Ten techno records to fall in love with

by Patrice Bäumel

Ten techno records to fall in love with

13-01-2014 | 10.44

Here are ten albums that made me fall in love with techno music. I have recently sold most of my record collection, however, these records were never up for discussion. 

1. Dave Angel - Tales of the Unexpected (1995 / Blunted)
This one is just lush. Made when Dave Angel was at the peak of his creative power. I still can't get my head around why "Tales" has not become a bigger classic. Wonderfully musical, lighthearted and positive. Whenever I put this one on at home everybody is just walking through the house with a big smile.

2. Cristian Vogel - Beginning to Understand (1994 / Mille Plateaux)
Cristian Vogel was to the 90's what James Holden is to the 00's - the slightly nerdy intellectual with a mindblowing bag of production tricks and limitless imagination. "Beginning to Understand" makes a lot of today's music sound old - 20 years after its release. Advanced algebra for your ears.

3. Robert Hood - Nighttime World Volume 1 (1995 / Cheap)
With "Internal Empire" and "Minimal Nation", Robert Hood singlehandedly created minimal techno. "Nighttime World Volume 1", however, is Hood at his most melodic and playful. Jazzy machine funk techno sent to us from a better place than earth.

4. 3MB featuring Magic Juan Atkins - 3MB featuring Magic Juan Atkins (1992 / Tresor)
This record is like an overdose of happy hormones. Put Moritz von Oswald, Thomas Fehlmann (The Orb) and Juan Atkins in a studio and what comes out the other end is pure stardust. "Die Kosmischen Kuriere" is fucking unbelievable and encompasses everything I love about techno - the futurism, the melancholy, the sophistication. Hasn't aged at all.

5. Akufen - My Way (2002 / Force Inc.)
This record landed like an atomic bomb and spawned legions of imitators - revolutionary sound design, sampling executed with a precision never heard before or ever since. Highly intellectual but oh so close to the heart. Monumental.

6. Kenny Larkin - Metaphor (1995 / R&S)
It's records like this one that make me flinch a little when people use the words "Detroit" and "old school" in the same sentence. Larkin was the cutting edge of a knife that carved the future we live in today. Metaphor has this bionic precision and nimble sort of jazziness that's just a million miles away from the lazy comfort food that passes for jazz in most people's minds. No decoration, just substance. A killer record.

7. Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman (1996 / Junior Boy's Own)
The crown jewel in Underworld's amazing catalogue of releases. The ultimate afterhour record from what was then the biggest and most majestic techno band in the world. Goosebumps galore

8. Dopplereffekt - Gesamtkunstwerk (1999 / Gigolo)
This shit sounds like no humans were involved in making this record. Straight from the dark planet, Dopplereffekt descended upon us with no good intentions. "Cellular Phone" is the coolest electro tune ever.

9. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992 / R&S)
The perfect stoner record.  I used to wake up in the morning and get behind the decks until late at night, totally obsessed with mixing records. I would put this one when I needed a break to skin up and stretch my legs a little. Gentle, ultradeep and swamped in brilliant melodies - Aphex Twin at his most user friendly. Good times.

10. Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place (2003 / City Centre Offices)
Pure bliss. Shoegaze ambient techno of the overwhelming, otherworldly kind. These chords are so perfect the could be from The Cure. It's music for all life situations - weddings, funerals, lovemaking.

Text by Patrice Bäumel