Minimal Techno

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Minimal Techno is a form of electronic dance music, it is characterised by having a stripped-down feel that incorporates the use of repetition. This style of dance music production generally adheres to the theory that less is more, Minimal Techno is thought to have been originally developed in the early 1990s by Detroit based producers Robert Hood and Daniel Bell.

Today the influence of minimal styles of House music and Techno are not only found in club music, but becoming more commonly heard in popular music. Regardless of the style, minimal Techno corkscrews into the very heart of repetition” and will drive it's way into the listeners mind, inspiring descriptions like ’spartan’, ’clinical’, ’mathematical’, and ’scientific’.

"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 even mention the influence of Hood, and other members of "Underground Resistance", on the Berlin techno scene of the early 1990s. 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". Sherburne also points to the possible influence of American minimalist composers on "EDM", particularly minimal techno, but Sherburne and Chamerlin largely ingore the possible influence of ethnic music, such as that of Africa, India, and Indonesia, on minimal dance music.

One group who clearly had an awareness of American minimalism is the British Ambient/Ambient House 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", and "Coldcut", among others.

Minimal techno has found mainstream club popularity since 2004 in such places as Germany, 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 shouldn't be coined as ‘minimal’ in terms of their sonic content, in contrast to the original stripped down, i.e. minimalist electronic genre

There are many notable artists who have become part of the minimal genre, these would include - "Daniel Bell", "Ben D", Richie Hawtin a.k.a. Plastikman, "Ricardo Villalobos", "Luca Bacchetti", "Mika Vainio", "Maurizio" (Basic Channel), "Jeff Mills", "Paulo Nascimento", "Robert Hood", "Sutekh" (Seth Horvitz), "Trentemøller" (Denmark), "Stephan Bodzin" & "Oliver Huntemann".

Some record labels worth investigating for minimal techno are Minus (M_nus), Cadenza, Sei Es Drum, Perlon, cocoon recordings, Poker Flat Recordings, Underline, PLUS8, 90wattsrecords, Foundsound, Sähkö Recordings, Force Inc, Kompakt, Trapez, Tenax Recordings, Wagon Repair, Revolver Canada, Kaliber, Rekorder.