12 Subgenres And Types of Techno Music

Articles about music genres and subgenres really get some people fully revved up.

Popular music genres often spawn multiple subgenres, and the truth is that some of the subgenres have so much crossover that it can be hard to tell them apart.

What I’m saying is that when you read through the list of types of techno music, don’t get mad that some of them are almost exactly the same.

If you like techno, just enjoy some of these subgenres of the sound.

Types of techno music in black text on vivid green and yellow diagonally split background.

Subgenres and Types of Techno

In completely random order…

…twelve techno subgenres.

Detroit Techno

Detroit Techno is where it all began.

Or is it? Did techno start in Detroit, or did it start in Germany?

Well, let’s say this: techno was born in Germany but lovingly fostered and beautifully raised in Detroit. I think that’s pretty fair.

In the mid-1980s, Detroit-based artists like Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson took the synth-pop / techno sound coming out of Germany and melded it with African-American house music.

The addition of the repetitive beat was exactly what the fledgling German techno sound needed to push its already growing appeal onto the clubbing scene.

Minimal Techno

Techno stripped it down to its pants and socks. That’s what we’re looking at here.

Producers such as Richie Hawtin and Robert Hood have mastered the art of using minimal elements to create a barely-there yet hypnotic groove that locks listeners in.

With super subtle progressions and sparse arrangements, minimal techno lets minimalist simplicity lead to complexity in emotion and atmosphere.

Dub Techno

The techno subgenre that marries the rhythmic elements of techno with the sound-processing techniques of dub.

Characterized by its heavy use of reverb and delay, this type of techno, pioneered by artists like Basic Channel, offers listeners an experience that transcends the usual club sound.

Hard Techno

If you find yourself craving music with an ear-bleeding intensity, hard techno might be your thing.

An aggressive tempo, say somewhere between 140 and 150 BPM, combined with super heavy beats, are the bedrock of this type of techno

A night clubbing to hard techno is going to require both energy and endurance.

Producers/DJs like Chris Liebing and Jeff Mills have helped push this subgenre forward.

Industrial Techno

Did techno need to sound more industrial and gritty?

Well, some people think it did!

Exploring the darker, more abrasive side of electronic dance music, with artists like Helena Hauff and Adam X leading the charge, industrial techno is a testament to the raw power of electronic music.

Acid Techno

Acid Techno, the sound of squelches and bleeps, courtesy of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer.

Back in the 1990’s, someone decided to put acid house together with the tough beats of techno, and acid techno was born.

Psychedelic, energetic, and infectious.

Ambient Techno

Ambient Techno is the odd combination of the drive and direction of techno, melded together with the serene soundscapes of ambient music.

A more contemplative listening experience is what’s on offer here.

Artists like Aphex Twin (on his calmer days) and The Orb have been instrumental in shaping this type of techno.

Berlin Techno

There’s just way too much to say about Berlin techno to get even close in a paragraph or two.

The sound is raw and unfiltered, it’s energy unrelenting and intense.

But Berlin techno can’t be defined simply by what it sounds like because It’s one of those musical genres that evolved in perfect lock-step with the city of its birth.

Legendary DJs, producers, record labels, clubs. Berlin fully embraced techno, and techno fully embraced Berlin.


Schranz is a type of techno that takes the intensity of techno to the extreme…as if that were needed.

Hard, fast beats (140 to 160 BPM), it’s a style that’s relentlessly loud and aggressive.

Pioneered by artists like Chris Liebing and Stigmata, Schranz is about repetitive, distorted percussion and repetitive loops.

Breakbeat Techno

Breakbeat Techno fuses the four-on-the-floor rhythm of techno with the syncopated beats of breakbeat.

This hybrid genre, with artists like Dave Clarke at the forefront, offers a refreshing variant of traditional techno rhythms, introducing a dynamic and versatile sound.

Melodic Techno

Melodic Techno is a techno subgenre that emphasizes melody and emotion.

Layering lush chords and harmonic progressions over driving techno beats.

Artists like Tale Of Us and Stephan Bodzin have mastered the art of crafting tracks that tell a story, evoking emotion while keeping the energy high.

Deep Techno

One of the defining characteristics of deep techno is its complexity.

With its intricate arrangements and lush soundscapes, this subgenre offers an immersive listening experience.

Artists like Dubfire and Richie Hawtin delve deep into the fabric of electronic sound, creating tracks that are both thought-provoking and deep, but still with a danceable groove…usually.

Types of Techno – Listed

If you can’t be arsed to read any of the above, just take a look at this list.

Quicker and easier for anyone in a rush.

Detroit TechnoThe foundational sound of techno as we know it.
Minimal TechnoFocuses on simplicity and minimalism, using repetitive rhythms for a hypnotic effect.
Dub TechnoMerges techno rhythms with dub production techniques, creating deep, atmospheric sounds.
Hard TechnoKnown for its aggressive beats and faster tempo, catering to a high-energy dance floor experience.
Industrial TechnoCombines the mechanical sounds of industrial music with techno, incorporating noise and distorted beats.
Acid TechnoFeatures the distinctive squelch of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer, creating a psychedelic vibe.
Ambient TechnoBlends the rhythmic elements of techno with ambient music for a mellow, atmospheric sound.
Berlin TechnoEmerges from Berlin’s club scene with a dark, hypnotic, and uncompromising style.
SchranzA hard, fast, and abrasive form of techno, characterized by relentless beats and industrial sounds.
Breakbeat TechnoCombines techno with breakbeat elements, introducing dynamic and versatile rhythms.
Melodic TechnoEmphasizes melody and emotion, layering lush chords over driving techno beats.
Deep TechnoCharacterized by its complexity and sophistication, featuring intricate arrangements and lush soundscapes.

Wrap Up!

Done and dusted, my hand-curated list of techno subgenres.

You may love some of these house subgenres, and you may dislike some.

Different strokes for different folks.

Leave a Comment