What Is Deep Techno?

Deep techno, or simply techno, is a genre of EDM that first emerged in the late 90s and early 2000s. Today, it’s one of the most popular genres of EDM around the world, with famous names like Carl Cox leading the scene in countries like Germany and Italy. Despite the ubiquity of the genre, however, there are plenty of people who still aren’t quite sure what this genre actually is and how it differs from other similar genres of music, like progressive house or dubstep.

The History of Deep Techno

As one of EDM’s original subgenres, deep techno emerged in Detroit in 1992. This style of music was created to be released as a side project by some of Detroit’s most famous techno artists, who wanted to experiment with tracks that weren’t quite as heavy on 4/4 drum patterns and didn’t involve dropping beats. Because of its association with progressive house and trance, this genre became incredibly popular throughout Europe (particularly Berlin) in 2000.

The Most Famous Artists

Carl Cox, Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice and Richie Hawtin are some of the most famous artists. There are many other artists who use deep techno elements as a genre and style to create new music. The rhythm patterns typically go around 138-142 BPM (beats per minute) along with some moderate to fast bass lines (35 Hz to 110 Hz). There can be some slight variations but most of these artists uses these two styles combined. Stylistically, it has characteristics of progressive house, trance and minimal techno all in one genre.

Why Is It So Popular In Europe?

While it may be easy to write off European techno as more aggressive and exciting than American music, there’s also a lot of deep history behind it. As EDM in general began to grow in popularity, DJs looked for ways to keep their art interesting and relevant. One way was changing up their sounds—and that led to today’s trend. Unlike its genre-mates, this genre takes its cue from classic progressive house (especially Carl Cox) and then adds layers of grit with elements like tempo changes and percussion mixed together. This often results in lengthy track lengths (the average is 10–20 minutes long), but many fans say they wouldn’t have it any other way!

How Is Deep Techno Different From Other Electronic Dance Music Subgenres?

Techno, especially deep techno, has a slower tempo than most other genres of EDM. It also features syncopated rhythms and a more prominent bassline. In addition to these two stylistic elements, this genre also incorporates many elements from its parent genre: house music. Like house music, deep techno incorporates samples of older music into its compositions. However, unlike house music’s sample-based approach, deep techno tends to use much longer loops as building blocks for their tracks. This makes for a much more distinct sound that emphasizes synth melodies over drumbeats. The tonality of most songs in this genre is generally melancholy.


What sets EDM apart from other genres is its emphasis on live performance. You can hear live EDM at almost any bar, club, or festival these days, but to experience deep techno in a real dance environment you’ll need to travel to Europe. If you don’t have plans for your next vacation, start planning now; a trip to Berlin will get you deep into what makes techno great.

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