The techno genre of music is best known for its driving beat, perfect for a dance club environment. Through the years, DJs have come into their own as celebrities on the electronic dance scene for innovating unique mixes of familiar, unknown, and original sounds, elevating these song variations to new, exciting levels. The pulsating sound of techno can be found in the top clubs around the globe, and these mixes are among the best you'll hear.
Fireworks by Katy Perry - Dj Twiek Techno Remix
Katy Perry's Fireworks blew up on the pop charts and inside a year, it was a huge hit for Dj Twiek's remix. The popularity of the song, its vibrant lyrics, and catchy beat are amped up even further with this version exploding inside a month with over 29,000 official downloads, blowing out the competition.
Rock With You by Michael Jackson - Frankie Knuckle's Favorite Club Mix
This classic, originally produced by Quincy Jones, gets a unique remix from the man who is also called "the Godfather of House." While typically much slower than most techno selections, this version showcases Jackson's voice and spins it in a rhythmic fantasy that takes some of the most familiar passages and mimics them electronically. It's a top example of how flexible and innovative techno music truly is when left to the imaginations of gifted DJs like Frankie Knuckle, making this a top remix according to MJ Tunes.
Red Lips by GTA -- Skrillex Remix
With YourEDM citing this as one of the most sought-after remixes, Skrillex continues to be on the cutting edge of all things techno, having garnered multiple Grammy wins and nominations, in addition to other accolades for his work. This piece puts seemingly diametrically opposed elements, soft and fluid against hard, edgy phrases grinding into unexpected modulations over a military tattoo-feel of percussiveness that takes hold and does not let up. The mix has wonderful production values, as those who are fans of his work have come to expect from Skrillex.
Orinoco Flow by Enya -- Dance Remix
While no one is directly credited with this mix, it did stand out for VH-1 as an example of how something that might otherwise be considered "chill," can be dramatically revisioned with a creative interpretation of the existing tracks.
Adagio For Strings by Samuel Barger -- Tiesto
Originally written in 1936 for string quartet by composer Samuel Barber, Tiesto, one of the most prominent DJs of the genre, takes it up a level with an amazing syncopated rift over the driving beat that has made this number timeless for so many techno fans. His ability to take something written as a classical piece and give it a decided edge while staying true to the melodious strains has become a standard for many in the industry. MixMag called this out as one of the best dance songs of all time, and it continues to be a top choice.
Somebody's Watching Me by Rockwell -- Dj Brian Howe Freakmatique Cut
Dj Brian Howe is known for his versatility and creativity, as exampled by Rockwell's hit, with adding a harmonizer that catapults the number to another world for those on the dance floor. The inclusion of the almost carnival-like bass and sequencers push it right through to the sci-fi realm, alluding to the soundtracks of late 1950's movies. Euro-Dance chose this piece among its top 2008 # Club Hits release, and it is easy to see why given the dynamic vibe.
With or Without You by U2 - Daim Vega Remix
Take the iconic pulse of this U2 classic, The Edge's guitar, Adam Clayton's bass, Bono's vocals, laid over an electronically-induced beat, and you have a club mix that resonated internationally. Though already wildly popular when the remix of the song was released, Daim Vega's addition of a pounding rhythm that called to mind a heartbeat took the song from plaintive rock ballad to a heat-generating techo spin. Insider Monkey put this one on its list of the ten best techno song remixes of popular tunes.
Empire State of Mind by Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Verde Dance Mix
Already an anthem for many in the Big Apple, Alicia Keys's song found a new life and following with Verde's remix. Released a year after the original debuted, it garnered attention on the club scene, then additional public attention with its use during Strictly Wheels wheelchair dance duet audition on Britain's Got Talent in 2012. The haunting reverb of the piano and synth alongside the dynamic vocals transcends beautifully, giving this piece a soaring quality that lifts the entire song to new levels.
Just Dance by Lady Gaga -- DJ Tophe Techno Remix
If anyone's music lends itself ideally to the world of techno, it is Lady Gaga, and DJ Tophe has taken full advantage of the musicality that is central to her work and added some purposeful stuttering and hiccups that bounce off the drum kicks. The name alone warrants encouraging everyone to meet out on the floor and party. The original song was nominated for a 2008 Grammy in the Best Dance Song category and was a hit internationally. A year later, this remix came out and inside two months, it had over a million views on YouTube.
Take On Me by a-ha -- WeAreTechno Techno Remix
It may be hard to imagine that a song that was synthpop to begin with would be a viable candidate for a techno reboot, but with over half a million views on YouTube, this is a solid take on one of the most popular songs of the 1980s. WeAreTechno took the song's signature sound and made it explosive with added synth layers, sputtering percussion, and cascading vocals to bring new dimension to a song that was, in its time, ahead of the curve. WeAreTechno has over a million subscribers on YouTube with this remix right at the top.
A Few Bonus Twists
One of most engaging aspects of techno music is the ability to draw upon a very broad spectrum of music genres and create a completely new audience and appreciation for music that might otherwise be considered passe or bear no relevance to the current market. Given the base fact that all music is written with a time signature, it does make it viable to source almost any kind of music given the beat.
The Charleston -- Dj Maurice & Daim Vega Dance Remix
In case you ever wondered how far techno can and will go, reaching all the way back to the 1920's isn't even out of the question. Check out this inventive example of The Charleston. When you hear the familiar phrase, "everything old is new again," this is a prime example.
The Last Of The Mohicans Soundtrack -- Holymen (Techno Remix)
Popular soundtracks are often ideal for techno remixes, and this theme is an excellent example of how a movie score can be manipulated into a dance groove. Picking up the tempo, adding a riveting downbeat, drawing on sound effect reminiscent of aspects from the movie, it all combines with the melodious main theme to create a spirited foray into electronica.
Minions Bounce (Original Mix) -- Juan Alcaraz with Video Edit by Miguel Arteaga
This purposefully light and, yes, bouncy addition to the list shows how much fun techno can be in the right hands. Juan Alcaraz takes the Minions Bounce on a techno journey that loses none of their energy or zest for life, nor is it lost on anyone who hears it. Infectious as it is delightful, the dramatic change in tempo only adds to the fun.
That's a Wrap...or Is It Rap?
Having started in Detroit in the 1980s, techno, as a genre, is fairly new to the music scene. Its popularity has grown rapidly, in large part due to the ingenuity of the DJs that are central to the industry. Techno's capacity to reinvent popular, rap, classical, and even television and movie theme songs into something new and fresh keeps everyone coming back for more. Whether you are into club dancing or just want to listen to something fun around the house, techno will always keep you surprised, amused, and moving.