Various ‎– Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit

Originally to be called "The House Sound Of Detroit," this mid-1988 compilation's final title, liner notes, and accompanying press coverage marked the pivotal moment that a Detroit-based wave of futuristic dance music with a myriad of influences was defined as a genre unto itself: "techno." This definition, credited to Brit Neil Rushton and further expounded upon by Stuart Cosgrove, is the one that stuck, but of course it is not universally agreed upon, as demonstrated in the comments on the various editions shown here.


Rythim Is Rythim* It Is What It Is 5:36
Blake Baxter Forever And A Day 5:36
Eddie "Flashin'" Fowkes* Time To Express 5:41
K.S. Experience Electronic Dance 6:36
Members Of The House Share This House (Radio Mix) 5:56
A Tongue & D Groove Feel Surreal 6:55
Mia Hesterley Spark 6:09
Juan* Techno Music 7:20
Inner-City* Featuring Kevin Saunderson Big Fun 7:39
Blake Baxter Ride Em Boy 7:02
Shakir* Sequence 10 5:20
Idol Making Un, Deux, Trois 6:05
Various Detroit Is Jacking (The Techno! Megamix) 13:49

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November 16, 2018
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, CD, Comp, DIXCD 75
Stuart Cosgrove's liner notes:

think of detroit and you automatically think of motown, but be careful not to think too loud because the new grandmasters of detroit techno hate history.

juan atkins, 26 years old, and the self proclaimed captain of the techno sound is an articulate enemy of motown's supreme being. "berry gordy built the motown sound on the same principle as the conveyor belt at the ford plant. today the automobile plants use robots and computers to make their cars and i'm more interested in fords robots than gordy's music."

techno music is unashamedly modern in it's out-look. it is a mesmerising underground of new music which looks to the future, breaks with the past and blends european industrial pop with black american garage funk. according to derrick may, the immensely gifted young producer who works under the pseudonyms rhythim is rhythim and mayday, his music goes "beyond the beat". it is not simply dance music but a series of sound experiments that often defy the logic of more uncomplicated dance sounds like chicago house.

the origins of techno date back to the late 70's to the supressed identity of european synthesiser groups like kraftwerk and yello and to british electronic funk groups like heaven 17, new order and the human league. their music established the synthesiser as the creative core of new music, encouraging a whole generation of young musicians to turn their basements into makeshift studios. unknown to europe the ears of black america were listening with increasing facsination reversing the age-old flow of musical influence.

in west detroit, juan atkins a student at the city's belleville high school and an obsessive fan of kraftwerk, began to compose basic drum patterns on an old roland d115 eventually graduating to more complex synthesiser tracks which borrowed heavily from europe.

juan's first group cybotron released several records at the height of the electro-funk boom in the early 80's, the most succesful being a truly progressive homage to the city of detroit simply entitled 'techno city'. at the time he believed the record was a unique and adventurous piece of synthesiser funk, more in tune with germany than the rest of black america, but on a dispiriting visit to new york, juan heard afrika bambaataa's 'planet rock' and realised that his vision of a spartan electronic dance sound had been upstaged.

he returned to detroit to renew his friendship with 2 younger students from belleville high, kevin saunderson and derrick may, and quietly over the next few years the three of them became the creative backbone of detroit techno.

most of the tracks on this lp are the work of the belleville 3, juan's 'techno music' and the kevin saunderson experience's 'electronic dance' reflect the basic studio beat of techno, whilst derrick may's rhythim is rhtyhim track takes the music into the most unlikely areas turning new age ambience and film-soundtrack instrumentation into complex dance music.

derrick may is undoubtedly the philosopher of techno! he sees the music as post-soul and believes it marks a deliberate break with previous traditions of black american music. "the music is just like detroit" he claims, "a complete mistake, it's like george clinton and kraftwerk are stuck in an elevator with only a sequencer to keep them company."

amidst the experimental strangeness of this album are other more obviously commercial dance records. 'share this house' by members of the house which actually features george clinton as an uncredited visiting producer, takes its main influences from the chicago jack virus.

inevitably the detroit techno sound will be compared to the music of the nearby city of chicago,a problem that neither angers nor concerns the producers of techno! blake baxter, detroit's soft spoken sex symbol, and the whispered mind behind the promiscous 'ride em boys', has already had several hits in the chicago area, and derrick may's best known records to date - 'nude photo' & 'strings' - were instrumental in taking chicago's music into the abstract and lysergic mood now described as 'acid house.'

but derrick believes there's a huge differance between chicago house and detroit techno! "it's a question of respect, house still has it's heart in 70's disco, we don't have any of that respect for the past, it's strictly future music. we have a much greater aptitude for experimentation."

techno is undoubtedly the music of detroit but it has none of the latter day optimism of motown. the city is reflected in the music in an unsettling way. "factories are closing and people are drifting away" says derrick, "the old industrial detroit is falling apart, the structures have collapsed. it's the murder capital of america. six year olds carry guns and thousands of black people have stopped caring if they ever work again. if you make music in that environment it can't be straight music. in britain you have new order, well our music is the new disorder."

techno's sudden shift of tempo and relentless war on familiarity makes it sound like free form jazz for the computer era. it may well be the music of the new disorder but it promises to join george clinton's funkadelia and prince's minneapolis sound as one of the most experimental forms of music black america has ever produced.


November 24, 2017
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, DIXG 75

The only weak side to this compilation is Members Of The House - 'Share This House'. It really shouldn't have been included on this LP.


June 10, 2017
edited over 2 years ago
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, DIXG 75

Of course Inner-City* Featuring Kevin Saunderson Big Fun is a classic...

Back then and now..

But then came this comp!

Thanks Neil Rushton

Our faves were...

Rythim Is Rythim* It Is What It Is.. Ambient and head chilling!
Blake Baxter Forever And A Day... Those strings or whatever they were...More please of them!
Blake Baxter Ride Em Boy.. A cold pumping tune!
A Tongue & D Groove Feel Surreal.... Sounds that made you forget what you were doing !
Idol Making Un, Deux, Trois... This used to weird us out in a good way!... Stark!
Juan* Techno Music..... Something else! A very something else...

And so so many more shaped my then little knowledge of what on earth was going on!
The pills helped too!
But that was later in 89!
Back in 88 it was one beer and many spliffs between us 3 teenagers from a tiny bedroom that was more like a space ship than mere sleeping quarters!

The world is flat?
Hmmmm maybe maybe not... ---- ....()....

It is what it is!

Either way music shapes it! And us....
Either way it helps us does it not?

We're having BIG FUN! ;)




October 2, 2016
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, DIXG 75
Purchase at Buyrite in Detroit when it first hit the shelves. This LP changed my life. Will always be one of my favorite records.


September 27, 2015
referencing Techno · The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, 303 322-406
It's not often a compilation is one of the most important records ever made....
It's the key that opened many doors


May 7, 2013
edited over 6 years ago
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, CD, Comp, DIXCD 75

This is a very overrated compilation that gets older everytime I listen to it. I agree with mjb that many of the tracks sound like house and are very dated tracks. Listen to Black Baxter - Forever And A Day or K.S Experience - Electronic Dance which are some of the tracks I least liked from this compliation. They get older, older and older the more times I listen to them. Not saying this compilation is bad. Some tracks like Rythim Is Rhythim - It Is What It Is and Juan - Techno Music while nearly as outdated as pretty much everything in this compilation are quite enjoyble and are still somewhat nostalgic. And let's not forget about Inner City - Big Fun which is considered one of the most commercially successful techno tracks in the history of the genre. Not a bad CD to pickup mainly because it has quite a bit of history.


September 1, 2012
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, DIXG 75
It is important to get this compilation in context. It is an indulgence on anybody's part to assume Niel Rushton was at all claiming a 'discovery' or 'branding' of the genre 'Techno'. He was and still is a reveered Producer, Journalist, DJ and knowledgable ambassador for music, period.... And it was his immense passion and connections in Detriot from his years of playing and importing as A&R/Liason man of Rare Northern Soul Records that Detriot Techno (Of which Motown shared the same home) was naturally baught to his attention in the 80's in it's early incarnation by the music community who he knew intimately over years. It is true the terminology of 'Techno' and it's elements (as all nearly electronic music) originated in those early european clubs but 'Detroit - Techno' had deffinative unique elements of that 'Motown-Jazz Funk Fusion' sounds that are added to the pure electro sounds of the european influence, of which, was and is a huge influence on the ears of Juan Atkins, Eddie Fawlkes etc....... This is just one man's love of the music evolving and coinciding within the the same city of which he has been an ambassador for more than many of us can remember....PEACE!


August 7, 2012
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, DIXG 75
Only now, years and years later do I realise A Tongue & D Groove's "Feel surreal" is just a remix of Rhythim Is Rhythim's "Feel surreal" (Transmat MS6) - doh!


May 29, 2012
edited over 7 years ago
referencing Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit, 2xLP, Comp, DIXG 75
While some of the tracks have, indeed, a housey feel to them (especially Share this House), the production should be taken for what it is. It's not like high quality recording equipment was exactly affordable to the average youth in the 1980s.

The KS Experience track is full of energy.