Best techno albums since 1990?
March 24, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

What are the best techno albums since 1990?

After discovering Basic Channel and Chain Reaction, I'm left wondering what other essential, must-have techno recordings I might have missed (1990-ish to present day). I mean "techno" in the stricter sense of the term, but I'm also interested in IDM and clicks & cuts type stuff. I'm NOT looking for proto-techno, synthpop/electro, radio-friendly electronica or trip-hop.
posted by Ultra Laser to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Richard James, for sure. Particularly, both of his Selected Ambient Works and Richard D. James.
posted by nitsuj at 12:59 PM on March 24, 2009

Best answer: Ricardo Villalobos - Alcachofa
VA - Kompakt Total 3
Audion - Suckfish
VA - Superlongevity
Ellen Allien - Thrills (the most straight-techno of her records).
Andy Weatherall's Hypercity (a good snapshot of the force tracks catalogue).
posted by subtle-t at 1:10 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

You should check out Autechre, particularly their albums Tri Repetae and Confield.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 1:16 PM on March 24, 2009

Venetian Snares.
posted by benzenedream at 1:22 PM on March 24, 2009

posted by erebora at 1:26 PM on March 24, 2009

You might want to check out Prefuse 73's One Word Extinguisher: It's very click-cut-glitch but admittedly has some hip-hop influences.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:38 PM on March 24, 2009

The Last Resort by Trentemøller.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:15 PM on March 24, 2009

Music has the right to children by Boards of Canada
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:19 PM on March 24, 2009

Minimal techno fans swear by Plastikman.
posted by el_lupino at 2:55 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Monolake is on CR and his whole catalog is worth listening to; Yagya was not on CR but has the same sound (more than Monolake who has a little more variety). Theorem and Pole are both also along the same lines and quite good (look for Pole 1, 2, and 3 instead of his new stuff). CR's Vladislav Delay has put out stuff on other aliases, but Luomo is by far the most successful. It's housier but still has enough techno aesthetic to make me recommend it.

Speedy J has done some IDM stuff, some ambienty stuff, and a bunch of pretty hard techno stuff too, all of which I like. "A Shocking Hobby" and "Collabs 3000" are the techno side of it.

I don't think these have enjoyed very wide success but I highly recommend Dublee - Echo Euphoria, anything by Anders Ilar, Adam Johnson, and Arctic Hospital.
posted by aubilenon at 3:12 PM on March 24, 2009

Surgeon is good, both own stuff and mixes. also recommend Luke Slater, again, own stuff and mixes. Akufen is quite interesting, and heading in a more ambient direction GAS and Marsen Jules
posted by spyke23 at 3:55 PM on March 24, 2009

The Flashbulb
posted by Hop123 at 5:37 PM on March 24, 2009

Whole alblums or tracks?

For tracks, these used to be some of my floor fillers back in the day.

Acperience - Hardfloor
The Hardfloor remix of Robert Armani's "Circus Bells"
I am ready - Josh Wink
Are you there - Josh Wink
Access - DJ Misjah and Tim
Model 8 - Lemon 8
Underworld - Born Slippy
Trans Europe Express - Kraftwork
Papua New Guinea - Future Sound of London
Vicious Circles, Rythym Masters Remix - Poltergeist
12,000 Ravers - Dimension 23
10,000 BPM - Moby

I have to go, more later.
posted by overhauser at 5:45 PM on March 24, 2009

Best answer: Jeff Mills -- most of his output, but certainly Waveform Transmission Vol. 1, Purposemaker comp., X-102/X-103 albums.

LFO -- Frequencies.

Pan Sonic (formerly Panasonic) -- Vakio. (As well as Ø, and other acts on the Sahko label.)

Drexciya, maybe not any specific record.

Claro Intelecto's Neurofibro, perhaps.
posted by galaksit at 6:16 PM on March 24, 2009

Seconding Autechre, and adding Mouse on Mars to your list.
posted by andshewas at 8:14 PM on March 24, 2009

Autechre: Personally I think they lost the plot with Confield, although Quaristice goes a long way back in the right direction. Confield and everything after it before Quaristice are not uninteresting, they're just not what I'd consider fun to listen to. My favorites are pretty much everything prior to Confield but tops are Tri Repetae++ and Chiclisuite.

Richie Hawtin (plastikman)'s Concept1 by itself is a real bore unless you're deeply, deeply into minimalism, but it's been the subject of amazing remixing by Thomas Brinkmann (Concept 1 96:VR) and Akufen (Forcept 1 FR:01)
posted by juv3nal at 9:04 PM on March 24, 2009

youtube for Forcept 1 and 96:VR.
posted by juv3nal at 9:37 PM on March 24, 2009

I totally forgot Pan Sonic and Claro Intelecto which I very much second.
posted by aubilenon at 9:58 PM on March 24, 2009

In many ways it's better to explore techno via record labels, Warp Records is the biggie, others include Cup of Tea, FFRR, Wall of Sound and Metalheadz. A lot of seminal techno tracks were one-shots of one kind or another. These are all British labels as that's what I know best. A lot of great techno came out of Germany, France and the US but I just don't know it as well.
posted by Kattullus at 10:38 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

You mention glitch music -- he pushes the envelope as far as the genre is concerned, but I've always been a huge fan of Jan Jelinek's Farben project. Farben's singles are collected on an album called Textstar that is remarkably good.

Also, people tend to forget it because he suffers from Rod Steward career-misdirectedness syndrome, but Moby's Everything Is Wrong [1995] is one of the great classics of techno.
posted by koeselitz at 2:44 AM on March 25, 2009

If you can get a hold of any of Guerrilla's early 90s releases, you'll get some good stuff by artists such as Spooky, Drum Club, React2Rhythm, etc.
posted by Burritos Inc. at 2:58 AM on March 25, 2009

Not seconding LFO Frequencies as much as firsting LFO's Advance. Immense album. Also get Sheath.

I'm also very fond of Orbital's Middle of Nowhere.
Also (if you can) get some Der Zyklus for simple yet wicked Detroit balance. Particular tracks: "Formenverwandler" and "Mxyzptlk". His other stuff is verging on a being a bit jazz for my tastes.
And me, of course.
I kid.
posted by 6am at 6:14 AM on March 25, 2009

Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman which I love very dearly.

As someone mentioned earlier, some of the 1990 Orb albums are superb for ambient (U.F.Orb and Orbus Terrarum).
posted by seppyk at 6:56 AM on March 25, 2009

The Field: "From Here We Go Sublime" (Kompakt)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:08 AM on March 25, 2009

I'll second the Orbital 2 album (the brown one). Even now, years later, I still love it -- which I can't say about most of the other techno that came out in the early 90's. The first track is fabulous, and it just jams from there on.


Daft Punk - Homework

Erlend Oye - Unrest

Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye

Kruder and Dorfmeister - The K&D Sessions

M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts
posted by bengarland at 11:26 AM on March 25, 2009

...also worth a listen if you like track one of Orbital 2 is pretty much any Steve Reich. "Come out" and "It's gonna rain" are pretty damn techno in their own way.

I mentioned Music for 18 Musicians earlier on AskMe, as although pre-1990s technically, it's very like electronic music. It's incredible.
posted by 6am at 6:12 PM on March 25, 2009

If you mean it in the strictest sense, look at the lineups for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
posted by talldean at 8:28 PM on March 28, 2009

Which is to say, much (most?) of what folks are posting isn't techno, but more general electronic.
posted by talldean at 8:30 PM on March 28, 2009

Excuse me in advance if I'm genre mincing: I love love love Gui Boratto's latest album, Take My Breath Away. There's also this fantastic list of 400 trance songs (which I'm still working through), and it includes a lot of techno songs.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 2:39 PM on July 4, 2009

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