Free tekno is the name given to the music predominantly played at free parties in Europe. The spelling of the word tekno is made to deliberately differentiate the musical style from that of techno. The music is fast, normally 180 to 200 bpm and characterised by a pounding repetitive kick drum.
Tekno evolved in tandem with the teknival movement in the early 1990s since many of the teknival organisers and DJs were also making music. The music drew on influences such as hardcore, rave, jungle, gabba and techno, with the producers taking the sound in a darker, more organic direction. An emphasis is placed on samples from TV shows, films and popular culture which are placed at strategic moments in the tracks. The music was produced with whatever was available: drum machines, synthesisers and keyboards as well as computer programs such as Cubase. In recent years there has been a trend using laptops for live performances, because the capabilities of both the hardware and software are improving very fast.
Tekno producers come from different places including Great Britain, The Netherlands, Italy, France, and the Czech Republic. Since the free party movement is very large in France in terms of numbers, there are many French artists and records labels. As the genre evolved it has come to be known by a number of names, including spiral tekno, hardtek, enimatek and tribetek.
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