Now I know Techno is somewhat of a broad church, so I'd better define my terms before the trainspotters come out of their mushroom-scented dens and berate me for not toeing their particular party line. So if you disregard anything where the kick sounds like a distorted rubber ball bouncing off a hollow wall at over 145bpm, mindless euro-gabba shit, anything that smacks of hardcore and sounds like a fucking hoover*, y're getting there. Think Juan and Derrick, Blake Baxter and Eddie Fowlkes. Think m_nus and Perlon. Think Basic Channel and Modern Love and Warp** when it was still a label with a heart, think Tim Wright and Christian Vogel and the funkier end of Tresor. Got it?
I like it funky, I like it subtle and I like it beautiful. I don't mind fast, but it's impossible to make a drum machine groove once you go over a certain speed, witness the artistic dead-end that drum and bass fell into, eventually it had to slow down and mutate into something entirely different to progress. I don't mind hard, but not when that's all it is, unless y're Richie Hawtin or Surgeon, it's extremely difficult to give a gatling gun snare and jackhammer kick any groove whatsoever***.
I am rambling, I know, but there is a point. And it's this. My old mate Ergin, no mean DJ and musician himself, has started a site dedicated to the slower end of our beloved Techno, showcasing tracks new and old, from forgotten (should-be) classics by the likes of Carl Craig and Robert Hood to more obscure beauties that slipped under the radar (there's a killer Purveyors Of Fine Funk tune on there) and recent stuff that you should be listening to. It's a new site, so give it a while to get more content up, but what's there already is mighty fine, so get yrselves over to Slow Techno and enjoy.
*Didn't like it then, really hate it now. Grooveless, joyless shit.
**Don't get me wrong, they still release some glorious records, like Cosmogramma by Flying Lotus, and especially the latest Autechre LP, Oversteps, which is a flat-out masterpiece, but for every piece of electronic wonderment they put out, there's a fucking Maximo Park (why do this band exist?) or Battles§ tipping the goodness scales in the wrong direction. Warp used to have a label identity as strong as Blue Note or (early) Impulse!, but now they're just another big anonymous label and it's a damn shame.
***If I want velocity and heaviness I'll head for the grindcore section of my collection. This is supposed to be dance music, not an exercise in endurance, and if it ain't funky it fails. Mind you, there are very few things that are as funny as watching pilled-up twats trying to dance to really fast D&B or techno, so I suppose it does have some function.
§I know, lots of you like Battles, and while I admit they're a much better band than the aforementioned Maximo Park (not that that's particularly tricky), I can think of much better ways to spend my time than listening to a mechanized Yes featuring guest vocals by Alvin & The Chipmunks.