The 90s was an incredible time for techno. The dance music culture continued its spread from Detroit across to Europe, becoming a transatlantic phenomenon, helping to fuel the rise of US rave culture, the peak of the illegal party era in the UK, the anarchic Berlin scene, and more.
Listening to techno mixes from that decade is a thrilling portal back to a game-changing period for the genre, providing insight into the development of the sound and the subcultures it produced.
We’ve compiled an extensive list of the some of the best 90s techno mixes archived online that you can listen to today — and they are all absolutely banging. Check them out below.
Colin Faver & Joey Beltram ‘Live on Kiss FM’ (1991)
Joey Beltram took to the UK radio airwaves in 1991, joining Colin Faver on Kiss FM. Colin was one of the founders of the initially pirate station that became licensed, and his cutting-edge show was influential in growing the station’s popularity and techno as a culture in the UK. In unison they’re an absolute force to be reckoned with, playing raucous cuts from the likes of Automation, LFO and Exterminator in a mix that will physically shake your speakers with raw energy.
Underground Resistance ‘Live at Limelight, New York’ (1992)
True to form, this Underground Resistance set is a fist-raising set of invigorating Detroit techno. The group at this time consisted of founders Mad Mike Banks and Jeff Mills alongside Robert Hood. Formed in the late 80s, UR are one of the most influential outfits in techno history, bringing a militant political approach to the culture that stood strong for Black empowerment and against commercialisaiton of the sound. That anti-corporate ethos powers through in the sounds of this mix: it’s a frantic, raw deluge of industrial techno, featuring MCing from Robert Hood, who is uncompromising in his message, declaring “this is your punishment”.
Luke Slater ‘Live at Empire, Bognor Regis’ (1992)
This recording of Luke Slater from a Bognor Regis’ The Empire Club is euphoric and driving throughout. It’s an interesting insight into the UK techno at the time and how ravey the sound was, with vocals present throughout this mix and ecstatic synth melodies fuelling a sense of delirium. A techno club with high profile bookings in a town like Bognor Regis, which you’re unlikely to see these days, also highlights the popularity of the sound at the time, the erosion of regional clubbing, and its concentration in metropolitan areas. As the flyer artwork for the mix indicates (“ADMISSION £4 BEFORE 11. £5 AFTER”), it was also a bargain!
Juan Atkins ‘Live at Ark Leeds’ (1993)
be transported to legendary Leeds club night Ark to hear the world’s of acid
house and Detroit techno collide? That’s what you’ll find inside this fast,
loose and frenetic recording of Juan Atkins doing his thing out on tour as a
pioneer of the techno sound. This mix is from the same year that the Model 500
compilation came out and a little after he released his first solo album
(alongside 3MB aka Thomas Fehlmann and Moritz von Oswald) – it’s a raw depiction of an artist making dance music
Sven Väth ‘Techno Trance – Trip One Mixtape’ (1993)
Mixes came on cassettes back in the day and there’s not many bigger than the ‘Techno Trance – Trip One’ tape on Universal Productions, featuring Sven Väth, DJ Dag, Marc Spoon and Jeff Mills. Sven takes care of the opening set, pulling together trippy techno earworms and relentless odd-ball tracks with a hint of trance euphoria. Some included are the Spicelab remix of Sven’s 1992 track ‘An Accident In Paradise’ and ‘Liquid Metal Meltdown’ by Detroit’s DJ T-1000, aka Alan Oldham. Now dig out that tape player (or listen to it on YouTube)!
Andrew Weatherall ‘Essential Mix’ (1993)
balk at the term and spent his entire career reinventing himself to avoid
definition, but in 1993 AndrewWeatherall was one of the first “superstar” DJs. By the time this, his first
of two Essential Mixes, was released, he’d become a leading light of the acid
house generation, produced one of his masterpieces in Primal Scream’s
‘Screamadelica’ and been a heavy influence on British club culture via his
writing in the Boy’s Own fanzine. This was the third ever Essential Mix to be broadcast and Weatherall used the
opportunity to showcase his obsession with techno, or “panel beaters from
Prague” as he affectionately called this new, harder, faster form of dance
music that he’d fallen in love with. The first 30 minutes starts innocently
enough with Weatherall’s classic drug chug, before segueing into a full body
workout that would have been a shock to the system for anyone expecting
Surgeon ‘Live at House Of God, Birmingham’ (1993)
Anthony Child aka Surgeon co-founded Birmingham techno institution House of God after moving to the city and finding no techno clubs there. Around three decades later it’s still going strong as one the finest techno parties the UK has to offer. Listening to this 1993 set from Surgeon it’s clear why both the party and DJ have had such staying power. The opening hour is a masterclass in channeling subtlety, groove and soul, proving that you don’t need to blow the roof off to craft a gripping techno set — before the final 30 minutes shows that’s fun too.
Ron Trent ‘Live at Rave Satellite, Berlin’ (1994)
This mix starts off with Laurent Garnier spinning house music, before Ron Trent steps up for the second half with blistering techno selections. The Chicago-hailing DJ and producer is perhaps better known for his smooth house productions and sets these days, but this mix leans heavily into ragged techno and palptiating acid.
Carl Craig ‘Live @ Fuse Clubs, Brussels’ (1994)
Carl Craig has long been one of the daddys of deep, soulful
techno and here you’ll hear him combine that sensibility with pure, mainlined
jack! Craig mixes with aplomb, veering between heavenly euphoria and the
meanest, rough-edged pump he can lay his hands on. The mix is beautiful
unconstrained, full of the energy and skill of a DJ enjoying the come-up (Craig
had founded Planet E in ‘91 and would release his debut album in ‘95, with a DJ
Kicks following in ‘96).
Carl Cox ‘Essential Mix’ (1994)
This is the first of several Essential Mixes that Coxy has turned out over the years and it’s a showcase of the
maximalist techno that he pummeled ecstatic crowds with in the mid 90s. Coxy’s
years as an acid house and hardcore DJ echo throughout as he opts for plenty of
big rave stabs, acid squiggles and frenetic snares, skillfully blending
multiple tracks across three turntables. Little glimpses of Chicago house and
ghetto house appear here and there, adding melody or a vocal, but for the main
it’s big, bold techno from start to finish.
Dave Clarke ‘Essential Mix’ (1994)
The tracklist to Dave Clarke’s Essential Mix from ‘94 reads
like one of those mixtapes made by a mate that’ll change your life forever –
and we mean a proper mixtape here, painstakingly recorded in the early hours,
artist and track titles scrawled in tiny lettering all over the sleeve (though
we suppose a digital playlist would also work, but it’s less romantic right?!)
This truly feels like a love letter to Detroit techno and its satellite scenes
as The Baron draws for Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills, Drexciya, Model 500,
Cybotron, DJ T-1000 and Underground Resistance on labels like KMS, Axis,
Tresor, Metroplex and Rephlex. Sparks fly as techno and electro bombs detonate
all over the place – embrace the future!
Slam ‘Essential Mix’ (1994)
Glasgow duo Slam are now the stuff of legend thanks to their
parties, Soma record label and consistent dedication to underground dance
music. By the time this Essential Mix came out they’d put a shift in already,
having met in ‘86 and begun to put on now seminal club nights in the late 80s
and early 90s. Much like Dave Clarke’s Essential Mix from the same year, this is very much a mixtape
that acts as a gateway to another gateway: it begins with lush, cosmic deep
house before journeying through techno and landing in acid and ghetto house.
The tracklist is full of gems – ‘Remake Uno’ sounds majestic here, Joey
Beltram’s Code 6 alias makes a mammoth appearance, the whole thing ends on rare
acid house banger ‘12 AM’ by Laurent X – and acts as a portal to a magic time
in the 90s.
Laurent Garnier ‘Mixmag Live Vol. 19’ (1994)
Recently reissued, Laurent Garnier’s edition of the ‘Mixmag Live’ series is a thumping session of techno and trippy electro cuts. You might be fooled by St. Germain’s jazzy piano cut ‘Deep In It’ being dropped first, but Laurent switches it up straight after with DBX’s rampant ‘Losing Control’. There is a lighter house moment with Davina’s ‘Don’t You Want It’, but even that’s a slammer. From then on, it’s a techno onslaught with the frantic percussion of Olivier le Castor’s ‘Lodge 2’, Sven Väth’s ‘Ballet-Fusion’, Kenny Larkin’s ‘Cataconic (First State)’, and Stone Circle’s ‘Deep In You’, the most delightful and playful of techno tracks.
Miss Djax ‘Live at Love Parade’ (1995)
Berlin’s Love Parade was a phenomenon through the 90s, attracting hundreds of thousands, sometimes more than a million, to the streets of Berlin each year to express themselves by dancing in unison to repetitive beats. Miss Djax’s set from the 1995 edition is befitting of the occasion: it’s pounding, euphoric and delirious.
Manu Le Malin & Laurent Ho ‘Live at Digital Thunder’ (1995)
French DJs Manu Le Malin & Laurent Ho let rip across the length of this hardcore techno. It aurally grabs you by the throat and smacks you round the face with 90 unrelenting minutes of sheer chaos. It’s not for the faint of heart, but perfect if you’re into the extreme edge of the genre.
Jeff Mills ‘Live at The Liquid Room. Tokyo’ (1995)
A classic. Jeff Mills at The Liquid Room in Tokyo is one most techno heads will know about. If not, you do now. The mix was recorded at the iconic Tokyo club and later released as a mix CD on the label React. Mills took the opportunity to hammer out his own tracks, ‘The Bells’, ‘The Fear As We Know It’ and ‘Utopia’ just a handful of them. Then there’s DJ Funk’s devilish ‘Run’, the bolshy ‘Move’ by Surgeon, Luke Slater’s remix of Ken Ishii’s ‘Extra’ and The Advent’s ‘Bad Boy’. All of these – and more – come together to deliver a masterclass from one of techno’s figureheads who just won’t stop working.
Robert Armani ‘Techno Mania’ (1995)
You can tell Robert Armani is from Chicago. His take on
techno is hard, fast and full of jack. Personified, his sound would have a sly
smile on its face and a twinkle in its eye; it’d give you a copy of this promo
mix, released on tape in ‘95, at some smokey afters and when you eventually got
home, all fuzzy from the night before, and put it on your stereo, the music
would jolt you awake like a lightning bolt. 26 years and a laboured metaphor
later, this still slaps and is from the decade where Armani released a
slew of albums and EPs, flooding the market with raw energy.
Miss Kittin ‘Live @ Tech EYE, MCM TV Channel’ (1995)
These days you’ll find Miss Kittin playing all over the world, whether it’s at Music On or Circoloco in Ibiza or Romania’s much-loved tech-fest Sunwaves. She put the graft in to reach the status of a world-renowned DJ. This goes back to the early ’90s and in ’95 she turned in a mix for Tech EYE on French music channel MCM and, wow, does it bang. The French DJ goes hard on the percussive-clashing cuts, drops in acid-layered tracks and works with enough bass to leave you feeling shocked at the end of it.
Dave Angel ‘X-Mix-4’ (1995)
Dave Angel kept his sound in constant motion in the 90s: a
year before his X-Mix installment he delivered a cerebral, experimental techno
session for the Mixmag Live series while three
years later he’d lay out a pumped-up, feel-good manifesto with his epic ‘39
Flavours Of Tech Funk’ mix. Things move quickly in dance music and here, in
‘95, he was channeling the spirit of Detroit and his love of jazz, soul and
funk to put together a selection that’s deep, ecstatic and pumping in equal
measure. ‘X-Mix-4’, part of !K7’s groundbreaking audio-visual mix series from
the 90s, twists and turns, with particular highlights being Dave’s own
productions, which are the stuff of dreamy techno gold.
Colin Dale ‘Outer Limits 2’ (1995)
Limits 2’ was one of a number of commercial DJ mixes that Colin Dale released
in the 90s, all with brilliant names like ‘Outer Limits’, ‘Mutant Disco’ and
‘Abstract Funk Theory’ that hinted at the futuristic new possibilities he was
exploring in his sets. By ‘95 Dale was an integral part of UK dance music,
having come up alongside Fabio, Grooverider, Jumpin Jack Frost, Bryan Gee and
Dave Angel and founded the Abstrakt Dance radio show on Kiss FM that provided a
platform for all of the Detroit techno greats to play on in the UK. ‘Outer
Limits 2’ is refined to the point of feeling hand-crafted, it’s limber rhythms
and psychedelic flourishes offering a connoisseurs take on the techno sound
that sounds well ahead of its time. With a tracklist that includes Carl Craig,
Marshall Jefferson, Juan Atkins, Steve Rachmad and Phillipe Zdar, it’s little
wonder that Dale’s forward-thinking attitude means he’s still a firm fixture in
UK dance music now.
Plastikman ‘Mixmag Live Vol. 20’ (1995)
live in his Canadian hometown, this
session for Mixmag’s legendary mix series is
Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman at his finest. It’s a masterclass in taut, funky
propulsion and joins the dots between his output as Plastikman and FUSE with
techno artists from Detroit, Chicago and Europe. Plenty of Plastikman hits
feature, as well as Hawtin’s early experiments with what could be made possible
with a DJ mixer. Just watch out for the jolts of acid!
Robert Hood ‘Live @ Minimalistic Style, Club Plasma, Germany’ (1996)
Robert Hood released ‘Minimal Nation’ in 1994, setting the blueprint for minimal
techno and casting influence over the wider techno genre in ways that are still
felt today. These days his DJ mixes remain uncompromising exercises in deep,
stripped-back rhythm but there’s something equally thrilling in immersing
yourself in ‘Minimal Nation’-era Hood, as can be done with this mammoth session
recorded in Germany in ‘96. It’s packed with that itchy, squiggly funk and
those hefty, fortified kicks that Hood made his signature, a seemingly endless
exercise in a new type of groove. Robert Hood is, was, will continue to be
Carl Craig ‘DJ-Kicks’ (1996)
provided a platform for Detroit techno early on in its history by releasing
groundbreaking mixes from Carl Craig, Claude Young and Stacey Pullen in quick
succession in 1996. Craig’s submission to the long-running series was DJ-Kicks’
second-ever release and provides a smorgasbord of techno delights, running the
gamut from minimalism to deep soul to frenetic bangers. Essential stuff
Claude Young ‘DJ-Kicks’ (1996)
Claude Young is a Detroit local who school himself in the city’s techno scene before
travelling abroad to live in Australia and the UK. A resolutely
anti-establishment artist, his entry into the DJ-Kicks series is an
uncompromising display of tough techno and hands-on DJ techniques, with plenty
of cuts, beat juggling and spinbacks making for an exhilarating ride. “I think
Detroit, Berlin, New York, Chicago and other cities are places where you have
to be really good. You can’t be a marketer type DJ and make it,” he told RA in 2011. “You’re not
going to market your way past Derrick May or Kevin Saunderson or Jeff Mills.
You’ve got to come with some skill. I always try to keep that part with me. I
take that idea of the competition and the push to be different with me
everywhere I go.” It’s that energy that makes this DJ mix still stand up
Stacey Pullen ‘DJ-Kicks’ (1996)
reason why there’s a long debate on the Discogs entry for this mix about
whether it’s the greatest commercial DJ mix of all time: it’s quite simply
phenomenal. Pullen fuses together fast, soulful techno with incredible skill,
rarely letting tracks go for more than three minutes and coming up with some
ingenious blends. The tracklist ping pongs between Detroit and Chicago and
Europe but the end result is resolutely afrofuturist, a mission statement from
Pullen who, having been mentored by Derrick May, was a key figure in Detroit’s
“second wave” of techno artists who were continuing to construct a Blackutopia in dance music.
K-Hand ‘Live @ 1Live, Treibhaus’ (1996)
was on fire between ‘95 and ‘01, releasing seven LPs and countless 12”s in a
run of form that made her one of the most productive Detroit producers on the
time. So it’s weird that there are very few recordings of her DJ sets from that
time, especially when she was gigging so much to promote her relentless release
schedule (at the start of this radio show she says it’s her 20th time in
Germany). Her tracks were widely played by the likes of Mike Huckaby, Stacey
Pullen, Pete Tong and Dave Lee back in the day but this is pretty much the only
live recording of her we could find (happy to stand corrected though!) and it’s
a total treat: she plays soulful, upbeat techno injected with big moments of
Chicago house and ghetto house – just wait ‘til you hear Glenn Underground and
a brilliant Green Velvet remix jump out of the rich flow of techno heat that
she lays down.
Kenny Larkin ‘Live @ Mayday, Dortmund’ (1996)
some really interesting Kenny Larkin recordings online – this mix of rave and techno from ‘92 is near overwhelming in its velocity, while this live set from ‘95 is a time capsule back to mind-blowing second wave Detroit techno
– and this session taken from a set in Dortmund is no exception. Here, Larkin
journeys through Detroit and UK techno and Chicago and New York house, moving
seamlessly between both in what’s a joyous snapshot of everything good about
dance music at that time. After releasing two albums in as many years –
‘Azimuth’ on Warp in ‘94 and ‘Metaphor’ on R&S in ‘95 – Larkin had become
one of Detroit’s main protagonists and the quality speaks for itself
Mike Dearborn ‘DJ Promo #3’ (1996)
Mike Dearborn is beloved of 90s techno fans. Indeed, the producer, DJ and Majesty label
boss was super active through the decade, releasing two LPs and a slew of 12”s.
This tape recording doesn’t have a date but judging by the tracklist – which
slams its way through fast, pounding techno from North America – it came out
around 96. Recorded in Germany, it’s an uncompromising blend of hard beats and
bleeps and makes for a good, if slightly more minimal, accompaniment to fellow
Windy City DJ Robert Armani’s ‘Techno Mania’ from the year before.
Robert Hood ‘Live at Energy, Zurich’ (1996)
Recorded a couple years on from the release of his influential ‘Minimal Nation’ album, this mix carries a similar sense of warmth and soul through its exploration of stripped-back sounds. ‘Minimal’ became a bit of a dirty word in some corners of the dance music community during the 00s when it became defined by soulless loops where the main thing stripped from the music seemed to be its sense of life. Hood, on the other, was all about putting more life in, as this mix makes clear. ‘Minimal Nation’ opener ‘One Touch’ features, which he once described as “about putting the humanistic dimension back in techno music. The rave thing was becoming so sample-driven and so machine-driven that I wanted to put the human element back in.”
Monika Kruse ‘Fine Audio Recordings DJ Mix Series Vol. 1’ (1997)
Monika Kruse was the first DJ to turn in a mix for German label Fine Audio Recordings’ mix series in 1997 and she made sure she set a soaring precedent. It’s an electrifying hour-plus ride featuring rocket-fuelled tracks by the likes of Marco Carola, DJ Rush, Basic Channel and, as many techno mixes and sets do, Jeff Mills’ classic ‘The Bells’. Monika does not mess about in this and we absolutely love it.
Kevin Saunderson ‘X-Mix-7 – Transmission From Deep Space Radio’ (1997)
Despite tasting the sweet champagne associated with pop stardom as part of Inner City in the late ’80s, Kevin Saunderson didn’t discard his techno roots. The Detroit icon followed the likes of Richie Hawtin & John Acquaviva, Laurent Garnier, DJ Hell and Dave Angel to deliver for the famed X-Mix series in 1997. The result is a pulsating, battering ram of a session featuring classics like Plastikman’s ‘Spastik’, tunes from fellow Detroit producers Octave One (‘Night Illusions’ and ‘Siege’) and the scything ‘Velocity Funk’ under his E-Dancer alias. You’ll be puffing at the end of this one.
Lawrence Burden ‘Rave Satellite, Radio Fritz’ (1997)
be remiss not to include something from the brothers Burden in this list, but
although Lenny and Lawrence’s Octave One and Random Noise Generation projects
were fully active in the 90s (and still are today, with continued input from
their bros Lorne, Lynell and Lance Burden), it’s difficult to track down
recordings of them DJing. This set comes from Lawrence at the controls of the
Rave Satellite show on Berlin’s Radio Fritz, which also still exists today.
Having been releasing since the early 90s, the Burden bros were a Detroit
staple by this point and Lawrence takes the opportunity to power through fast,
funky techno from all of the big players as well as plenty of Octave One
DJ Pierre ‘Cosmium – Evosonic Radio Köln’ (1997)
This DJ Pierre set for Evosonic Radio (which is still going) should be marked “handle
with caution”. Broadcast during Alex Beeb’s Cosmium radio show and used to
promote a megarave featuring the biggest and baddest of 90s techno DJs,
Pierre’s session is non-stop monochrome acid techno that’s designed for dark
basements illuminated by one red light. Things get rough and nasty, the aural
equivalent of the smiling devil emoji.
Heather Heart ‘The Future Sounds of Sonic Groove’ (1998)
Heather Heart goes hard. The New York DJ has played a pivotal role in the city’s techno scene, both as a force in the club scene and as co-founder of Manhattan’s all-techno Sonic Groove Records shop in 1995. Her influence is etched into rave history, and sets like this are a prime example of why. Released as the first volume of East Music Group’s ‘Eastbound Underground’ mixtape series, it’s an entrancing journey through pounding and hypnotic sounds.
Kenny Larkin ‘Detroit Radio Mix’ (1998)
This radio show from Kenny Larkin gets off to a disorientating start, opening with Negativland’s ‘Time Zones’, an experimental track with sampled voices locked in conversation about how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union. It’s an intriguingly offbeat introduction that immediately grabs your attention, pulling you into the irresistible techno flow that follows.
Underworld ‘Live at I Love Techno’ (1998)
Underworld’s live sets sure are something. The group had a slew of hits in the ’90s, but they made sure they were still ingrained in the underground and their set at I Love Techno in ’98 is proof of that. There’s something quite dark and haunting about it, mainly down to Karl Hyde’s inimitable vocal presence combined with some incredible, suspense-filled intros. It’s also lively – as techno should be – and rowdy. The latter probably down to ‘Born Slippy’ and those classic ‘LAGER LAGER LAGER’ vocals.
Jeff Mills ‘Stars X2’ (1998)
synonymous with rave nostalgia and were of course a huge part of 80s and 90s
dance music culture as fans bought tape packs or recorded mixes and tracks
themselves direct from the radio. StarsX2 was a
bootleg tape series that ran from ‘96-’00 which offered up live recordings from
the great names of house, techno, trance and garage. While the tapes are banned
for sale from Discogs because they’re not official, a perusal of the StarsX2
back catalogue reveals what a time it was to be alive as a dance music lover in
the 90s. This recording of Jeff Mills came backed with a set from Sven Väth, a
combo that’s hard to resist even now. Mills’ set goes full throttle and at
times it’s hard to keep up with the sheer landslide of drums.
DJ T-1000 ‘Live Sabotage: Live In Belgium’ (1998)
an afrofuturist artform and ‘Live Sabotage: Live In Belgium’ is a pure
expression of that. It features a host of faces from The D as well as disciples
from elsewhere in North America and Europe. DJ T-1000 allows each blend of
minimal, bass-heavy heavy techno to unfurl slowly, with miniscule changes in
the detail of each track amplified to brilliant effect – before you know it
you’re being carried away on subtle increases in low-end or mutoid melodies
that appear as if out of nowhere. The precision of each mix characterises DJ
T-1000 as a scientist or astronaut, each neon bleep bubbling up like a test
tube or appearing like a new star formation in space. Sublime.
Frankie Bones ‘Computer Controlled (Live in California)’ (1998)
Frankie Bones is a legend of the American rave scene and this mix proves why: fierce,
uncompromising and utterly addictive, this’ll have you transported to a
Californian warehouse in no time. The techno here is big, bold and raw, a
monster blend of Bones’ own cuts that features little in the way of vocal or
melody, just rolling percussion that has a mesmerising, entrancing quality.
Suddenly the sun’s coming up and you’re covered in sweat….
DJ Bone ‘Live at Motor, Detroit’ (1998)
Flash back to ‘98 to catch DJ Bone spinning at his weekly residency at Motor in Detroit. Bone had cut his teeth with residencies at other clubs in the Motor City but was now commanding a regular audience of 1000 people with his name drawing techno tourists from all over the world. This was only two years after Laurent Garnier had booked Bone in Paris and you can hear just why the uncompromising artist was picking up fans outside of his hometown: the DJ Bone blueprint is right here, with its pacey beats, chopped-up chords and splice ‘n dice mixing style, making for a very distinct brand of techno which Bone still rocks clubs with to this day.
Juan Atkins ‘Live at Flex, Vienna’ (1998)
need at least two or three hours to take you on “a journey” but here Juan
Atkins does it in just over 80 minutes and it’s an absolute treat. The
recording begins with old-skool electro and Kraftwerk, nodding at some of
Detroit techno’s early influences, before gliding into smooth minimalism,
hi-tech soul and, as the tempo increases, some roof-raising bangers. It’s as if
Mr Atkins decided to bless Vienna with the whole range of Detroit energy that
Dave Angel ‘39 Flavours Of Tech Funk’ (1998)
feel the sunny, vocal-heavy vibe of the late 90s/early 00s dance music
explosion come into focus during this expanside double-disc mix by Dave Angel.
The London techno veteran had paid his dues on the underground circuit earlier
in the 90s and was now synthesising techno and funk at breakneck speeds, a
full-colour fusion he called ‘tech funk’ that is impossible not to like. He was
lashing vocal hooks and piano riffs to barnstorming kick drums long before
‘techno disco’ was a thing and this mix will have soundtracked many lost
weekends back in the day. What an absolute joy.
Mark Broom ‘Live @ Fuse’ (1998)
Mark Broom’s been putting out records since the early 90s and has literally released
more wax than you’ve had hot dinners. He’s a UK mainstay who’s released his
fair share of face-melters, but this session at Fuse sees him draw for plenty
of mid-tempo techno full of swing and groove, a nice tonic to go with the
harder liquor available elsewhere on this list. That’ll come as no surprise to
fans of Broom, as he released an LP of deep, driving, ambient techno in ‘96
worth revisiting now.
DJ Shiva ‘Scenes From Dystopia’ (1999)
Before Noncompliant was Noncompliant, she was DJ Shiva. It’s under this alias the Indiana-raised DJ released ‘Scenes From Dystopia’ on mixtape label Untranslatable Concept in 1999. Rugged, pumping and outright relentless, Shiva draws for tunes by Jeff Mills, Chris Liebing, Adam Beyer, Surgeon, Ben Sims and Robert Hood. With those names involved, you just know it’s going to slap as techno should. Shiva brings it all together for a timeless techno mix. It’s one to look back on with pride for a DJ who’s at the top of her game over 20 years later.
Dave Clarke ‘Fuse presents Dave Clarke’ (1999)
from ‘99 for Brussel’s legendary Fuse club (which still exists today) sees The
Baron in full flight, dominating the turntables with agile mixing, some nifty
fader work and a track selection that blazes through stomping, electro-tinged
techno. This one pulls you in and keeps you locked in for the duration…
Joey Beltram ‘The Sound Of 2AM’ (1999)
Beltram is a name that is synonymous with 90s rave culture and ‘The Sound Of
2AM’ came at the end of a decade that he thoroughly owned. As the millennium
loomed he’d released a slew of albums, DJ mixes and 12”s, found home on the
likes of Tresor, Trax, Warp and R&S and was behind all-time classics
‘Mentasm’ and ‘Energy Flash’. This DJ mix, which careens along at around
140 BPM, sees him mixing uplifting, trance-y techno that comes spliced with
vocal snips and rave stabs, a glorious glimpse of the energy he was emitting at
James Ruskin ‘Live @ Fuse’ (1999)
James Ruskin is a name that’s synonymous with UK techno and this recording showcases
him hitting his stride on the international scene. Having taken up DJing in
‘91, production in ‘94 and running a label (Blueprint) in ‘96, by ‘99 Ruskin
was a fully-fledged artist who’d also just released his debut album, ‘Further
Design’. It’s little wonder that Belgian club Fuse – where so many of the best
techno recordings are taken from (let alone the club’s legendary mix series) –
booked him to play a thunderstorm of banging, squiggly techno. Ruskin draws for
plenty of Detroit ammo while bigging up UK heads like Surgeon and Ben Sims.
There’s also an appearance from a young Adam Beyer as the roots of ‘00s techno
begin to take root.
Ellen Allien ‘Live @ 1040 Leipzig’ (1999)
Allien go hell for leather at legendary Leipzig spot 1040? Here’s your
chance. The Berliner cut her teeth as a young DJ with a residency at Tresor,
the Bunker and E-Werk in the 90s and was a regular at infamous clubs like UFO
and later Ostgut and Casino. Having been a disciple of techno for the best part
of a decade, in 1999 she founded BPitch Control, released her first album in
2001 and the rest is history. She’s now a certified techno legend and this
session from 1040 is the sound of a DJ coming into their own and setting the
blueprint for rowdy German techno as we know it today.