In the late eighties and early nineties, something strange happened. Techno and house, which had not been able to gain mainstream success in America became a massive phenomenon in Europe—mainly in Great Britain. In fact, the term techno was used by Virgin Records’ seminal British compilation Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit.
For a short time in the U.K., rave music went pop. In the nineties, The Prodigy had success on the pop charts with two separate singles, and for a while the music industry tried to champion electronic music. Simultaneously, Warp Records created a roster of musicians who liked to discover a more experimental fare. Autechre (Sean Booth and Rob Brown) and Aphex Twin (Richard D. James made alien atmospheres which stretched the edges of musical conventions. They were partly inspired by a second wave of Detroit singers, such as Carl Craig, Jeff Mills, and Underground Resistance.
Future of electronic techno
Where is electronic music going? It’s hard to say. The Internet changed the music industry just as genres began to get more specialized. Techno is a soundtrack for the digital age. Some of its original creators are getting into their forties, but many of its listeners are younger —people who grew up with computers. Techno tells us that humans control the machines, and electronics can be manipulated to express funk and soul.