Best Techno Songs Of All Time

Looking for the best techno music? From the early Detroit days to the present day, these are the best techno songs that have left an unforgettable mark on the scene.

“Good Life” by Inner City

Song Year: 1988

“Good Life” hails from electronic music band Inner City’s debut album “Paradise.” The track is composed and produced by the renowned Kevin Saunderson. Saunderson is one of the pioneers of techno music, and thanks to his inventiveness and creativity with beats, the track quickly became a hit.

Although Saunderson made great bumpy beats for this track, Paris Grey’s vocals ensured this tune had such a huge effect. The song topped the Finland charts and the Billboard Hot Dance Club Party.

“Out of Space” by Prodigy

Song Year: 1992

“Out Of Space” is the 5th single released by the UK band “The Prodigy.”  The track featured on their debut studio album “Experience.” The tune samples Max Romeo’s classic reggae track “Chase The Devil” and some lyrics by rapper Kool Keith on Ultramagnetic MCs’ “Critical Breakdown.”

The track is undoubtedly the most popular of Prodigy’s early works and is frequently performed by the band on their live shows. The British Phonographic Industry certified this track Gold in 2021. One popular refix of this tune is Audio Bully’s 2005 version.

“Around the World” by Daft Punk

Song Year: 1997

Daft Punk is a French music duo known for its huge influence on the electronic and techno music scene. One of their most iconic tunes, “Around the World,” is the 2nd single off the duo’s debut album “Homework.” Upon release, the song quickly became a club banger worldwide, topping dance charts in the US, UK, Spain, Italy, Iceland, and Canada.

“Around The World” is well-known for its catchy hook that’ll have you rocking on the dance floor. The track’s video is choreographed and directed by Blanca Li and Michael Gondry. In 2011, New Music Express ranked the song #21 on their “Top 150 Tunes of The Last 15 Years.”

“The Bells” by Jeff Mills

Song Year: 1996

Jeff Mills was popularly called “The Wizard” early in his career due to his Deejaying technical prowess. Nearing the end of the decade, Mills co-founded the techno group “Underground Resistance” with Detroit’s techno producers Robert Hood and Mike Banks. However, he later departed the collective to pursue a solo career, which gave birth to “The Bells,” a popular tune of the 80s.

The track has no vocals, just a fast-paced bumpy beat. As Mills would later describe it, the track sounds somewhat plain, except for the “bell” that slaps hard. This techno tune is an absolute club hit, and Mills has played it on every live set since its release.

“Animals” by Martin Garrix

Song Year: 2014

“Animals” is one of the most recognized techno tunes of the 2010s. The track, produced by Dutch record producer and DJ Martin Garrix, quickly garnered popularity within the Electronic Dance Music scene. This song made Martin, the youngest artist ever, to have a track debut at #1 on the electronic music outlet Beatport.

“Animals” succeeded commercially, reaching the top 10 electronic and even mainstream music charts. It topped the singles charts in Belgium, UK, and Switzerland. The song topped the Dance charts in the US and peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Subzero” by Ben Klock

Song Year: 2015

Ben Klock, a Berlin-born producer, DJ, and label owner, is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in modern techno history. Klock is internationally recognized for playing techno sets filled with deep, hypnotic, heavy grooves. Neary, a decade after forming his record label, Klockworks, Klock produced “Subzero.”

“Subzero” is devoid of stifling nostalgia and instead wins you with its dynamics and tension-inducing beats. The song also has a vibe characteristic of any techno tune, a danceable beat rhythm.

“Big Fun” by Inner City

Song Year: 1988

Along with “Good Life,” “Big Fun” by Inner City was the first commercial success of electronic dance music. This single topped the Dance charts in the US for a week and peaked at #50 on the US R&B singles chart.

Nonetheless, beyond the track’s undeniable commercial success, it was a turning point for the way it combined a melodic lead vocal and synth melody with a techno-based backing track. Notably, in 2018, Mixmag listed this tune under its “30 All-Time Finest Vocal House Anthems.”

“The Drums” by Cosmic Gate

Song Year: 2001

“The Drums” is the 4th single from the German duo Cosmic Gate’s debut album “Rhythm & Drums.” The track features a futuristic intro with an anxious ambient and monotonous trip-hop rhythm. The first time listening to this song, it sounded like a remake of the iconic techno composition of the 90s, “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” which was the group’s second hit.

You’ll definitely love this song if you like jamming to house and techno music. For Cosmic Gate, “The Drums” often doesn’t miss from their set, and it is a great way to kickstart a rave.

“Nuclear Energy 400” by Zombie Nation

Song Year: 1999

“Nuclear Energy 400” is the first techno single off German musician Zombie Nation’s debut album “Leichenschmaus.” A few months after its release, the track peaked at #22 in Germany while breaking into the top 10s in Belgium and Netherlands. Later the song peaked at #2 on the UK Singles chart and has since been certified Gold by the UK Phonographic Industry.

The tune is popularly utilized as a sports anthem in stadiums like hockey, baseball, American football, and basketball worldwide. The American sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, ranked the tune #8 on its selection of the “Top 10 Stadium Chant Tracks.”

“Knights of the Jaguar” by DJ Rolando

Song Year: 1999

DJ Rolando, also known as The Aztec Mystic, is a techno producer and DJ from Detroit. As a previous member of the legendary Detroit band “Underground Resistance” from 1994-2004, his most reputable work is the track “Knights of the Jaguar.”

“Knights of the Jaguar” is a timeless classic, the archetype of original techno. The tune stays true to its black origins as it features an abundance of funk and groove. The beats are executed in a lethal and danceable manner.

“Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited

Song Year: 1992

“Get Ready for This” is the lead track off 2 Unlimited’s debut album. Initially, the Dutch/Belgium band recorded the track as an instrumental called the “Orchestral Mix.” De Coster and Wilde requested Ray to write and rap the song. Anita Doth later joined the group as their female vocalist.

The track achieved instant success across Europe, especially in the United States and Australia. The song is regularly played at sporting events throughout the world. It received a BMI Pop Award in 1996. Fast forward to 2010, Pitchfork featured the song in their selection of “Top 10 Jock Jams of The 90s.”

“Energy Flash” by Joey Beltram

Song Year: 1990

Joey Beltram was only 19 years old when he produced “Energy Flash.” This song helped pave the way for a new, darker techno style and influenced countless artists. Recorded by Belgian label R&S Records in 1990, the song was Beltram’s blockbuster creation.

Heavy, dark, and moody, “Energy Flash” became an instant success, and Derrick May’s label, Transmat Records, even authorized it for US distribution. This tune still sounds modern and fresh three decades later and can easily fit into a contemporary DJ set.

“Levels” by Avicii

Song Year: 2011

“Levels” by Avicii is a progressive techno-house tune released by Universal Music Group on iTunes. The track topped the Swedish Singles charts and many other nations, including Denmark, Austria, Holland, Belgium, the UK, and more. The tune received eight platinum certifications in Sweden, one in the US, and two in Great Britain.

Avicii revealed that he composed the track to incorporate a vocal sample from Etta James’s 1962 gospel-influenced ballad “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.” True to its popularity, the song received numerous nominations and awards, notably a Grammy for the “Song of the Year.”

“Elements” by Carl Craig

Song Year: 1996

“Elements” is a collection of early recordings by techno artist Carl Craig, issued under the aliases Psyche and BFC. The song was released by Planet E Communications, Craig’s Label, and later re-released in 2013. In 2011, the UK magazine, Fact, ranked it among the top 20 ambient albums of all time.

This compilation demonstrates Craig’s introspective, atmospheric approach toward techno, as well as his production capabilities from the early stages in his music career.

“Rave” by Sam Paganini

Song Year: 2014

“Rave” is the 10th single off Sam Paganini’s 2nd studio album “Satellite.” This track was a huge success for Adam Beyer’s label, Drumcode Records, and a crucial release in the club techno trend of the 2010s.

When “Rave” first aired in 2014, it became an instantaneous anthem for techno enthusiasts and DJs. Besides, it also created a path into mainstream charts, with widespread support across the electronic music spectrum. Since its release, the track has garnered over 100M streams, revealing its worldwide appeal and popularity.

“La La Land” by Green Velvet

Song Year: 2001

Nearly two decades ago, Curtis Jones, the creator of “Green Velvet,” says he almost died in a friend’s apartment after suspected alcohol poisoning. In the wake of this, Jones requested God to spare his life and promised he’d turn a new leaf. Soon after, he created what should be considered techno’s most renowned anti-drug tune.

The lyrics on “La La Land” talk about afterparties and pills, featuring a stomping techno beat. It quickly became a club hit and among Jone’s best-sellers. The song featured on the Singles charts in Belgium and the UK.

“Minus” by Robert Hood

Song Year: 1994

A group of Detroit-based artists started developing a new sound in response to the growing tempos and sampled compositions of the early 90s rave culture. This experimentation reduced house and techno to their sound’s fundamental elements, which is well-demonstrated by Robert Hood’s track “Minus.”

This bleepy masterpiece released nearly three decades ago is still one of the most impactful techno tunes ever. Like most other tracks on Hood’s album “Internal Empire,” this song showcased a development to his minimal sound and drifted from his earlier works with Underground Resistance.

“Flash” by Green Velvet

Song Year: 1995

By the time Detroit-based producer Curtis Jones released “Flash,” he had previously released other anthems like 1993’s “Preacher Man.” Most of his previous works featured Dajaé’s potent vocals. Notwithstanding Jones’ popular hook on his club hit “Flash,” ravers worldwide were mesmerized by the song’s mind-boggling stutter and squelch.

Over a solid intro stomp, Green Velvet offers a sarcastic warning nonchalantly. As the song progresses, “Flash” introduces steady effects as Jones urges tourists to record their wild escapades. As a testament to its massive influence, there are numerous remixes of this track by other Chicagoans, including Paul Johnson, DJ Sneak, and Boo Williams.

“Electrica Salsa” by Sven Väth

“Electrica Salsa” by Sven Väth

Song Year: 1986

“Electrica Salsa” track by the music group commonly known as “OFF.” The group featured German singer and DJ Sven Vath, Snap, and producers Luca Anzilotti and Michael Münzing. There’s another rendition of this track on OFF’s follow-up single “Step by Step.”

“Electrica Salsa” is the lead single off the group’s album “Organisation for Fun.” The track’s single version appeared at #4 and 14th on the PWL remix. The song was a top-three banger in several nations, including Germany, France, and Austria.

“Windowlicker” by Aphex Twin

Song Year: 1999

“Windowlicker” is a single by UK recording artist Aphex Twin, produced by Warp Records. Chris Cunningham designed the song’s artwork with assistance from The Designers Republic. Cunningham also produced the track’s music video, which was later shortlisted for the “Best Brit Video.”

The tune peaked at #16 on the British Singles chart. Fans later selected Warp Records’ most prominent track for the Warp20 compilation released in 2009. Pitchfork also ranked “Windowlicker” #12 in selecting the “Best 200 Songs of the 1990s.”

“Ghetto Kraviz” by Nina Kraviz

Song Year: 2012

Nina Kraviz’s self-titled 2nd album was one of the highly anticipated records that year, following the success of her debut album “I’m Week.” “Ghetto Kraviz” is the 2nd tune of the 2nd track on the album. It features a blend of pure techno music, which borrows heavily from the Chicago electronic sound and modest elements, distinct vocals, and a slow jam.

The song is evocative, captivating, totally original, and inspiring. Nina’s innocent and wistful vocals, subdued acid notes, and mesmerizing loops softly draw you into her universe.

“No UFOs” by Juan Atkins

Song Year: 1985

“No UFOs” is an 80s techno tune by Model 500, a pseudonym for Juan Atkins. The track was released under Atkins’ label, Metroplex. It was the first-ever track released after Atkins’ previous group Cybotron disbanded.

This tune maintained similar themes to that of Atkin’s former group. It featured alienation and scientific fiction but was under-structured compared to Cybotron’s music, leading many to identify it as one of the early techno tracks. Over the years, numerous modern artists like Moodyman have released renditions of this track.

“Flat Beat” by Mr. Oizo

Song Year: 1999

“Flat Beat” is a techno instrumental by French Artist Mr. Oizo. Released via F Communication, Mr. Oizo incorporated this song as a bonus to his debut album, Analog Worms Attack. Video Home System released an accompanying video, which features a puppet named “Flat Eric” headbanging to the song.

“Flat Beat” topped charts in Italy, the UK, Finland, Austria, and Germany. In 2003, the song was featured in Q Magazine’s selection of their “1000 All-Time Best Tracks.”

“Go” by Moby

Song Year: 1991

Electronica artist Moby’s debut song began as a minimal techno composition and was initially featured on the 1990 B-side of his breakout hit “Mobility.” The next year, Moby released a revised version. On this tune, Moby sampled “Laura Palmer’s Theme” by Angelo Badalamenti from his favorite television show, Twin Peaks.

Dubbed the “Woodtick Mix,” Moby’s refix quickly became a fan favorite on dance floors. The track topped the Dance Singles chart in the UK and peaked at #18 on the US Dance Club Songs list. This techno jam also featured on the UK Pop charts, peaking at #10.

“Insomnia” by Faithless

Song Year: 1995

“Insomnia” is the 2nd single ever produced by the UK music group “Faithless.” After its initial release, this song quickly gained commercial success, peaking at #27 on the Singles chart in the UK and topping the Dance charts.

Upon the track’s re-release on their debut album “Reverence” in 1996, the tune attained new peaks (#3) on the UK charts. In 2013, the UK magazine, Mixmag, ranked “Insomnia” the 5th best all-time dance tune. The British Phonographic Industry also certified the tune double-platinum in 2019.

“Born Slippy” by Underworld

Song Year: 1996

“Born Slippy” is one of Underworld’s most captivating and euphoric pieces of techno music, having evolved from a majestic skyscape into a club song. The song features a seamless fusion of disparate elements, including thumpy drums, incantatory chanting, and echoing synth vibrations.

The disjointed lyrics by performer Karl Hyde convey an alcoholic’s viewpoint. After featuring in the film “Trainspotting,” the track peaked at #2 on the Singles chart in the UK upon release. Multiple publications have identified it as one of the finest songs of the 90s.

“Can’t Stop Raving” by Dune

Song Year: 1995

“Can’t Stop Raving” is the 3rd and final track of the Dune’s self-titled debut album. The German band requested Janine Kelly-Fiddes and Tina Lagao to bless the track with their amazing vocals.

The track was a massive success, hitting the Top 10 in Netherlands and Germany. In Germany, the tune spent about five months on the Top 100 charts and was still ranked Top 40 once the follow-up hit “Rainbow To The Stars’ debuted. The Album Rendition featured as a soundtrack on Joel Veitch’s “Chronicles of the Blode.”

“Galvanize” by The Chemical Brothers

Song Year: 2004

“Galvanize” is a track by the UK electronica duo The Chemical Brothers, featuring rapper Q-Tip vocals. The song featured as the lead single on the duo’s 5th album, “Push The Button.” In 2012, the song played at the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The track peaked at the #3 Singles chart in the UK. By then, it was the group’s best-charting song in their home country since “Hey Boy Hey Girl.” “Galvanize” also topped the charts in Spain for two consecutive weeks and featured at #65 on Triple J’s selection of the Hottest 100 of 2004 in Austria.

“Sandstorm” by Darude

Song Year: 1999

Finish producer and DJ Darude released “Sandstorm” as the lead track off his debut album, Before the Storm. The song was originally released in Finland but later re-distributed to other nations in 2000. The song garnered commercial success, notably for featuring in the internet meme culture and sports.

Over a decade after its first release, the Recording Industry Association of America certified “Sandstorm” Gold. Ten years later (2020), the song received its Platinum certification. During the centennial of Finland’s independence in 2017, Darude’s “Sandstorm” was one of the featured performances.

“What Time Is Love?” by The KLF

Song Year: 1988

“What Time Is Love?” is a tune released in various versions and a sequence of singles by the UK band, The KLF. The tune featured heavily and frequently in their oeuvre from 1988-1992 and, under the guise of 2K, in 1997.

Initially, “What Time Is Love?” was an instrumental electronic-techno dance track. However, with added instrumentation and vocals, the track’s subsequent renditions achieved huge global success. The highest-charting single, “America: What Time Is Love?” peaked at #4 on the Brit Singles Chart and steered the band to global stardom.

“Spastik” by Plastikman

Song Year: 1993

“Spastik” is an instrumental tune by Canadian-Brit electronica DJ and artist Plastikman, also known as Richie Hawtin. Initially released in Canada, the song is one of the most notable works by Hawtin and is commonly regarded as a techno classic. It is the lead track off his “Recycled Plastik EP.”

“Spastik” is built on a nine-minute Roland TR-808 drumming frenzy. Hawtin constantly made it the focal point for his live performances. In Belgium, it peaked on the dance charts at #3. UK magazine Mixmag ranked it the 7th “All-Time Best Dance Record” in 2013.

Top Techno Songs Ever, Final Thoughts

During its initial years, techno was primarily underground music. Although it took time to break into the mainstream charts, once the breakthrough came, it quickly became a staple for party lovers. Use this compilation as a guide to some of the best techno songs to add to your night or party-time playlist.

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