Techno has become the heavy metal of dance music. It's the favoured soundtrack of artless, badly-dressed, white, provincial, cider-soaked teens and is scorned by the 'beautiful people', snooty critics
TECHNO HAS BECOME THE HEAVY metal of dance music. It’s the favoured soundtrack of artless, badly-dressed, white, provincial, cider-soaked teens and is scorned by the ‘beautiful people’, snooty critics and anyone over 25 alike.
Kevin Saunderson is the MC5 of techno, creating the genre from scratch. Having wrested the Chicago house sound away from its disco and funk roots, he created the blueprint for a billion bedroom Kraftwerks from Rotterdam to Rotherham. He was also the first techno producer to really take the music to the mainstream with his Inner City project, whose hits ‘Big Fun’ and ‘Good Life’ still sound timeless a decade on.
E Dancer, one of Saunderson’s myriad production projects, is a shameless attempt to produce perfect club techno; polished, highly commercial and out-and-out anthemic.
‘Heavenly’ follows the pattern set by the New Order-esque ‘Pump The Move’. It’s all fairly conservative techno, the sort described as ‘well crafted’, which puts it on a par with pine furniture and Mark Knopfler guitar solos. But that’s being particularly ungenerous. This is functional, no-fat dance music, the way it was when Saunderson, Juan Atkins and Derrick May made it in the beginning.
And their successors? Largely turning out the dancefloor equivalents of the concept album. Shouldn’t be too hard to work out who’s right.