Top Techno Artists of 2020
It has been said that DJs are the rockstars of our generation and it’s within the Techno sphere that this is now increasingly obvious. Techno is big business these days, no longer merely confined to small ‘room 2’s, Techno is the main event. The scene’s stars are household names in 2020, selling out colossal airport hanger-style venues, and its main players have grown their labels into gargantuan brands like Drumcode, Cocoon and Afterlife (to name a few). You’ll now find a Techno stage at every major festival. Couple that with the unwavering popularity of dedicated spaces like Awakenings, DGTL, Junction 2, Kappa Futur, Sonus and Timewarp and you’ll see that the demand for the sound remains through the roof. Below you’ll find our run-down of the biggest players on the site this year, featuring recognisable stalwarts of the scene alongside fresh talent that needs to be noticed. Read on for our top Techno artists of 2020...
20. Drunken Kong
Known for: Chus & Ceballos, Richie Santana, DJ Chus, Pablo Ceballos - Low Frequencies (Drunken Kong Remix) Drunken Kong, Misstress Barbara - Let Go of Control (Drunken Kong 2020 Rework) Drunken Kong, Teenage Mutants - Tokyo (Original Mix)
19. Jerome Sydenham
Known for: Jerome Sydenham, Fatima Njai - I Will Remember (Original Mix) Jerome Sydenham, Fatima Njai - Waiting For You (Extended Mix) Earth People - Dance (Kerri Chandler Centro Fly - Jerome Sydenham Special Edit)
Known for: Quench, UMEK - Dreams (Umek Version) Mason - Exceeder (UMEK & Mike Vale Extended Remix) Umek - Vibrancy (Original Mix)
17. Carl Cox
Known for: Danny Tenaglia - Don't Turn Your Back (Carl Cox Remix)
16. Chus & Ceballos
Known for: CASSIMM - Dances with Wolves (Chus & Ceballos Remix) Chus & Ceballos, Dario D'Attis - Heart of Glitter (Extended Mix)
Known for: Belocca - All I Want To Do Belocca - Chemical Substance Belocca - Amadeus
14. Green Velvet
Known for: Green Velvet, Joeski - Sacudelo Green Velvet, Eli Brown - Unapologetic Raver Green Velvet, Joeski - BARBEE
13. Kevin Saunderson
Known for: Chez Damier - Can You Feel It (Kevin Saunderson Extended Remix) Kevin Saunderson, Todd Terry - I Can't Believe (Extended Mix)
Known for: Truncate - Pressure (Original Mix) Truncate - Utility 2 Truncate - Dial (Heiko Laux Remix)
11. Carl Craig
Known for: Dubfire, Kate Elsworth, CARL CRAIG - Lotus Louie Vega, Patrick Adams, Cloud Two - Rebel Nation Featuring Anané (Carl Craig Remix)
10. Mihai Popoviciu
Known for: Mihai Popoviciu - Transitions (Bootleg Mix) Mihai Popoviciu - Sleepwalking (Original Mix) Mihai Popoviciu - Understand (Original Mix)
9. Matt Sassari
Known for: Matt Sassari, Stepco - Clap Poutine (Original Mix) Robbie Doherty, Keees. - Pour The Milk (Matt Sassari Remix) Matt Sassari - Put A Record On (Extended Mix)
Known for: Jaydee - Plastic Dreams (Nicole Moudaber Renaissance Remix) Nicole Moudaber, Jamie Jones - Pepper Shake Alcatraz - Giv Me Luv (Nicole Moudaber Remix)
7. Robert Hood
Known for: Robert Hood - The Struggle Robert Hood - Dancer Robert Hood - Nothing Stops Detroit
Known for: Honey Dijon - La Femme Fantastique (KiNK & KEi Extended Remix) KiNK - RAW (Original Mix) KiNK - Bug (Original Mix)
Charlotte De Witte earns another spot in our top 5 again this year. The past few years have solidified De Witte’s rise to stardom, and have seen her win Best Techno Artist in the DJ Awards, contribute to Resident Advisor’s coveted mix series, host her own BBC Radio 1 residency show and grace the cover of every major dance music publication going. An undeniable powerhouse behind the decks, the Belgian DJ is highly sought-after for her intense brand of Techno and has become a favorite at the likes of Awakenings, Movement and Timewarp. Her motto is ‘No Sleep’ and the proof is in the pudding, she’s known for keeping relentless touring and release schedules and she’s also hot off the back of launching her label and party series KNTXT, which is doing extremely well on both fronts. CDW’s 2019 catalog is still sitting pretty in our Techno charts, and her big tunes this year include ‘Rave On Time’, ‘Sgadi Li Mi’ and her trancey remix of ‘Hold That Sucker Down’. What’s next for Charlotte De Witte? We can’t say for sure, but we know it’s going to be big.
4. Radio Slave
UK producer and DJ Radio Slave is a frequent occupier of our EOY lists and for good reason, justifying his positioning with stellar output year on year. Matt Edwards needs no introduction to any lover of electronic music, sitting at the helm of Rekids, one of the most influential labels in the biz (home to early tunes from Nina Kraviz and Peggy Gou) and of course who could forget the downright inspiration of Radio Slave’s sneaky white label slamming Kylie’s ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ into New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’? Throughout 2020, Edwards proved himself as forward-thinking and consistent as ever and Rekids continued to go from strength to strength. Solid label releases like Mark Broom’s ‘Midnight’ release and Radio Slave’s own ‘Wait A Minute’ both gained genre #1s, with the former finishing in the top 3 best-selling Techno tracks of the year overall, whilst impressive signings like Shinedoe, Robert Hood and Raven showed Edwards continuing to flex his A&R muscles to excellent effect. ‘Don’t Stop, No Sleep’, a late 2019 release proceeded to sell well into the year and a late release this year in the form of ‘Live My Life’ will no doubt do the same for 2021. The last 12 months has seen most producers get back in the studio, providing an unrivaled opportunity to make music, ready to unleash a barrage of new tunes to road test next year and we’re particularly excited about what’s coming next from Radio Slave.
A newcomer to the top 3 podium this year - Alexander Technique. He’s a Traxsource favorite by now and an artist heavily pushed by the likes of Todd Terry, Roland Clark and Kevin Saunderson. The New York-based DJ and producer has been building a profile in these lists for some time, and it’s great to see his hard work pay off and see him making his mark on the scene. It was an unparalleled 11 Tracks in our top Techno #1s list this year for the NYC DJ, we don’t even know where to begin running through them. His top-performers were a mixture of originals, remixes and collabs and essential mentions have to include his remix of Jay Potter’s ‘The Game’, his collaboration with Todd Terry ‘Jack the Tek’ via his own Terminator Records and his collaboration with Roland Clark ‘Nowadays’ on Delete Records. After a year like this of making huge gains in the charts, we expect to see more of Alexander Technique in the coming months.
2. Mark Broom
Defending his #2 position again this year we have the UK Techno legend Mark Broom. Now over thirty years in the game, many of you will know him from his label Beard Man or perhaps via his work on Techno’s biggest and best: Soma, Ostgut Ton, M-Plant and Warp (quite the resume we know). He had a really impressive 2019 and kept up that tempo in 2020, with a barrage of new releases, 4 that finished in our Top 200 #1s for Techno and a Rekids release (‘Midnight’) finishing at #3. We particularly enjoyed his remix work this year, he joined Jamie Jones’s famous Hot Creations family with a remix of Shadowchild’s (AKA fellow UK dance music legend Dave Spoon) ‘The DBG’, another top-seller for us this year and he also got the call up from Defected twice to remix ‘Live Without Your Love’ by Love Regenerator and Mighty Mouse’s ‘The Spirit’ (via Disco offshoot Glitterbox) to great effect. Along with that he found the time to drop remixes via Suara, Cherry Moon Records, Drab Queen, Under No Illusion, Dance Trax, Anjunadeep and Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave, showing just how in-demand Broom is right now.
1. Josh Wink
2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.. Philadelphia Techno don Josh Wink has pretty much held down a position somewhere in our Techno lists every year for as far back as we can remember and we’re happy to celebrate his work once again, this time in the number one spot! Of course you’ll also know him as The Crusher, Size 9, Winks, Winx, J.Winkelman, DJ Wink, Dosh Wink and even Dinky Dog (to name a few!). After this many years in the game, he has an alias for every occasion and his incredible back catalog spans acid, minimal, breakbeat and more. It would be impossible to even make a dent listing support for Wink’s productions, to put it briefly he’s regularly played by both old-school giants of the scene like Adam Beyer and Carl Cox and the next generation of newcomers like Or:la and Peggy Gou. Last year he celebrated 25 years of his influential Ovum Recordings, and celebrated with re-releases of vintage Wink which continued to perform well this year and highlights from 2020 included his stomping collaboration with Maceo Plex ‘Destination Mars’ via Techno big machine Drumcode and ‘Chrysalis’ via Tale of Us imprint Afterlife. Our top selection this year had to be his moody and sultry remix of Harry Romero’s ‘Control’, a late-night chug-fest that proves that sometimes less is more when it comes to production and a tune that could sit happily in the darkest basement set, warehouse party or main room Techno performance. A DJ of the highest order, he weaves between genres with ease and his DJ sets are littered with everything from percussive numbers to low-slung techy groovers, stomping techno and acid workouts. Added to that, if you’ve ever seen Wink play a festival set, you’ll know he treats you on more than one occasion to some of his classics, inspiring absolute euphoria to a crowd of dance music fans as he drops a version of ‘Are You There’ or ‘Higher State of Consciousness’. Speaking of that seminal track, we couldn’t sign this off with mention of our best-selling Techno track of the year, one of the Adana Twins remixes of ‘Higher State of Consciousness’ that was being supported relentlessly by everyone from Roland Clark to Purple Disco Machine and even former Spice Girl Mel C. Here’s to a veritable legend of the electronic music scene, Josh Wink.