Whether it's IDM, minimal, electro, acid or whatever other name you want use to pinpoint a sound, we love techno. We love the way it forces us to dance, even when we're sitting in front of a computer in an office trying to finish a story. We love the way it affects our walk when we enter a party. We love the way it calms our nerves when we're stuck in a traffic jam. Most of all, though, we love the way it makes us lose track of time, keeping us out on the town much later than we planned.
Below are ten techno jams that we still love, even if we've heard them time and again over the years.
1. Future Sound of London "Papua New Guinea"
It doesn't get much better than this. Future Sound of London's breakthrough club hit "Papua New Guinea" is the classic, late-night jam. Featuring sampled vocals from Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, it's appropriately ethereal without sacrificing the urge to catch a groove.
2. Ellen Allien "Stadtkind"
"Stadtkind" ("City Child") is one of Ellen Allien's several love letters to her home base of Berlin. A DJ, producer and label owner, Allien has done a lot to help support the German city's techno scene. If anyone now automatically thinks of Berlin and techno as a pair, you should probably be listening to this.
3. I-F "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass"
Remember the whole "electroclash" phenomenon at the beginning of the '00s? You have this song to thank (or blame, it doesn't matter) for it. The Dutch producer released this weird techno/synthpop hybrid in 1997 and it became party fuel across the global underground.
4. Paul Woolford presents Bobby Peru "Erotic Discourse"
There was a time a few years back when everyone from locals to hot shit touring DJs was dropping "Erotic Discourse," and when the needle fell on the record, you could hear the roar from the crowd. No matter how frequently we heard it though, we didn't get sick of it. It's hard to tire of something with no lyrics.
5. Laurent Garnier "Crispy Bacon"
How cool is Laurent Garnier? For starters, he launched his career as a DJ at Manchester, U.K.'s legendary club Hacienda. Garnier is one of the most respected, and diverse, DJs around and he's racked up a few club hits of his own as well. We were torn between listing "Crispy Bacon" and "The Man with the Red Face." We went with the former for reasons unknown, but suggest you listen to the latter today as well.
6. Richie Hawtin "Minus Orange"
With a nod to Yello's "Oh Yeah," Richie Hawtin created a monster of a track with "Minus Orange." It's the sound of a sweat-drenched party where dancers become completely hypnotized with the moment.
7. The Prodigy "Charly"
Released in 1991, this was The Prodigy's first single and first hit. Featuring a sample from a British children television show, "Charly" was more than a club hit. With radio play in major cities like Los Angeles, the song served as an introduction to all things "techno" for this writer and probably many others.
8. Messiah "Temple of Dreams"
How can you go wrong when you mix samples of Richard Dawson in The Running Man with Liz Fraser's This Mortal Coil rendition of "Song to the Siren"? You can't. This song may still sound like the glow-stick crazed early-1990s, but it's still epic.
9. Cajmere "Percolator"
You know that moment when you're in a packed warehouse and the beat percolates for what seems like hours and all you can do is bounce as you try to find your friends across the room? It all starts here. This 1992 track from Cajmere (aka Green Velvet, aka Curtis Jones) still hits the party vibe perfectly almost twenty years later.
10. Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy"
If the first time you see the video for "Come to Daddy" is at 2 a.m., you might suffer from really weird dreams where everyone looks like Richard D. James. It's worth it, though, because this track is the creepiest dance floor stomper you might ever here.