Minimal techno  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Minimal techno, a minimalist sub-genre of techno music, is characterized by a stripped-down, glitchy sound, a fairly steady rhythm (usually around 120-135 BPM), repetition of short loops, and subtle changes.

Related styles include Detroit techno, ambient techno, microhouse and tech house.

Origins

In his essay Digital Discipline: Minimalism in House and Techno Philip Sherburne also proposes what the origins of Minimal techno might be. Sherburne states that, like most contemporary electronic dance music, minimal techno has its roots in the landmark works of pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Detroit Techno's Derrick May and Juan Atkins. Minimal techno focuses on "rhythm and repetition instead of melody and linear progression", much like classical minimalist music and the polyrhythmic African musical tradition that helped inspire it. By 1994, according to Sherburne, the term "minimal" was in use to describe "any stripped-down, Acidic derivative of classic Detroit style".

Los Angeles based writer Daniel Chamberlin, attributes the origin of minimal techno to the German producers Basic Channel and in doing so fails to credit the contributions of Robert Hood or mention the influence of Hood, and other members of Underground Resistance, on the Berlin techno scene of the early 1990s (the scene out of which Basic Channel emerged). Chamberlin draws parallels between the compositional techniques used by producers such as Richie Hawtin, Wolfgang Voigt, and Surgeon and that of American minimalist composer Steve Reich, in particular the pattern phasing system Reich employs in many of his works; the earliest being "Come Out". Chamberlin also sees the use of sine tone drones by minimalist composer La Monte Young and the repetitive patterns of Terry Riley's "In C" as other influences. Sherburne has suggested that the noted similarities between minimal forms of dance music and American minimalism could easily be accidental; he also notes that much of the music technology used in EDM has traditionally been designed to suit loop based compositional methods, which may explain why certain stylistic features of minimal techno sound similar to works of Reich's that employ loops and pattern phasing techniques. One group who clearly had an awareness of American minimalism is the British Ambient act The Orb. Their 1990 production Little Fluffy Clouds features a sample from Steve Reich's work Electric Counterpoint (1987). Further acknowledgement of Steve Reich's possible influence on EDM came with the release in 1999 of the Reich Remixed tribute album which featured reinterpretations by artists such as DJ Spooky, Mantronik, Ken Ishii, and Coldcut, among others. In listening to this album, and works by Reich, such as that sampled by The Orb, some may find it difficult to see a direct relationship with the minimal techno productions. -->

Development

In recent years, the genre has taken great influence from, to the point of merging with the microhouse genre. It has also fragmented into a great number of difficult to categorize subgenres, equally claimed by the minimal techno and microhouse tags.

Minimal techno has found mainstream club popularity since 2004 in such places as Germany, Japan, France, Belgium, South Africa, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the UK with DJs from a wide variety of genres incorporating differing elements of its tones, the famed after-hours club DC10 in Ibiza being one exponent of the genre.

By the second half of 2006, the term 'minimal' had in many ways become contradictory, as it serves as a denominator for the tech house sounds of the moment, many of which should rather be coined as 'maximal' in terms of their sonic content, in contrast to the original stripped down, i.e. minimalist electronic genre.

Some record labels specializing in minimal techno are Traum Schallplatten, BPitch Control, Cocoon Recordings, Kompakt, Perlon, Clink, Plus8, Sähkö Recordings.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Minimal techno" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools