The contribution of Black artists in house and techno are undeniable and pervasive. In fact, the bedrock of electronic music owes much of its legacy to Black artists. From Chicago and Detroit, the cities that started it all, its local pioneers wove dance music culture’s fabric that now stretches globally. Frankie Knuckles, Larry Heard, Jesse Saunders and Marshall Jefferson are names that but only scratch the surface. For this special month 6AM wanted to share all the amazing contributions by Black artists to the history and music that helped create this global phenomena; and to share those artists who graced 6AM with their voices and talents.
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The exact creator of house music is unknown due to its underground origins and its roots to multiple genres of older dance music. However house music is often said to come from “the ashes of disco” and originated from the Chicago underground dance scene in the 1980’s.
Even though disco was considered “dead” in the late 70’s, the dance music scene was still alive in Chicago in the early 80’s. Dj’s such as Frankie Knuckles, who was known as “The Godfather of House music”, would employ these new aforementioned djing techniques at the “Warehouse” club in Chicago. Many would accredit this club’s name for being the seed to the name “house” music- however, to this day no one can officially say how and who officially coined this term.
These Chicago based djs such as Knuckles, would take these live mixing loop techniques to another level. Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy and others, would record their live disco loops and splice in different genres as well as add in drum machines such as the Roland 808 and 909 at their home (which is also another possible source of the name, house music). This created a much more repetitive and aggressive sound that the club patrons in Chicago loved.
However, this newer sound didn’t have one giant leap; it slowly evolved from disco, with many artists adding different techniques and personal touches. No one “officially” called their music “house music” until the mid 1980’s where it was already the widely used unofficial “slang term”. This made house music’s exact official start difficult to pin point. However many credit Jesse Saunder’s 1984 “On and On” as one of the first proper house albums.
Read More: House Music Guide: History, Subgenres, Clubs, and Artists
Many would say the seed of techno and electronic music came from Europe’s growing electronic scene in the 1970s. However, it’s pretty much agreed that the core of techno music began with the Belleville Three in Detroit, Michigan in the 80s.
These techno legends created what is now called “Detroit Techno”. The Belleville Three sourced a lot of inspiration from the growth of house music in Chicago and electronic music coming out of Europe. Many music historians credit Juan Atkins of the Belleville Three with the first true techno song, 1985’s “No UFO’s.”
Read More: A Beginner’s Techno Music Guide: Brief History, Artists & Clubs
Global Vibe Radio features top high profile artists and rising talents within the house and techno world. 6AM has had the esteemed pleasure of featuring mixes from house and techno originators to current rising stars.
Listen Now: Global Vibe Radio 223 Feat. Eddie Fowlkes (Detroit Wax)
Listen Now: Global Vibe Radio 098 Feat. Mike Agent X Clark Live at Northern Lights
Listen Now: Global Vibe Radio 237 Feat. Xiorro (Whirlwind Trax, Voxnox)
From those artists that were there since the inception of the genres to the current titans of the music; 6AM has had the great honor to speak with many of the pioneers and great talents of house and techno.
Listen Now: 6AM: Fake It Til You Make It? Not So Fast, Jeff Mills on Keeping the DJ Artform Alive
Listen Now: 6AM In Interview: A New Legend – DJ Minx on Finally Hitting Her Stride
Listen Now: 6AM In Interview: Carl Cox Cooks Up Industry Wisdom & DJ Advice
Listen Now: 6AM In Interview: Jesse Saunders Captures the Culture of House Music with Book “In Their Own Words”
Listen Now: 6AM In Interview: DJ E-Clyps on Activism & The Reality of Dance Music Culture
In honor of Black History Month, check out our Black Voices House + Techno Spotify playlist and our most popular house and techno lists.
Listen Now: Black Voices In House + Techno
Also check out the most popular house and techno tracks of all time where many Black artists have made their mark on the history of the music:
Read More: 15 Of The Most Popular Techno Songs Of All Time [1980-2022]
Read More: 16 Of The Most Popular House Songs of All Time [1980 – 2022]
The 6am playlist along with the most popular tracks list, honors the legends while celebrating current artists who continue to create waves in the scene. Give them a play, follow and share to support Black voices who innovate and influence music in immeasurable ways. While it’s important to commemorate monthly observances, February being Black History Month, respecting and supporting social contributions from all groups is a mindset to have all year round.