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DEMYSTIFYING INDUSTRIAL WAREHOUSE TECHNO






April 21, 2020

WRITTEN BY 
Femi Shonuga-Fleming

EDITED BY
Utkan Dora Öncül

PHOTOGRAPHY 
courtesy of
Tilman Brembs


“Industrial Warehouse Techno” is quite a name for a subgenre of music. In no time, you'll understand the genre and the electrifying culture behind one of Europe's biggest underground music scenes.


“Techno” is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Germany in the early 1980s but quickly migrated to other European countries where regional variants such as hardcore, acid, ambient, and trance began to develop. Techno is often produced for use in continuous DJ sets and live shows, so it often has a central rhythm with classic techno synth sounds coming from machines like the Roland TB-303.


“Industrial Techno” is a subgenre of Techno that focuses on homemade and found audio percussion. That grown man you see dragging a stick on a chain-link fence and banging metal rods on the concrete isn't crazy, he's just looking for his next totally unique drum sample. You might hear most of the sounds used to create immersive and textural drum patterns at a shipping warehouse or factory*, hence the name “Industrial Techno”. Any Techno song will usually land somewhere between 120 BPM and 150 BPM or beats per minute, which makes it easy for DJs to mix tracks together for hours on end.


As the popularity of the genre continued to grow in the 1990s and 2000s, it outpaced the capacity of clubs that couldn't accommodate the swelling crowd. Technoheads needed a new space away from all civilization to convulse from night to sunrise, so they began to have shows in abandoned warehouses on the outskirts of the UK and Berlin. One of the most notorious clubs is Berghain or the "Techno Temple" in Berlin. The abandoned power plant could hold up to 1500 or more ravers at a time and became the epicenter of the Techno community in Berlin. Rumor has it that once you've booked a show there, you've made it in the electronic music scene. Some of the most influential artists to emerge from the scene include Dax J, 999999999, I Hate Models and Amelie Lens.


There’s your intro to “Industrial Warehouse Techno”. Now when you hear distant sounds from a warehouse near the water, stop by for the experience.



*Editor’s Note: The impact of the Warehouse Techno genre is beyond music, but on all art forms. Wolfgang Tilmans is a photographer who moved to Berlin in 2011 and found himself amidst this genre that highly influenced his photography.

Here is a link to a video that was published by Nowness of him within the techno scene.