Techno began in the 1980s, reaching prominence globally by the 1990s. With such a rich history, understanding who the best techno DJs are is tough! Are they the ones with the best tune selection? The ones who also produce big hits? Or how about the ones with the longest careers?
We look at all of these factors and more to show you the best of the best.
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1. Charlotte de Witte
You can’t discuss techno (or EDM as a whole) without mentioning Charlotte de Witte. Starting off our list is one of the most influential DJs ever to enter the scene.
Charlotte de Witte is also a techno producer, and is known for her minimal sounds and acid tones. Reaching prominence quickly, the artist reached fame with a list of incredible releases. Obtaining support from other popular techno artists quickly, she remains one of the best in the scene.
Charlotte runs a record label named KNTXT. She releases most of her productions under this label.
2. Enrico Sangiuliano
Based out of Italy, DJ Enrico is known for his association with Drumcode, a massive techno label. Enrico has been on the scene for years, with tracks of top quality constantly hitting the scene.
Beloved for his consistent music, many find that Sangiuliano’s tracks are some of the best in techno. Releasing songs with deep boom-bap drums and hypnotic electronic effects, his tracks are easily some of the best on the scene.
3. Daniel Avery
Originally working under the alias “Stopmakingme,” Avery began his career in 2009. Working as a producer, he used this alias for a few years. Eventually, Daniel Avery chose to use his birth name instead of the alias, quickly reaching popularity afterward.
Sitting as one of the most iconic and beloved techno DJs in the scene after more than a decade, Avery’s tracks are unique. The DJ brings a softer, more melodic touch to techno rather than blisteringly loud bangers. His studio albums and varied releases have helped spread his influence through all EDM genres.
4. Daft Punk
While technically more suited to the House genre, Daft Punk is a name so legendary among EDM that you can’t fail to mention them. The pair of DJs reached incredible fame for their extensive body of work. Formed in 1993, DJs Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo revolutionized electronic music.
With several hits that fit into the techno genre, Daft Punk would spread their influence through the scene. Releasing four studio albums, movie soundtracks, and countless singles and remixes, their fame cannot be understated.
Eventually, the pair would disband in 2021. The breakup came nearly a decade after their last studio release, Random Access Memories. Though no longer releasing music, the pair have an incredible following due to their amazing music.
5. Adam Beyer
Often called the “face of commercial techno music,” Adam Beyer is one of the most mainstream artists. It’s difficult to understate how famous Beyer is!
Beyer is known as the boss of Drumcode, running a techno-based festival. The Swedish artist is one of the most recognizable names in techno and EDM. Working frequently with other artists, Beyer has countless tracks for all tastes. While most of his music fits within techno, it’s not uncommon for the artist to bridge across to different subgenres.
Whether he’s running Drumcode, planning a festival, or releasing new artists, Beyer’s influence on the scene is massive.
6. Nina Kraviz
Though her former career was in dentistry, Kraviz is now known as the face of women in techno music. The artist released her debut studio album more than a decade ago in 2012. Since then, she’s released dozens of hits and danceable tracks.
The Russian artist owns a record label named Trip, where most of her music is released. Her music can range from soft, quiet lullabies to some of the hardest tracks in the EDM scene of EDM. If you’re looking for a female artist that can do it all, Nina Kraviz is a can’t-miss act.
7. Carl Cox
One cannot mention techno or EDM without mentioning Carl Cox. Born in 1962, the artist is one of the most prolific and influential artists in electronic music. Many believe that without Carl Cox, EDM would be a completely different genre, if it existed at all!
The British producer, DJ, and artist is one of the leading industry veterans. Known for playing music that celebrates life and sets a great mood, the artist has been active since 1991.
8. Jeff Mills
One of the pioneering Americans in the techno scene, Mills came onto the scene in the early 1980s. Working as a record producer and DJ, Mills is known for being a crowd-pleaser with his songs.
Serving as a great curator with strong technical abilities, Mills quickly made a name for himself. Founding Axis Records in 1992, most of his creations are under his label. Mills returned in 2019 for another strong studio release.
9. Amelie Lens
Belgian-born Amelie Lens is a relative newcomer on the scene compared to many others on this list. Hitting the scene in 2016 with her debut single Exhale, Lens has received immense support from the scene.
With the support of so many big-name artists, Lens received nearly instantaneous fame. Now serving as one of the key players in techno, Lens is an act you can’t miss.
10. Joris Voorn
Bridging between techno and house, Joris Voorn’s lengthy career is full of banger tracks. Starting his career in 1997, Voorn would wait until 2000 until he would release his first single.
Since the turn of the millennia, he’s released four studio albums and several EPs. His discography contains a fantastic
11. Deborah de Luca
Hailed as the Queen of Naples, Deborah de Luca began their career as a club dancer and waitress. Working toward stardom in the techno scene in the meantime, her dedication to her craft would lead to her becoming one of the most well-known names.
Founding her label in 2013, Sola_mente imprint, de Luca has released most of her work under her label.
12. Peggy Gou
South Korean producer Peggy Gou has been making waves in recent years. Producing her music since she was 8 while studying classical music, Peggy brought these lessons into her music.
Known for stylish, glamorous shows, Gou’s shows are extravagant and bright affairs. Once the music mixes with the incredible stage show, it’s impossible not to dance along.