When Raves Were Ridiculous, the Hilarious Sounds that Made Early Techno Revolutionary


We all know techno now: the driving beats, the hypnotic rhythms, the anthems that make you lose yourself in the dance floor. But rewind the clock back to the late 80s and early 90s, and techno was…well…a little different.

Let’s be honest, some of those early sounds were downright ridiculous. Imagine a blender having a seizure in a washing machine on spin cycle (think [sound of washing machine on high spin] ). Throw in some Casio keyboard presets on fast-forward, like that iconic [sound of 80s Casio keyboard preset], and maybe a privative sounding toddler banging on a pot with a metal spoon for good measure (bonus points if you can find a [sound of toddler banging pots] sample!). That’s the kind of sonic landscape we were dealing with.

Early techno was hilarious. We’d be at these underground raves, hyped up on the energy, ready to lose ourselves in the music. Then, a new track would drop, and instead of dropping the beat, it would drop a sample that sounded like a malfunctioning robot chicken (think [sound of distorted animal sample] ). The whole dance floor would erupt in laughter, tears streaming down our faces.

But here’s the thing: that laughter, it wasn’t out of mockery. It was out of pure, unadulterated joy. This music was new, it was raw, it was pushing boundaries. We were pioneers, exploring a sonic frontier, and sometimes, that frontier involved some seriously bizarre sonic landscapes.

Here’s the thing about those early techno bangers: for all their silliness, they had a certain undeniable charm. They were a stark contrast to the dominant dance music of the early 80s. That scene was all about synthesizers and a more morose, even effeminate sound, heavily influenced by new wave. Early techno, on the other hand, was rougher and tougher. It took the energy and attitude of rap and slammed it headfirst into the dance floor.

But early techno wasn’t all about industrial grit and cartoon chaos. It also dabbled in the psychedelic. Imagine those Casio melodies stretching and warping, morphing into swirling sonic tapestries. Think blips and bloops morphing into cosmic drones, transporting you to a neon-drenched alien landscape. These elements added a layer of trippiness that perfectly complemented the already strange and wonderful soundscape.This early flirtation with psychedelia would later blossom into subgenres like trance, adding another layer to techno’s ever-evolving sound.

Looking back, those early techno days hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of a time when music wasn’t about perfection, it was about pushing boundaries and having a good time. So, the next time you hear a techno track that makes you chuckle, remember, that laughter is a tribute to the pioneers who dared to be ridiculous, and in doing so, created a genre that would take the world by storm.

Do you have any memories of early techno’s “ridiculous” sounds? Share them in the comments below!

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