Traxsource Top 100 Techno Artists of 2016

Techno, the unstoppable global-dominating genre, continues to rule dance floors around the world, with its incessant 4/4 pulse being the bedrock to countless unforgettable club nights. Whether austere and sophisticated, or face-meltingly banging, the music that began in Detroit 30 odd years ago is still at the forefront of musical progression and 2016 has seen some sublime developments in the genre. Our list of top 20 artists features both established names and some you may not yet be familiar with, but all share a commitment to producing utterly uncompromising music. Here then, is the Traxsource Top 100 Techno Artists of 2016.

100: Lorenzo Calvio
99: MAFF.U
98: Alex Raider
97: Elia De Biase
96: Victor Ruiz
95: DJ Sly (IT)
94: Leo Lippolis
93: Arjun Vagale
92: Mr. Bizz
91: Kaiser Souzai
90: Mark Reeve
89: Dalfie
88: Paride Saraceni
87: Phutek
86: André Winter
85: Joe Cozzo
84: Sebastian Voigt
83: Hatzler
82: The YellowHeads
81: Stanny Abram
80: Marco Faraone
79: Moonwalk
78: Danilo De Santo
77: Steve Mulder
76: Truncate
75: Spartaque
74: Zoe Xenia
73: Patrick Hero
72: Greg Gow
71: Luca Gaeta
70: Joe Red
69: Scientific Funk
68: Reinier Zonneveld
67: Monika Kruse
66: Adrian Hour
65: Ambivalent
64: Slam
63: Robert Hood
62: Deetron
61: Nikola Gala
60: Christian Hornbostel
59: Coyu
58: Christian Smith
57: Tiga
56: Sven Väth
55: Audion
54: Chymera
53: Carlo Lio
52: Shlomi Aber
51: Matador
50: Recondite
49: Saytek
48: Monococ
47: Midland
46: Nina Kraviz
45: Ame
44: Marcel Dettmann
43: Kölsch
42: Mark Broom
41: Sam Paganini
40: dubspeeka
39: Danny Daze
38: Simian Mobile Disco
37: Len Faki
36: Pan-Pot
35: Matt Sassari
34: Mozzy
33: Umek
32: Moderat
31: Reset Robot
30: Alberto Ruiz
29: Skober
28: Hot Lipps Inc.
27: Stephan Bodzin
26: Vince Watson
25: Josh Wink
24: Mr. G
23: Kevin Saunderson
22: Kaiserdisco
21: Nick Curly

20: Marc Romboy

It’s been a good 12 months for long-time German producer, DJ and label boss Marc Romboy who put out plenty of quality Techno this year. We liked his EPs on Tronic and his ‘Oblique Tendencies’ on Last Night on Earth was really well received. Marc’s Systematic label reached their 77th release and the Systematic 77 compilation which dropped over the summer gave us a chance to revisit some of his productions and remixes.

19: Nicole Moudaber

One of the hardest working people in Techno, Nicole Moudaber had another year of success, no doubt assisted by her relentless tour schedule. Her ‘Breed the RMXS’ collaboration with Skin, featuring the likes of Carl Craig and Jamie Jones on remix duties made a big impact this year and Nicole’s ‘Where Shadows Lie’ on Carl Cox’s Intec label was a masterclass in dance floor dynamics.

18: Kink

Uber talent KiNK, who just happened to be the Traxsource #1 Techno artist of 2015 also makes a welcome appearance in 2016’s chart. His deserved live reputation has continued to grow over 2016, with a string of killer gigs, and his recorded output was dope too: ‘Chorus’ on Midnight Shift was a synth-ridden melodic monster of a tune and his remix of Matthias Meyer’s ‘Tout Va Bien’ on Liebe Digital tore up dance floors worldwide.

17: Dosem

Producer and Label boss Dosem has spent 2016 putting out futuristic Tech House and Techno on labels like Intec, Suara and Toolroom. His ‘Untold Stories’ and ‘Transportation’, both released on his own Houstrike imprint are perfect examples of his emotive, Detroit-influenced sound.

16: Anna

2016 was another strong year of productions and touring for Brazil’s Techno ambassador ANNA. It’s tricky to pick a single highlight from all the quality music she released this year, but we particularly like her epic re-rub of Wehbba’s ‘Turning Point’ on Diynamic, the moody ‘Four to the Floor’ which was featured on Diynamic’s ‘Four to the Floor 06’ compilation, and her relentless ‘Face Your Fears’ which dropped on Terminal M at the end of the year.

15: Enrico Sangiuliano

Aside from a slew of well-regarded releases on Suara, Tronic, Unrills, Octopus and Elevate, Italian producer Enrico also dropped a big remix this year in the shape of his driving interpretation of Moby’s ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad’, which was released on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode.

14: Carl Cox

The big man had a big 2016, what with bringing his Space residency to an end. Needless to say, aside from DJing in the world’s finest discos, Carl Cox has continued to make and release brilliant music all year, both on his own Intec Recordings and also on labels like Hot Creations, Toolroom, Circus Recordings etc. Always reliable, always utterly contemporary, we’re always happy to hear a new Mr Cox production.

13: D-Unity

Unity Records owner D-Unity released a clutch of hard hitting Techno tracks from himself and other artists on Unity this year, adding some serious weight to the labels growing back catalogue. Aside from Unity, he’s also had an enviable release schedule on other labels this year, with his ‘Fired Up’ collaboration with Mass Sassari (Intec) and his ‘Time To See’ on the new Session Womb imprint from Tokyo being particularly memorable.

12: Dense & Pika

UK duo Dense & Pika already have a sound industry track record: they are perhaps better known as Hypercolour label boss Alex Jones and recording artist Glimpse (Chris Spero). Together as a production duo since 2011, 2016 saw the release of their ‘Update’ album (Hotflush), a sparkling trip through various shades of underground Techno and electronica, and we also were very keen on the edgy, idiosyncratic track ‘Calf’ (Drumcode).

11: Miss Kittin

2016 was a great year for DJ and artist known to her close friends as Caroline Hervé. Always a reliable DJ and a big personality and presence within the Techno community, she also put out two huge collaborations this year: The atmospheric ‘Ride’ with Dubfire on his Sci+Tec label and also the killer ‘Stuff In The Trunk’ with the Martinez Brothers on their Cuttin’ Heads label. Both showcased her infamous deadpan vocal style and unique approach to the genre.

10: Adam Beyer

Acclaimed producer and DJ, and owner of the legendary Drumcode label, Adam Beyer consistently delivered the goods this year, with a slew of top quality releases on his own imprint. Always first and foremost a DJ, this can clearly be heard in the dance-floor friendly precision engineered Techno he’s been dropping all year.

9: Carl Craig

The near-legendary Carl Craig is never going to be an artist who rests on his laurels and his work in 2016 shows that he is still very much an innovator. This year, the owner of Planet-E released some superb music, including tracks and remixes for Mood Records, Senso Sounds, Cocoon, Fabric Worldwide, and continues to lead the way, creating challenging, futurist Techno with soul.

8: Radio Slave

Matt Edwards, a producer with many pseudonyms is best known for his Radio Slave alias, and his label Rekids. Rekids had a superb year of quality underground releases, and the Radio Slave ‘Vision’ EP’ showcased some seriously forward thinking production. Radio Slave’s double remix offering of Dinky’s “Slowly” on Crosstown Rebels is also currently smashing up dance floors and set to continue to do so for the next few months.

7: Floorplan

Floorplan is an alias of Underground Resistance co-founder, Detroit’s Robert Hood. Mr Hood unleashed some serious dance floor gear this year, perhaps most interesting was the full-length album ‘Victorious’ (M-Plant), a collection of killer House and Techno cuts, made with his daughter Lyric Hood. The soulful ‘Music / Tell You No Lie’ EP featuring two stand out tracks from the album were huge and were a perfect taster for a great album project.

6: Alan Fitzpatrick

Alan Fitzpatrick is well regarded in Techno circles, both as a DJ & Producer. This year he had a busy release schedule with some serious tracks out on Last Night on Earth, Bedrock, Hypercolour, Drumcode & Hotflush Recordings. In 2016 Alan also successfully launched his new label ‘We Are The Brave’, with a couple of quality tech EPs, ‘We Do What We Want’ & ‘Friday Night Dancing’, both from the man himself. We’re looking forward to What’s coming our way 2017.

5: Joseph Capriati

Joseph Capriati’s solid work ethic and commitment to the scene mean he is now considered one of the top current artists in Techno. He has played all over the globe this year, his gigs showcasing the forward-thinking sound that also features in his releases which this year included tracks and remixes for Drumcode, Soma, Intec,Bedrock, Toolroom & many more. It was Joseph’s taut remix of Dubfire & Oliver Huntemann’s ‘Terra’ that really stuck out for us this year, its lean beats and moody atmosphere destroying dance floors wherever it was played.

4: Oliver Huntemann

Senso Sounds label owner and producer / DJ Oliver Huntemann spend much of the past 12 months turning out pristine Techno tracks and remixes, including the impressive ‘Retrospectivo’ collaboration project with Dubfire on Senso, releases on Terminal M and Toolroom, and he finished up the year in fine style with his stunning reinvention of Victor Rulz’s ‘Nevermind’, also on Senso Sounds.

3: Pig&Dan

Pig&Dan have had a long and respected career in dance music, with 2017 their 15th year in the biz. Aside from successfully running their Elevate label, the duo have had a year of solid releases, with highlights including banging tracks on some of the most well respected Techno labels, including Soma, Bedrock, Cocoon, Suara, Toolroom, Diynamic and Tronic. Diynamic was also home to Pig&Dan’s unstoppable ‘Growler’ which was a huge record this year.

2: Loco & Jam

Five years on from their debut release and Loco and Jam have built up a strong industry rep through a simple combination of talent and hard work. Things really took off for them this year with release after release of quality Techno. Since bursting onto the scene Loco & Jam have released their music on huge labels such as 1605, Toolroom, Stereo Productions, Break New Soil, Alleanza and Relief Records. With heavy support from Drumcode boss Adam Beyer, we are expecting big things from these two in 2017.

1: Dubfire

Dubfire is an artist whose drive, talent and intuition have placed him in the top tier of electronic music artists in the world. He has achieved global success in the commercial domain, and equal accomplishments in the underground scene, without ever compromising his commitment to quality. His Sci+Tec label continued to release cutting edge tunes all year, both from Dubfire himself and his ever growing Sci+Tec roster. 2016 also saw Dubfire drop some serious dance floor destruction on the likes of Senso, Toolroom and Bedrock.

All this would no doubt guarantee Dubfire a place in our 2016 chart, but aside from his productions, in a move that took Techno’s futurism to heart, Dubfire’s ‘Hybrid’ show took the standard dance music performance and developed it into a stunning new presentation of interweaving audio and visual elements. ‘Hybrid’ took the industry by storm this year, and shows an artist confidently working at the frontiers of dance music culture, pushing forward and progressing.

In all his work, be it DJing or production, Dubfire continues to enthral us with authentic and evocative music, reminding us of the power and thrill of a dark basement, a strobe, a crowd, and the thump of the 4/4. Long may he continue.

releases on Traxsource.