Juan Atkins (2011). Photo by Yann Gross/Red Bull Content Pool. A quick Google search of the phrase "who invented techno" will immediately draw up a musician named Juan Atkins. Working out of Detroit in the early ‘80s, Atkins used synthesizers to create songs that were entirely electronic, at a time when doing so not only wasn’t popular, but was rarely heard of— especially in the United States. (Importantly, he was also the first person to use the word "techno" to describe electronic music, though there’s a common misconception that the term "techno music" was first used in Germany).