Some music genres are much-maligned and perhaps none have been more derided over the years than techno. For every cool Detroit techno purveyor, there was a DJ Scooter; for every interesting German innovation, there’s a SoundCloud producer who think their beats have to pound a listener into submission. 

Yet sometimes what you really need is to give yourself to the unrelenting thud, thud, thud of a techno night out. If music is to be felt within the body, techno was born to do so.

The often poor reputation of the genre is why World Techno Day has importance. Marked annually every December 9th, it celebrates all things techno

After really taking off in the 80s, techno has grown in popularity ever since. Every country now has its own techno scene so to celebrate World Techno Day, we thought we’d round up just 5 of the best clubs to hear good techno music around the world.

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Sub Club, Glasgow

Growing up in Scotland, a night out at the country’s premier electronic venue is a rite of passage. You descend a small flight of stairs into a creaking basement dance floor, the roof so low to the ground that it almost skims your head. Thumping techno bangs out every weekend, the small space humming with noise and atmosphere. People from around Europe visit Glasgow to experience a Sub Club night.

The venue has been home to resident DJs Harri & Domenic’s Subculture party since 1994, and also famously hosted JD Twitch and JG Wilkes’ Optimo event every Sunday from 1997 until 2010. In a city that loves to party, it’s no mean feat to be the standard-bearer for a night out but Sub Club manages it.

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Berghain, Berlin

The big daddy of them all. The World Capital of Techno. One of the most famous clubs globally. Situated in an industrial area between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain in Germany’s capital city, it’s only been going since 2004 but in that time it’s built up a fearsome reputation.

Pounding techno attracts huge numbers of visitors, all hoping to say that they made it to Berghain. Its appeal is built on its strong resident DJs, its humungous set lengths, sometimes lasting for 10 hours, and its grand design, which has to be seen to be believed.

Perhaps the most infamous part of the venue is its strict door policy – hundreds of wannabe dancers are turned away every night, often at the mysterious whims of security. It just makes you want it that much more.

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Colour, Melbourne

We had to include a Melbourne venue in this list. Colour has only been operating out of Carlton for a few years but there’s few better places for a late-night boogie in the city these days. Not as commercial as Sub Club or New Guernica, it’s all about the genuine talent of the DJs the Colour bookers attract.

Spanning the breadth of electronic music, techno is well-represented most weeks. Featuring an industry-best Funktion-One sound system, expect Colour’s reputation to grow in Australia.

Smartbar, Chicago

It’s not quite Detroit but Chicago in the neighbouring state of Illinois boasts its own decent techno and electronic scene too. One of the U.S.’s best places to party, Smartbar is the beating heart of Chicago’s dance music community. Many respected DJs have honed their skills inside, including The Black Madonna.

Still going strong since 1982, the 400-capacity space shows no signs of slowing down. When the freezing chill comes in over Lake Michigan, dancing furiously to hard-hitting techno is just what’s needed.

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Robert Johnson, Frankfurt

Germany just can’t get enough techno. Just across the river from Frankfurt, Robert Johnson is the perfect intimate and minimalist space for a late night party. Not many people can fit in at one time but that makes it feel more exclusive. A balcony also offers sweeping views of the River Main when you need a break from the techno noise.

Since opening in 1999, the venue’s impact on contemporary club culture has been immense. If you believe in the genuine respectability of electronic music, Robert Johnson is the place to visit.

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