Weird Stuff

Top 20 Techno 90s Rave Tunes

posted by Chris Valentine

Welcome to my list of top 20 techno 90s rave tunes! In the early 90s rave music was everywhere. I remember it well. I was in college at the time and living in Orlando. Back then the downtown party scene was much cooler. Firestone was around, The Edge was around. Clubs stayed open all night and nobody even went out until well after midnight. If we got bored we drove to Gainesville and went to Simons. Zen Festival was in full effect and raves were ubiquitous. Ecstasy was plentiful and we liked how that dude from Rabbit in the Moon wore that crazy mirror-jacket!



It’s hard not to listen to the music you grew up with and not have a little bit of nostalgia (I grew up in the 80s, thus I have a soft spot for 80s music, even while I understand that most of it isn’t very good). Sure, a lot of rave music, just like a lot of house music, is total crap. But some of it is really good, too, and in that spirit I bring you my personal top 20 rave/techno tunes of the early 90s – mostly from 1990-1993. Naturally, rave purists will yell at me about it (How could you not include Run Tings? Where’s the Smart-ees?! Where’s DJ Icey?! Only a poseur would include Lords of Acid!). Whatever dudes! Go make your own list!

Top 20 Techno 90s / Rave Tunes

20. Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy (1992)

This one throws everything in but the kitchen sink. Female vocals (Dorothy Fearon), piano riffs, sirens, and at the end there’s a good amount of 303 squelches. From the Production House label, who also gave us Acen. This is a huge breakbeat/rave item and has been re-released countless of times.

19. Return of the Living AcidGet Funky! (1991)

Return of the Living Acid is actually Tony Payne, who also did Goal Kick, which is on a 12″ white label from back in the day called “History Repeats” “Get Funky!” is my personal guilty pleasure. It’s not a complex song, but it combines all the required elements (long deep base notes, 303 acid stabs, hiphop sample) in just the right way to get the intended effect. I mean, it’s Africa Bambaata’s Planet Rock (Yo Yo, Get Funky! Yaaahhhhh!) turned into a rave anthem. Sounds good to me!

18. SL2On A Ragga Tip (1992)

This is the best example I can think of what they call “Ragga Techno”. It’s basically breakbeat with a reggae/dancehall influence. This song tends to make me jump up and down alot – it’s very bouncy. And I love the sampling of Jah Screechy’s “Walk & Skank” even though I have no idea what he’s saying.

17. Zero ZeroZeroxed (1991)

A good techno tune from the early 90s is this song off the Kickin’ label that samples Jimi Hendrix (the guitar riff from “Fire”). It also has a sample of Aphrodite’s Child (“Now comes the capture of the beast”) and sirens to kick it off. It’s only for the headstrong, whatever the hell that means.

16. Altern8Armageddon (1992) / Frequency (1991)

Top One, Nice One, Get Sorted.

Mark Archer and Chris Peat (formerly Nexus 21) dressed up in dust masks and chemical protection suits and called themselves Altern8. I don’t think you can talk about old school rave and not mention them – they are probably the most interesting of the bunch because they aren’t your typical “faceless” techno artist. Certainly not as well known as an act like The Prodigy, but at least you recognize their look. They came out with weird shit and sayings like “Top One Nice One Get Sorted”. Yeah! What in hell does that mean? I don’t know, but it’s fun to say. Their music is total rave all the way, influenced by the Detroit techno sound, and occasionally their songs will sample old school house music, throw in 303 stabs, nice 808 kickdrums, heavy bass, etc.. “Full On Mask Hysteria” is their only full length LP and it’s worth getting if you can find it. It works as techno and as a historical artifact. My two favorite tunes off the record are Frequency and Armageddon. The first track naturally has a recurring sample of some guy saying “Frequency” and it’s echoed and faded. Armageddon is a massive stormer with Public Enemy samples (Chuck D says “Armageddon!” from when they did a live show in London). Good stuff.

Keep reading techno/90s rave stuff:

Entries 11 through 15
Entries 6 through 10
Entries 1 through 5

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