Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Best of Detroit - 8 Comments

50 Essential Detroit Techno Tracks

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we believe that over that last three decades Techno, more than any other contemporary genre, has perpetuated Detroit’s continued relevance on music’s world stage. We present here 50 pieces of evidence for your consideration; our list of the most essential Detroit Techno tracks produced in that time. ~I♥DM

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Cybotron - Alleys Of Your Mind1. “Alleys of Your Mind” Cybotron (Juan Atkins and Richard Davis), Deep Space 1981

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A Number of Names - Sharevari2. “Sharevari” A Number of Names (Paul Lesley, Sterling Jones and Roderick Simpson), Capriccio 1981

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Orbit feat Carol Hall - The Beat Goes On3. “The Beat Goes On” Orbit featuring Carol Hall (Don Was, Jack Tann, John Lewis and Sonny Bono), Quality 1982

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Cybotron - Clear4. “Clear” Cybotron (Juan Atkins and Richard Davis), Fantasy 1983

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Model 500 - No UFO's (D-Mix)5. “No UFO’S (D-Mix)” Model 500 (Juan Atkins remixed by Derrick May), Metroplex 1985

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Model 500 - Time, Space, Transmat6. “Time, Space, Transmat” Model 500 (Juan Atkins and Richard Davis), Metroplex 1985

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X-Ray - Let's Go7. “Let’s Go” X-Ray (Juan Atkins, Aaron Atkins and Derrick May), Transmat 1986

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Rhythim is Rhythim - Nude Photo8. “Nude Photo” Rhythim Is Rhythim (Thomas Barnett and Derrick May), Transmat 1987

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Rhythim is Rhythim - Strings Of Life9. “Strings of Life” Rhythim Is Rhythim (Derrick May and Micheal James), Transmat 1987

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Innercity - Big Fun10. “Big Fun” Innercity (Kevin Saunderson, James Pennington and Arthur Forest), KMS 1988

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Inner City - Good Life11. “Good Life” Inner City (Kevin Saunderson, James Pennington and Arthur Forest), Virgin 1988

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Reese and Santonio - Truth Of Self Evidence12. “Truth Of Self Evidence” Reese & Santonio (Kevin Saunderson and Santonio Echols), KMS 1988

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Psyche - From Beyond13. “From Beyond” Psyche (Carl Craig), Transmat 1989

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Eddie Flashin' Fowlkes feat Crystal Gaynor - Standing In The Rain (Instrumental Mix)14. “Standing In The Rain (Instrumental Mix)” Eddie “Flashin'” Fowlkes feat. Crystal Gaynor, Spinnin’ (Subsidiary of KMS) 1989

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Fade to Black - In Synch15. “In Synch” Fade to Black (Jay Denham), Fragile (Subsidiary of Transmat) 1990

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Cybersonik - Technarchy16. “Technarchy” Cybersonik (Richie Hawtin, Dan Bell and John Aquaviva), Plus 8 1990

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F.U.S.E. - Substance Abuse17. “Substance Abuse” F.U.S.E. (Richie Hawtin), Plus 8 1991

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UR - The Final Frontier18. “The Final Frontier” UR (‘Mad’ Mike Banks), Underground Resistance 1991

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Jeff Mills - Waveform Transmission Vol 119.“Changes Of Life” Jeff Mills, Tresor 1992

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Underground Resistance - Jupiter Jazz20. “Jupiter Jazz” Underground Resistance (Mike Banks, et al.), Underground Resistance 1992

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Teste - The Wipe (5am Synaptic Mix)21. “The Wipe (5am Synaptic Mix)” Teste (Richie Hawtin, Dave Foster and Himadri Ghosh), Probe 1992

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Plastikman - Spastik22. “Spastik” Plastikman (Richie Hawtin), Plus 8 1993

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The Martian - Star Dancer23. “Star Dancer” The Martian (Will Thomas), Red Planet 1993

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Millsart - Step To Enchantment (Stringent)24. “Step to Enchantment (Stringent)” Millsart (Jeff Mills), Axis 1993

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Infiniti - Game One25. “Game One” Infiniti (Juan Atkins and Orlando Voorn), Metroplex 1994

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DBX - Losing Control26. “Losing Control” DBX (Daniel Bell), Accelerate 1994

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Robert Hood - Museum27. “Museum” Robert Hood, Axis 1994

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Jeff Mills - The Extremist (Retro Mix)28. “The Extremist (Retro Mix)” Jeff Mills, Tresor 1994

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Yennek - Dancing Tides29. “Dancing Tides” Yennek (Kenny Larkin), Volume 1995

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Dopplereffekt - Infophysix30. “Infophysix” Dopplereffekt (Kim Karli, Rudolph Klorzeiger and William Scott), Dataphysix Engineering 1995

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LFO vs F.U.S.E. - Loop (F.U.S.E. Mix)31. “Loop (F.U.S.E. Mix)” LFO vs. F.U.S.E. (Richie Hawtin, Mark Bell and Gerard Varley), Plus 8 1995

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AUX 88 - My A.U.X. Mind32. “My A.U.X. Mind” Aux 88 (Keith Tucker, Tommy Hamilton and William Smith), Direct Beat 1995

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Model 500 - Starlight33. “Starlight” Model 500 (Juan Atkins), Metroplex 1995

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Electric Soul - Come On Baby34. “Come On Baby” Electric Soul (Mike Banks), Direct Beat 1996

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Jeff Mills - The Bells and Alarms35. “The Bells” Jeff Mills, Purpose Maker (Subsidiary of Axis) 1997

36. “Alarms” Jeff Mills, Purpose Maker 1997

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DJ Assault - Ass-N-Titties37. “A**-N-T***ies” DJ Assault (Craig Adams), Assault Rifle 1997

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Plastikman - Panikattack38. “Panikattack” Plastikman (Richie Hawtin), Plus 8 1997

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E-Dacncer - Velocity Funk39. “Velocity Funk” E-Dancer (Kevin Saunderson), KMS 1997

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The Aztec Mystic - Jaguar40. “Jaguar” The Aztec Mystic (Rolando Rocha, Mike Banks and Gerald Mitchell), Underground Resistance 1999

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Richie Hawtin - Orange B141. “Orange B1” Richie Hawtin, M_nus 1999

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Kenny Dixon Jr - Shades Of Jae (Parts I and II)42. “Shades Of Jae (Parts I & II)” Moodymann (Kenny Dixon Jr.), KDJ 1999

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E-Dancer - Velocity Funk (Stacy Pullen Remix)43. “Velocity Funk (Stacy Pullen Remix)” E-Dancer (Kevin Saunderson), KMS 1999

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Detroit Grand Pu Bahs - Sandwiches44. “Sandwiches” Detroit Grand Pubahs (M. Goudy Jr. and Andy Toth), Jive Electro 2000

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Octave One - Black Water45. “Black Water” Octave One (Lenny Burden and Lawrence Burden), 430 West 2000

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Adult - Hand To Phone46. “Hand To Phone” Adult (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller), Clone 2001

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Dabrye - One-Three47. “Hyped-Up Plus Tax” Dabrye (Tadd Mullinix), Ghostly International 2001

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Galaxy to Galaxy - Timeline48. “Timeline” Underground Resistance (Mike Banks, et al.), Underground Resistance 2001

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Audion - Kisses49. “Kisses” Audion (Matthew Dear), Spectral Sound (Subsidiary of Ghostly International) 2004

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Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix)50. “Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix)” Theo Parrish, Third Ear Recordings 2005

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About the author

archiveAuthor Archive



Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.

8 Comments

  1. Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

    This does not have a link? You should add one. If you don’t have one, run a contest to have your readers find it! “Time to Express (Silo Mix)” Eddie Fowlkes, Spinnin’ (Subsidiary of KMS) 1989

  2. Philip Lieffers
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the awesome techno lesson! Total must hears for any music fan!

  3. Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I’d have a contest if I wasn’t certain that it would result in a hundred entries informing me of the incorrectly labeled video already available on youtube. I’ve researched it thoroughly and it’s not available online.

  4. Posted August 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I’m positive my readers would be much more likely to leave a comment on this post if it were accompanied by their facebook avatars. Hint, hint.

  5. Posted December 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Dale. The additional login options are 80% of the value of using Disqus and they should be displayed at the top of the commenting section so that your readers know that its even an option. It will increase the number of comments you get. I will admit its not the most attractive look, having all those logos cluttering the comment area, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Most people don’t realize that when they click ‘post as’ that it will offer them the option unless they are already Disqus users.

  6. Carolin
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    A great article combined with awesome music.

  7. Japhy
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Great list. But where’s Aril Brikha’s ‘Groove La Chord’?

  8. Dale Carlson
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the comment Japhy. All of the artists on our list have at least a loose geographical connection to the city of Detroit. Our research tells us Brikha is originally from Iran and immigrated to Sweden. Though “Groove La Chord” is undoubtedly an all-time techno classic and great example of the Detroit sound, it’s not included because of where he’s from.

What is your opinion?

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