mind about it. I agree to a point, this is my take on it.

The original post is here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cz_c4p5oTzB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Definitely a topic that brings a lot of feelings to the table. Oh yes indeed! Many Many interweb arguments about this one.

New techno, the rise of Instagram DJs, the “invention” of a new kind of techno sound that is taking the world by storm, Amelie Lens is now on the same agency as Beyoncé, techno IS the new pop music. Or….is it?

No one has the right to dictate musical taste to anyone else. But I don’t think that’s what DVS1 is saying. It’s been on my mind too, being of an older gen (X) of course I can see that the music has evolved and changed and the audience has grown enormously for what is now called “Techno”. It is HUGE now, waay bigger than it was back in my day. Big companies are getting involved, massive investments, huge events, crazy stuff!!

Is it still underground? Well……..hmmmmmm not really, does it matter?

Ultimately, it’s just a matter of classification, if we call everything “techno” then we lose the ability to distinguish between the different styles. It has become really confusing for us old skoolers because we grew up with certain styles having quite distinct sounds, hardcore, techno, hard techno, minimal, trance, hardstyle, Schranz etc these are all quite distinct styles that are very obvious to most of us from the early days. In record stores you just knew where you were with these genres, but perhaps these are now viewed as stylistic restrictions for younger gens. OK I get that, so in recent years they have been mixed up, psy has been mixed with hard techno and trance, schranz mixed with hardcore/hardstyle and so on even adding full “pop” vocals to create these “new” hybrids of “techno”. It’s moved away from the classic sound of the past and we have entered a new era. Scary.

What you think of it all, as music in itself is not really the point here, the problem comes when it just all gets thrown in together, now everything is called ……techno. So the buzz word is “techno”, people seem to like that word and want to associate everything with it, to stay on the cutting edge, to be in tune with the youth and to remain…. gulp….fashionable.

It’s now all techno this & techno that, ( look at me in my techno trousers! ) but actually to me techno is and always has been quite a distinctive style of it’s own that has been around for 25+ years, ( Hawtin, Mills etc ) so naturally producers of that kind of sound, including myself ( to an extent, no I’m not comparing myself to Mills or whatever! )  get a bit fed up when a bunch of new music comes out that doesn’t really sound like that kind of techno at all any more, more like Hardstyle or Hard Trance/Hard House with a slightly new edge, but it all ends up in the same pot, mostly because of fashion and trend, not because of actual music style. In the mid 90’s when I was working with the SUF crew and Liberator DJs, we called our sound acid techno for exactly this reason, because it straddled the divide between hard acid trance and techno, so I guess I’m partly to blame ( oh dear talked myself into a corner AGAIN! )

But really, does it matter? I used to think so, I resisted like many of us did, I moaned a bit. But these days I’m thinking it matters less and less, people will just find what they like and that’s it. If they discover “real” or maybe a better phrase is “classic” techno through the more recent new school techno genres then great, good for them. This is a point that DVS1 makes in his interview too. But I can also really understand why us older genXers get defensive over music because we love it and it is still our passion and we just want it to be called what it is, not what the latest fashion wants it to be, just because it’s cool to like it now, or because it’s convenient or trendy. It dumbs it down and it takes away from some of the hard work that people put in to get it where it is today, I get that.

We fought hard for this music to be heard and to be accepted, and now it is, it’s actually huge and maybe we realise this is not quite what we were after (Ouch). I suppose the question is, where does it stop? Drum n Bass Techno? Jazz Techno? Ragga Techno etc etc ( OH HOLD ONE THESE STYLES ALL EXIST! ). I suppose adding the word “techno” to everything kind of makes sense if it has a “techno” or “electronic” influence, but honestly a lot of these “new hybrid” styles were already around before, there’s nothing really new happening here, in fact quite the opposite in some cases. Loads of tracks featuring old rave sounds and hardcore kicks that were around many years ago, people even sampling old tracks and so on. So why don’t we just go with the genres that we had already, they were good enough? no? maybe?

Hard trance goes over here, techno goes over there..etc

Anyway whatever, nothings going to change, I know that. New music is still being made and mostly its pretty good, yeah there’s some nasty stuff around but so what?…..Relax, go make some music, “close your eyes and forget the world” ….as someone once said….I think it was some 17 year old DJ on Instagram playing a pre recorded set to 10,000 people, no hold on wait…..

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