The Difference Between Hip-Hop And Techno

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  1. The term hip-hop refers to a cultural movement which started in New York in the early 1970s. It emerged out of the parties which were held in inner-city districts in New York.Techno is the term given to a form of electronic dance music (EDM) which was popularised in Detroit in the 1980s.
  1. Hip-hop was born in New York. Clive Campbell was originally from Jamaica. He lived in USA since he was 10. In August, 1973 he provided music for his sister’s party, using turntables, a mixer and a huge sound system. It was a hit with the crowd, and the new sound started to spread.Techno music emerged in Detroit when high-school buddies Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May started experimenting with EDM from Europe, influenced by electro-pop bands like Kraftwerk.
  1. The hip-hop movement was characterised by four distinct performances styles.DJing/Scratching:The disc jockey used two turntables and a DJ mixer to play non-stop dance music. They also used a technique to pull the needle across the turntable. This was called scratching.
  • MCing: The master of ceremonies (MC) would talk over the music, keeping to the rhythm. This was called rapping.
  • Breakdancing: This form of dancing involved gymnastic skill and daredevilry.
  • Graffiti Writing: Young people would sneak into subways in New York and spray messages and images on the walls. These were often subversive.
  • Detroit techno was purely instrumental. It relied heavily on complex drum machine rhythms. Since there were no vocals, there was no overt message. But Juan Atkins used the term ‘techno rebels’. This comes from Alvin Toffler’s book, The Third Wave.
  1. Hip-hop music became the product of a sub-culture rooted in the issues faced by African-Americans, Latinos and other immigrant communities that felt marginalised. It gained immense popularity within USA.Techno music became wildly popular in Europe, and the concept of huge dance parties became a trend. Psychedelic drugs were used at rave parties.
  1. At first, hip-hop music was only performed live. In 1979, Rapper’s Delight by Sugarhill Gang was released. It was a hit.Techno music tracks spread quickly. Detroit techno created a stir in Europe. Popular tracks included Rythim is Rythim’s Strings of Life and Inner City’s Good Life.
  1. Hip-hop music was heavily influenced by percussive music. Clive Campbell, whose stage name was DJ Kool Herc, used bongo and conga beats at his now famous party.Techno celebrated technology. The music was synthesised, using purely electronic instruments and samples.
  1. The sub-culture of hip-hop was born in the ghettos of New York. In the 1960s, a number of city planning decisions rendered the Bronx area a veritable slum. Gangs and drug dealers held sway. The hip-hop movement was a reaction to this scenario of abandonment and despair.Techno also was a reaction to a desolate environment, although of a different kind. The pioneering electronic band Kraftwerk expressed their feeling of cultural emptiness in post war Germany; Detroit was feeling the effects of a recession with factories closing down.
  1. Hip-hop music from Los Angeles was heard in 1989, with N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton. From then on, the West Coast rappers grew in popularity. There was intense competition between the East and West Coast artists. It is thought that this rivalry led to the murders of rapper Tupac Shakur and the MC known as Notorious B.I.G.Techno became a craze in the UK, with Virgin Records releasing a dedicated techno compilation. In 1996, a rave band called The Prodigy had two singles at number one position on the pop charts.
  1. Hip-hop artists started using foul language and violent imagery. This had the effect of the art form being pushed to the fringe while simultaneously increasing its mystique. Disgruntled young people took to it even more.Techno became associated with drug use. The music also reflected this. The parties were not widely publicised, and locations were kept secret. Authorities started cracking down on organisers, but this only fuelled the appetites of young party-goers.
  1. The hip-hop movement has been acknowledged as the expression of values like inclusion and transformation. New York City’s Housing Preservation Department has granted official recognition to the place where DJ Kool Herc held his first party.

Techno gave birth to multiple forms of dance music such as trance, house and electronic. It is still evolving.


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