Techno is a genre of electronic dance music (EDM) that is predominantly characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat which is generally produced for use in a continuous DJ set. The central rhythm is often in common time, while the tempo typically varies between 120 and 150 beats per minute (bpm). Artists may use electronic instruments such as drum machines, sequencers, and synthesizers, as well as digital audio workstations.
The first proto-Techno/Electro release was Cybotron's 'Alleys Of Your Mind' in 1981. That same year, a group by the name of 'A Number Of Names' released another important and influentional song called 'Sharivari'. While both of those songs aren't pure Techno, they are the roots of the sound and a very important part of the history.
The term Techno (specifically relating to the music genre) was first used on the 1984 EP by Cybotron called 'Techno City'. It was also used on the 1988 compilation 'Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit'. Juan Atkins, one half of Cybotron, was the first person to use the term to specifically describe the regional dance sound of Detroit. Atkins and the other purveyors of the sound - Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, and Eddie Fowlkes - comprise what is known as 'The First Wave' (pre-1988).
Other notable early artists are Blake Baxter, James Pennington, and Anthony Shakir. The second wave of Techno artists, from 1988 onward, notably consisted of Jeff Mills, Mike Banks (of Underground Resistance), Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin, Rob Hood, Dave Angel, Kenny Larkin, Dan Bell, Drexciya, Stacey Pullen, Orlando Voorn, Kelli Hand, and Octave One (to name just a few).
Being a large and globally popular style of music, there are now many subgenres of techno, which often have their own Discogs tags. Use of these as opposed to simply 'techno' will bring further specificity to entries and prevent overpopulation of techno itself as a tag.