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Ibiza Virgins' Guide to... Techno

The sound of the island.

Are you ready to sunbathe? Chill-out? Explore? And fist-pump your nights away on the dancefloor? Ibiza is calling.

With multiple events day and night, Monday through to Sunday, it can be a bit overwhelming deciding where to go - especially for new arrivals.

The secret, no matter if you're new to it all or a seasoned veteran, is to pick the parties where you're most likely to enjoy the music.

Still stumped? That's okay. Like we say, we're here to make things easier.

This week, we're going to the dark side and talking about... Techno.


Ah, so we've arrived at one of the most controversial genres: Techno.

We'll be honest, Jeff Mills could be playing live on a 909 drum machine at The Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, and there would still be some dude somewhere on an internet forum posting: "THIS ISN'T TECHNO"

The Wizard: Jeff Mills with one of his toys

That said, it's true that a lot of what's categorised as Techno is mislabelled. And yes, we'll admit that Ibiza is sometimes guilty of this faux pas.

You probably won't find too much pure Techno here. If you're hoping to see Dave Clarke, Rebecca, Surgeon or Speedy J, you might be out of luck. Though very occasionally they do get booked.

The Techno found here is largely filtered through a Balearic lens. It's quite progressive in sound, rarely more than 134 bpm and mixed with lots of Deep and Tech House. It wouldn't be unusual to even hear the odd bit of Trance thrown into the mix.

Dancin' since '99... Cocoon introduced Techno to Ibiza over 20 years ago

To be diplomatic, what we'll say is that when we use the term "Techno", we're talking less about the genre and more about the specific vibe.

Here's what we mean by Techno.

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Ibiza parties where you will hear Techno in some form:

Joseph Capriati presents Metamorfosi at Amnesia | 22 July, 5 and 19 August
HE. SHE. THEY. at Amnesia | 29 July, 26 August and 9 September

Also at Amnesia, if past years are anything to go by, Sunday night party Pyramid will programme the main room to Techno, while Jamie Jones has booked Techno DJs like Len Faki, Nicole Moudaber and Alan Fitzpatrick for Paradise on Wednesdays.

When it comes to weekly events, Hï Ibiza's room two, called the Club Room, will definitely be Techno-heavy on Tuesdays (Paco Osuna with The Martinez Brothers in the main room) and Thursdays (Afterlife curated by Tale Of Us, usually with Berlin DJs in this room).

The Club Room on Thursdays features tougher, no-nonsense sounds

You will also get a little bit of Techno (along with mainly Deep and Progressive House, and also heavily dependant on who his guest is) at Solomun +1 at Pacha on Sundays.

Marco Carola is still considered a "Techno DJ" by many, though in truth he has moved far away from that sound the last few years. In any case, all-black-everything is the attire of choice for Music On fanatics on Fridays at Pacha. Again, it's the vibe more than the music policy, per se.

Release, the party from Studio 338 at Es Paradis, is another one to keep an eye on. While it will certainly heavily revolve around Tech House, Magda and Dense & Pika (live) have been booked for its opening party on 27 May.

And if that isn't enough to scratch your Techno itch, then check-out the programme at DC10 and, perhaps less obviously, NUI in Ibiza Town.

Techno's background

As House music was making a name for itself in Chicago, across Lake Michigan in Detroit, something else was brewing. Inspired by events across the water, a group of students began playing with synthesisers in their college digs, inadvertently spawning Techno.

Techno advanced the synthetic sound popularised by the likes of Kraftwerk a decade earlier, adding funk and soulful elements to this machine-made music.

Names such as Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig, Kenny Dixon Jr (Moodymann), Robert Hood and Stacey Pullen were a part of the first and second wave of Techno artists from the city. Not only are they all still active today, but they also frequently play at parties here on Ibiza.

"The Originator" Juan Atkins records groundbreaking Techno and Electro under a raft of aliases

Unlike House, Techno tends to point towards a higher concept. In the beginning, it was strongly aligned with Afro-Futurism and continues to run parallel with science-fiction in the modern era. It has strong political and anti-establishment tropes, which mean it could only have come from socially-deprived Detroit (or flourished somewhere like Soviet-era East Berlin).

Although Detroit still wields huge influence, nowadays Berlin is globally considered the city of Techno.

But what is Techno?

Generally, Techno shares the same 4/4 beat that House does, so how do the two styles differ?

Arrangement mostly. Swap kick-drums for bass drums and you're almost there. Techno is darker, faster and arguably more refined than House. We come back to the point we made earlier, about attitude.

"House comes from Disco, but Techno is Punk." - Dave Clarke

Typical bpm (beats per minute) range: 120 - 150

Much like House, trends in Techno have come and gone.

Today, you will find an ever-growing list of sub-genres, some of which bear close-resemblance, others that do not. Tech House (a Techno-House hybrid) is the most obvious example of this. In recent years, "melodic" Techno has really taken off as well.

Since some of these have overtaken Techno in terms of mass popularity, we'll look more closely at them in the coming weeks.

Find our other music guides:

Ibiza Virgins' Guide to... House music
Tech House
- Deep House
Ibiza Virgins' Guide to... Minimal music
Ibiza Virgins' Guide to... EDM
Ibiza Virgins' Guide to... Reggaeton
Ibiza Virgins' Guide to... Garage


This article is part of our Ibiza Virgins' Guides, packed full of information on how to get the most out of your stay on Ibiza. Check them out.

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