Impacts of the Techno culture on society
History - Since the dawn of time music has been an undeniable way of gathering people without taking into account physical, social, or economical differences. Born in the 80’s in Detroit, Techno music has managed making room for itself in our society. Like other genres, techno can be a doorway towards socialization and integration in some kind of community. To be able to understand its advent, we need to grasp all the context around it, from the 80’s to this day.
First, techno music comes mainly from the homosexual Afro-americans -that were at that time ostracized- that used to find shelter in clubs, making this genre grow. Techno sonorities are urban and industrial, referencing Detroit and all its closed up companies. Beats are repetitive referencing the golden age of the 70’s where pretty much everyone had a job, every warehouse was full of noise due to its activity, and the city was restless. Founded by Jeff Mills, Mike Banks, Robert hood and Darwin Hall, Underground Resistance was made to defend Afro-americans’ rights with electronic music in a city still under police repression at the time. However, Techno finds itself growing in other countries too, soon invading clubs all around the world, despite harsh laws forcing said clubs to close early. Which led to the raves. Raves were organized in abandoned warehouses, forests, lone fields… In 1991, raves start sprouting in France, but stay underground.
Techno music allowed the recapture of cities, the development of new cultural and festive metropolis.
It also led to some kind of nomadism; Techno lovers don’t hesitate to travel long distances to attend an event or see some artist abroad. Low-cost companies help with this roaming with low prices, and created what Tobias Rapp (in his Lost and Sound book) calls the ‘EasyJetSet’: People going to party all weekend in another european city like Berlin.
Germany’s reunification in 1989 allowed people from the West part going to the East part in search of new abandoned places to party and express their newly found freedom. The Love Parade also helped democratize Techno music, with its first installment happening on July 1st of 1989 and numbering about 150 people. Ten years later, about 800 000 people were attending.
As of today, Techno music still holds these advantages for the German capital. In 2018, clubs in Berlin made about 216 millions, and the whole local economy made close to 1,4 billion thanks to tourists coming for Techno events.
In other countries, young generations want to know the same success. For example, Georgia, which has known many conflicts due to the USSR and tries to westernize itself. However, this is not a simple process. Lots of social or political conflicts need to be settled. A quick example can be the omnipresence of homophobia, or the harsh penalties for using drugs. The BASSIANI is a political manifesto of a ‘westernized’ life.
Set under their National Football Stadium, it provides a safe place for ostracized LGBTQ+ people. But religion (which is a great deal there) divides the georgians. Older generations are conservative, while newer ones want to make things move.
On the 13th of May 2018, people manifested in Tbilisi streets to protest against the government, following a raid on the BASSIANI. This protest has taken the shape of a rave, and sparked a discussion about what georgians want for their future.
In Palestine, Boiler Room organized for the first time ever an event in Ramallah with local talents. This action can be seen as an historical but also political event; Music as a way to resist the Israeli occupation. The DJ Sama shows us that the Techno scene can be some kind of haven if only for an instant, where music is everything allowing the conflict to disappear for a moment. This showed us a side of Palestine the media will never show. Some lucky ones were even able to listen to the event during Budx in Montreuil, with Kevin Saunderson & Richie Hawtin, on the 24th of April. In the comment section, people where spreading peace and love messages, whether they were palestinians or israeli, wishing for a better future.
Let’s hope that in future years techno music won’t be looked upon as diabolical and will allow countries to follow the lead of Georgia or even Ukraine.