Brief History Of Techno



In my story about the Berlin techno scene in this week’s issue of the magazine, I didn’t spend much space discussing the music itself, partly out of respect for the adage, often attributed incorrectly to Elvis Costello, that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, and partly out of a sense of my own limitations. At this point, what I know about techno is what people who know about techno tell me.

Will Calcutt is one of those people. He works as a photographer and a videographer for a bunch of electronic music labels, and has done some He’s also from Detroit and is steeped in techno’s roots there. He stopped by The New Yorker’soffices the other day to record a brief conversation with me about the music that is so integral to club life in Berlin. He brought along a few tracks, to give a sense of techno’s origins and underpinnings. I imagine him staying up all night before the visit, sweating over what to include, or, more to the point, over what must be excluded. There’s a lot more breadth and variety to techno than first meets the ear, and it’s hard to dig it until you hear it really loud. Anyway, here are a few minutes from the conversation with Will.