Detroit techno is an early style of electronic music beginning in the 1980s. Detroit has been cited as the birthplace of techno music. Prominent Detroit Techno artists include Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. A distinguishing trait of Detroit techno is the use of analog synthesizers and early drum machines, particularly the Roland TR-909, or, in later releases, the use of digital emulation to create the characteristic sounds of those machines.
Detroit techno music was originally thought of as a subset to Chicago’s early style of house. However, some critics believe that the Detroit techno movement was an adjunct to house music, named for the new style of music played at a Chicago nightclub called “The Warehouse”. Many of the early techno tracks had futuristic or robotic themes, although a notable exception to this trend was a single by Derrick May under his pseudonym Rhythim Is Rhythim, called Strings of Life. This vibrant dancefloor anthem was filled with rich synthetic string arrangements and took the underground music scene by storm in May 1987. With subtle differences between the genres, clubs in both cities included Detroit techno and Chicago house tracks in their playlists without objection from patrons (or much notice by non-audiophiles).