When it comes to electronic music genres, techno and EDM seem to be placed in the same category at times. However, there are differences between the two and some artists choose to do a blend of the two genres for certain mixes. In this article, we will explain the difference between two electronic music genres—techno and EDM—as well as show you some of the newest electronic music from an artist called DJ Lady Tazz!
What is EDM?
EDM is an abbreviation for one of the electronic music genres called Electronic Dance Music. EDM consists of a lot of different things and is made with electronic devices. It essentially holds as an umbrella for everything techno, house, breakbeat, downtempo, trance, and everything in between. Generally, this kind of music is played for festivals and live sets. It is what every popular DJ such as Hardwell or Martin Garrix is playing. EDM is loud and makes you jump on your feet and dance. EDM electronic music is a generalization that was created in the mid to later 2000s to describe the genres of music that were being played in a lot of nightclubs following the 90’s “rave era.” Most EDM music takes some of the best parts of pop songs and mixes them up into a quasi-trance, quasi-house mix that is danceable.
In 2010, the acronym “EDM” was adopted by the American Music Industry and Music press as a buzzword to describe the commercial US electronic dance music scene.
Examples of EDM songs:
- David Guetta ft. Justin Bieber- 2U
- Marshmello ft. Bastille- Happier
- The Chainsmokers- Don’t Let Me Down ft. Daya
3 Characteristics of EDM:
- High and Steady Tempo
- 129-150 beats per minute (BPM)
- Most have vocals in it
A Brief History of EDM throughout the years:
- 1970’s: Disco and Synthpop Electronic Dance Music
EDM electronic music can largely trace its beginnings from the disco genre, which was heavily popular in the late 1970s. Disco music aimed to move crowds of people on the dancefloor, using drum machines and electronic instruments to create different sounds. Popular disco helped to create songs such as Donna Summer’s 1977 disco hit, “I Feel Love”, and the 1974 hit “Rock Your Baby” by George McCrae. Both of these songs incorporated elements of disco and synthpop and paved the way for synthpop to stand on its own as a dance music subgenre.
- 1980s: Synthpop, Post-Disco and Electro music
In the ’80s, synth music, or synthpop, was created along with house music and electro music during the “post-disco” era. Music in this era began to be known and produced in Europe as electronic dance music but became more sophisticated. Drum machines and synthesizers were now popular. Paired with the use of computers, electronic music took off as an art form that could be easily reproduced with a computer. During this time, hits such as A-Ha’s “Take on Me” and “On and On” by Jesse Saunders became popular.
- 1990s: Beginnings of Electronic Dance Music Sounds
The first sounds of electronic dance music that rave fans recognize as techno music, house music, hardcore rave, dub, trance, and drum and bass were all introduced in the ’90s. It now became mainstream in the music industry, with rave scenes popping up and nightclubs becoming more popular. Popular songs are Orbital’s “Chime” and “Halcyon On and On”. In the U.S., “Detroit Techno” became popular. It was pioneered by the “Belleville Three”.
- 2000s on: From Popular to Mainstream EDM
Thanks to international DJs and music producers, EDM electronic music created great attention all over the world. Producers such as Tiesto, Daft Punk, and David Guetta began creating a cult following for themselves and making themselves names in the mainstream music industry to top charts. In the very early 2000s, dubstep was introduced through artists such as Skrillex, which includes a mix of dubstep, house, and trap. Today, some of the newest electronic music is known for creating remixes and original sound mixes, all of which are produced and mixed between pop and hip-hop artists. An example would be “It Ain’t Me” by DJ Kygo and Selena Gomez.
What is Techno?
Techno on the other hand is one of the electronic music genres that have way more emphasis on the beats and percussion as well as sound FX. Typical techno songs have 128-135 beats per minute, but there is even faster techno around. It is one of the oldest electronic genres alongside drum and bass and had its beginnings in the 1980s. Techno usually has a repetitive beat that is produced for a continuous DJ set. Artists use electronic instruments such as drum machines, sequencers, synthesizers, and digital audio workstations. Techno originated in Germany and still has popularity today in the UK, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Techno music is played typically in various techno clubs and bars all over the world.
Examples of Techno songs:
- Cirez D- Black Hole (original mix)
- Oxia- Domino
- Paul van Dyk & Jordan Suckley- The Code
A brief history of Techno:
- 1970s and 1980s: Early Days in Europe
Techno music first originated out of European electronic music in the 70s and 80s. Influences include Germany’s Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream as well as Belgium’s C.J. Bolland. These artists all used electronic synthesizers and songs which were focused on repetitive bass lines and drum beats.
- 1980s: Emergence of Detroit Techno
Michigan residents Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson formed the Belleville Three. They used a lot of the same electronic instruments favored by European dance groups. Music historians typically credit Juan Atkins as creating the very first techno song, which is 1985’s “No UFOs.” Along with the rest of the Belleville Three, he helped establish a Detroit sound that caught on quickly in Europe. Much of the European Rave Music in the late 1980s and early 1990s revolved around Detroit Techno.
- Late 80s and 90s: Expanding Influence
Techno continued to thrive in Detroit thanks to the Underground Resistance music collective, formed in 1989 by “Mad” Mike Banks, Jeff Mills, and Robert Hood. Techno capitals soon emerged, which include New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Ghent.
- 2000s: Techno Today
Today’s ravers dance to a whole variety of electronic music. These days, techno tends to be mixed into a wide array of electronic music. The same nightclub can mix techno with dubstep, EDM, Chicago house, and breakbeat hardcore. As such, today’s techno music is slotted in among genres that influenced it and genres that grow from it. Techno spawned many subgenres including minimal techno, ambient techno, hardcore techno, industrial techno, intelligent dance music (IDM), Detroit techno, trance, deep techno, and tech house. From these subgenres came offshoots like acid house, rave, electronica, and EDM.
3 Characteristics of Techno:
- Early synthesizers and drum machines
- Repetitive, danceable beats
- Compositional technique based on looping
Now that you know everything there is to know about electronic music genres, let’s introduce you to some of the newest electronic music. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, listen to DJ Tazz! Her music features dark hypnotic synths, ethereal vocals, and only the pristine beats, cut through with spikes of acid. Additionally, her audiences are always wowed by her hypnotic live performances. Stay tuned for her tour dates coming soon!