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Edition #11
Rio de Janeiro, 2008


“DKANDLE weaves swirling multi-colored vibrant unearthly soundscapes, blending fuzzy and reverberating Shoegaze textures, mesmerizing Dream Pop meditations, sludgy Grungey tones and moody Post-punk strains, heightened with soul-stirring lyricism and pensive emotive vocalizations”


TAGS: culture, music, electronic music, rave, underground, videos


From a historical perspective, techno is a style based on house and electro. The term "house" refers to a club founded in a warehouse in the port of Chicago in the mid-80s: the Warehouse. Soul, black, and disco were matched with electronic beats, which the DJ had previously produced. In this way, the DJ created new music by combining two other songs. This led to the phenomenon of mixing, where the DJ could theoretically play an eternal song. Some of the best DJs of that time were Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, who started as producers, playing their music in clubs and then releasing it on labels like Trax and DJ International. Musicians like Ralphie Rosario, Mickey Oliver, Marshall Jefferson, and Mr. Fingers developed an avant-garde House style towards the late 80s.

While Chicago was dominated by soul and disco, a minimal-oriented style began to emerge in Detroit, led by local figures like Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May. This style was heavily influenced by European computer-made music, such as that by Kraftwerk and Klaus Schulze (producer of Tangerine Dream, among other things), as well as by new-wave and indie bands from England, like Depeche Mode, New Order, and Nitzer Ebb. Detroit gave rise to techno.

A coincidence in Chicago led to a parallel style called acid. This style essentially means a typical sound created using certain types of synthesizer sounds beyond the factory settings. Nathan Jones (aka DJ Pierre) discovered this property in the Roland TB 303, resulting in music played at the Warehouse. He stated, "I bought the 303 to program bass lines. While trying to figure out what each button did, I noticed the strange modulation of the sound already programmed in the 303. The acid was in that machine all along." Partygoers described this crazy music as "acid," which was later used in the release of a vinyl record. The term "acid" has more to do with the acidic sound of the music than with the drug acid (LSD).

Like American house and techno records, acid records also reached Europe, and especially in England, they were well-received, even if they did not impact the mainstream. In England, a unique type of more underground acid culture was born, through DJs and musicians like Baby Ford and A Guy Called Gerald and the anthem "We Call It Aciiieeed" by D-Mob. For the first time, illegal outdoor parties took place, encouraged by the new available drug, ecstasy. These raves gained more and more popularity over time.

As with most musical styles that emerge from the underground, acid died due to embarrassing hype. Raves with guitar-oriented bands (Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Primal Scream) still happened, despite government prohibition, until the police became a constant presence and suffocated the events. The fire spread, and alternatives were found in other parts of Europe and other continents. Within the liberal area of the Benelux states, there were few restrictions, and here some people heard about parties happening somewhere in India. Those who had already been to Goa brought music back with them, and Europeans were encouraged to go there. DJ Ray Castle organized the first trance-dominated parties there in 1987. DJ Antaro organized his first Goa party with a few initiates in the garden of his home in Lüneburger Heide (Germany) in 1989.

With the rise in popularity of techno in Europe in the late 80s, the crusade of electronic music was just beginning. In Germany, particularly in centers like Berlin (Dr. Motte, Westbam) and Frankfurt (Talla 2XLC, Sven Väth), a new type of underground culture emerged through techno. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the ongoing competition with Frankfurt were extremely revitalizing for both cities, leading to the emergence of clubs like Dorian Gray/Omen and E-Werk in Berlin.

The constant contact with Detroit Techno continually fertilized the scene. Juan Atkins, Blake Baxter, and Eddie Flashin' Fowlkes played at Tresor and released music through the club's label. Under the supervision of Ralf Hildenbeutel and Sven Väth in Frankfurt, the labels Harthouse and Eye Q Records emerged, releasing tracks by Earth Nation, Kox Box, and Der Dritte Raum, paving the way for the future birth of the Goa scene.

Meanwhile, the MFS (Masterminded For Success) label emerged in Berlin with projects by Cosmic Baby, Voov, Paul Van Dyk, and Mijk van Dijk. The Superstition label in Hamburg became a launch base for techno and trance, releasing music by Oliver Lieb (The Ambush, Paragliders, LSG, Spicelab). 


The techno scene established itself in England with DJs like Carl Cox and his Ultimate B.A.S.E. party (London), and major electronic music festivals like Tribal Gathering began to emerge. The largest techno event in the world is the Love Parade, which gathers millions of people every year on the streets of Berlin. (EDIT 2024: After a disastrous edition in 2010 where some people were trampled to death, the producers of the Love Parade decided to no longer continue the event).

While many techno producers succumbed to the mainstream hype and traded innovation for quick chart positions, the psychedelic trance scene found increasing appreciation among followers of the saturated techno scene. But that's a topic for the next edition.


Denis Kandle

The techno scene in Brazil arrived later, around the late 80s/early 90s, initially through DJ Zé Roberto Mahr. As a flight attendant, he had the privilege of frequently browsing record stores in London and New York. At the time, he played at Crepúsculo de Cubatão (Rio de Janeiro). He also had a program on Radio Fluminense FM, called Novas Tendências, where he sometimes played techno tracks when this style was virtually unknown in Brazil.

In the early 90s, the Mercado Mundo Mix (Rio), an alternative product fair, started using techno as the soundtrack for its events, introducing many people to the style. Soon after, parties began to be held in amusement parks like BITCH, at Tivoli Park, and in warehouses like Val-Demente, which took place at various locations, including Fundição Progresso, with DJs playing techno and house music. Meanwhile, the club Dr. Smith in Rio de Janeiro started hosting its first techno parties.

In Rio, DJ Maurício Lopes launched the Oops! party at Guetto in Botafogo. This party was frequented by clubbers and had a great atmosphere since the techno hype had not yet contaminated the mainstream, and the "mauricinhos" and "patricinhas" (Brazilian slang for preppy boys and girls) had not yet frequented electronic parties (which they considered to be for queers and drug users). Other great parties like Hyper Club and THC also started popping up.​ DJ Ricardo NS was the resident DJ at the After party, which took place at various locations, including Basement, a small, stuffy club in Galeria Alaska, Copacabana, Rio. The party was always packed and usually started around 4 AM on Saturday night and went until noon.

Techno also made its way to São Paulo with DJs like Mau Mau and Camilo Rocha. The legendary Hell's Club emerged, which was also always packed and where parties also started at 4 AM. In 1997, the compilation Electronic Brasil was released by the Mercado Mundo Mix label. This was one of the first Brazilian electronic music records to be commercially released, featuring tracks by Mau Mau, Habitants, Loop B, Level 202, etc.

This was the golden age of the techno scene in Brazil. There was truly an underground scene, but the media, as usual, decided to ruin the party. A Globo TV soap opera featured an actress playing a stereotypical clubber, leading to a common misconception about clubbers. The newspaper O Globo published a front-page article in the Segundo Caderno with the title "Techno - the wave of the next summer." Many clubbers stopped attending the parties because they were overrun by playboys and people who had nothing to do with the scene. The Oops! party ended, Hell's Club closed, and Val-Demente split into two parties: Val, which catered to the then-called GLS (gay, lesbian, and supporters) audience and still played techno (unfortunately, the party did not last long), and X-Demente, which does not play techno and is attended 90% by stereotypical shirtless gay men.

In Rio, the scene was stagnant, with a few nightclubs occasionally hosting techno parties, like Phunky Budah in Ipanema, but these parties did not last long. The light at the end of the tunnel came with the opening of Bunker 94 in Copacabana, in the former location of the gay club Le Boy. Clubbers once again had an alternative space, with parties dedicated entirely to techno like Cubik, hosted by DJs Mauricio Lopes and Ricardo NS (EDIT 2024: after a few years, Bunker closed and became a branch of the retail chain Lojas Americanas...). Even before Bunker opened, the BUM (Brazilian Underground Movement) group started organizing parties in Baixada Fluminense and the north zone of Rio, formed by DJs like Péricles, André Lima, etc. Despite the recent death of its founder, Péricles, BUM continues to be active.

By the second half of the 90s, the first raves started to appear in the state of São Paulo. In Rio, the first rave was the Bunker Rave in 2000, which took place at Fazenda dos Prazeres in Vargem Grande. Raves also started to pop up on the sands of Ipanema almost every Saturday. Currently, there are several nightclubs in São Paulo that play techno; there are also cool parties happening in major capitals of the country, such as Curitiba, Goiânia, Recife, Campinas, Brasília, and many others. In Rio, there are few. Unfortunately, the techno scene inflated, and many other nightclubs claim to play techno but are merely taking advantage of the term, as these parties have nothing to do with techno. Nowadays, techno, in the conception of many people, is a type of commercial, disposable electronic music with pop appeal that plays on FM radio, which is far from what the original techno scene was. But fortunately, there are still some oases where you can dance and listen to Techno, with a capital T, please.

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