With GM in the news, I was thinking about Detroit tonight. Detroit was the city I grew up closest to. My father grew up here and his dad worked on the Mercury Zephyr line.
Growing up near the city, the musical influence was huge. On any given weekend in the mid-to-late nineties, late night radio would mix up everything from the classic Art Of Noise song “Moments In Love” to local ghetto tech beats and new drum and bass coming out of the UK.
Much has been made about the city and why it’s music sounds the way it does. The desolate beauty, the mechanized auto factories and even the isolated water-ensconced nature of the state. All if it is true.
Here are four tracks that give me that Detroit feeling. These not the more discussed and celebrated classics, but more personal favorites.
Psyche – From Beyond (Transmat)
Carl Craig is a real legend and continues to impress. This song, under the Psyche alias is perhaps one of my favorite tracks ever. It has a crazy spell to it. It’s not quite techno and it pre-dates the breaks and jungle genres. It’s on it’s own planet. Pure late night driving music to roam the vacant freeways.
Cybotron – Cosmic Raindance (Fantasy)
Note: Please play on a proper stereo or headphones as the bassline is what holds this all together. Juan Atkins (“The Originator”) is arguably the greatest groove maker of the Detroit techno school. Cybotron, his group with Richard Davis and John Housely is responsible for some of the most seminal cuts that have been sampled and re-interpreted endlessly. I remember driving down to the store Record Time in our friend’s Ford Fiesta, listening to this on repeat and his subs would rattle the entire frame. Simply majestic.
Drexciya – Digital Tsunami (Tresor)
Drexciya is the most mythical duo of the Detroit techno school. The duo of the late James Stinson and Gerald Donald (also of Dopplereffekt, more on that later) made aggressive yet liquid odes to the ocean and it’s provence. This was a later cut, but got me into their brand of mutated electro. Their original pressings fetch a pretty penny on eBay and with good reason.
Suburban Knight – Collaboration Alpha (Peacefrog)
As part of the vaunted Underground Resistance Crew, Suburban Knight racked up a Detroit classic with “The Art Of Stalking” and also co-wrote tracks with Kevin Saunderson for his seminal and wildly successful Inner City project. This is a more recent track, and not a “classic” by any means, but I chose it because it’s important to recognize that Detroit techno is not a vintage style, it’s a methodology and an ethos that will continue to exist.
Excuse the abstract image but i’ve already posted about this album in March which featured Cheerleader so I thought something a little different might be a good change of pace because every blog has been writing about this Brooklyn band. I still haven’t dove into this album completely because of DEMF but if I heard Ready, Able I wouldn’t of posted Cheerleader or Two Weeks. Ready, Able has a slow waltz and Eddie sounds abit like Benoit Pioulard to me, you see now that’s a duet I wanna hear in 2009.
One of the best voices i’ve heard live since i’ve moved to Brooklyn is a no brainer, 24 year old, Danish, Greek and Indonesian Jannis Noya Makrigiannis gave me goosebumps. He stayed at my place for about a week, one of the nicest guys, dressed like a southern European Italian Vogue farmer and right off the bat you could tell the guy had a kind heart and when he performed he looked like he was made to perform music and sing.
Nothing wrong with just throwing in a random Sonic Youth song to ground us.
Okay so i’ve become a Dubstep junkie, don’t tell anyone. I’ve looked high and low for the most energetic yet slow moving and heavy hitting tracks. I really think this might take over the US finally in 2010. This Joker cut has elements of a Top 40 rap anthem but its soo chunky, 8 bit, and twisted, i’m sure my neighbors love it too.
As you can tell i’m a huge fan of Bibio and his new direction isn’t too surprising but definitely a noticeable difference, it’s less lo-fi and sounds like he added some dubstep kicks to makes the whole overall sound more round. A 7 inch vinyl single will be coming out on Warp on June 8th with this song will drop before the LP, I look forward to hearing the B side and all the other songs, should be a great surprise.
Type Records grabbed up the distant serenading City Center and this new LP is full of echoed vocals and gentle guitar strumming, such good atmosphere and timing in all his music, it really helps me to relax.
Deastro is giving away a free EP called Grower, its all instrumental and almost sounds like he woke up in the middle of the night and had an amazing brainstorm for an EP and knocked it out in hours by finessing very similar sounds. Its an epic masterpiece at times and its super kind of him to just give it away for free like that.
Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas are back at it again, first off they make me feel like I should never touch a synthesizer because really they make it sound soo easy. This track takes me on this journey like i’m riding into space on an all silk loosely put together yacht and I have an epic plan and a long to do list of how to save the universe but i’ll doing it at 15 MPH and not worrying about how and when I do it though. Within a minute of just listening you might end up starring at your computer and just thinking who are these guys and how do we make sure they never stop making new music.
With Detroit Electronic Music Festival over I needed to find a mix that summed how good it got at times and this recent Resident Advisor mix does a great job and I think some of you Tim and Eric fan might like the tracklist towards the end.
Seth Troxler has been the face of the new generation of DJs coming out the US that gets it because he has the depth when it comes to knowing new and old records, has the confidence to throw out that curve ball track to a full dance floor, and lives the lifestyle that many of us would just stare at and be floored that he can live thru it all by being able to DJ at 6pm or 5am or even noon the next day.
TRACKLIST Home and Garden – Broken (Brennan Green (On The) Reprise) – Icon Recordings Omar-S – I-Love-U-Alex – FXHE Records Woolfy vs. Projections – The Return of Starlight – Permanent Vacation Beat Happening – Our Secret – K Chromatics -In The City – Italians Do It Better Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’- Warner Talking Heads – Slippery People – Sire Records Company Jimi Hendrix – Castles Made Of Sand – Polydor Animal Collective – Prospect Hummer – FatCat Records Cat Power – Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Matador Louderbach – Autumn – M_nus<
David Bowie – Space Oddity – RCA Victor Arthur Russell – Your Motion Says – Rough Trade Marine Girls – 20,000 Leagues – Whaam! Records Handsome Boy Modeling School – I’ve Been Thinking – Elektra Home and Garden – Sexuality – Classic Home and Garden – Broken (Brennan Green (On The) Reprise) – Icon Recordings Tim and Eric – Universe – Adult Swim The Pack – Vans – Jive
ITunes has a decent layout, I mean you can’t do much especially if you end up updating it weekly and the artwork can range from pretty good small album art icons to just awful ones. One way of making the pages on iTunes more appealing is these custom artist pages that iTunes staff picks out, the photos seem to be exclusive which is always a nice addition.
Bradford Cox of Deerhunter has a great blog for a musician, it might be one of the best if you like humble, talented and informative people. I’m guessing he makes these mixes on the computer because there isn’t much mixing going on but the eclectic tracklist caught my eye even if the mix is a few seasons old.
TRACKLIST Beach Boys – Three Blind Mice (Smile Demo) Lee Hazlewood - My Autumn’s Done Come Bobak, Jons, Malone – On a Meadow Lea Telepathe – I Can’t Stand It Supremes – Where Did Our Love Go Residents – Is He Really Bringing Roses? Suicide – Cheree Evie Sands – I Can’t Let Go Autechre – Drone Nico – Camera Obscura Aaron Neville – Tell It Like It Is Shugie Otis – XI-30 Alvin Curran – At Harmony Ranch Robert Wyatt – Little Red Robin Hood (Hit the Road)
So the BBC Radio seems to be the best known radio station in the world for exclusively having songs and being able to play them first and its no different in this case. Domino Recordings handed them a great remix of Animal Collective’s Summertime Clothes which included this Dam Funk remix that pretty much nails the remix if you love synths and funk at a uptempo pace, the remix has such a natural feel to it, it’s so unforced seems like it should be an original.
You may have already heard about the Animal Crack Box and how its only limited to 1000 pressed and how some someone already dropped 2,400USD+ on a copy on ebay. I have been listening to it, its pretty good, i’d maybe pay 40USD tops for a copy of the vinyls at most just for the collection aspect of it. This release just makes me think how much of a crackhead my parent’s thought I must of was collecting hockey cards and having to wake up on the weekends to drive me to the card shows so I could look at the 1000USD limited hockey cards that 45 year old men sold with their stained sweatpants and too small of New York Rangers matching sweatshirts and their bellies partially showing while I spent my allowance on mystery packets of a random collection on pieces of paper that i’d just organize and store later in the evening. I hope they didn’t think I was going to turn into one of those guys but i’m sure it crossed their mind more than once. ok. back to music.
Terrence Dixon, someone once called him the Aphex Twin of Detroit Techno, he is a minimalist not that minimal techno stuff but a true minimalist and a care taker of melody. If you sit and listen and hear what he repeats its pure gold, the magic really lies in the subtle panning of certain parts of the song and well placed additions that pop up perfectly, A must have in your collection if you like to just space out into your design work while the song is chopping away at the waves like your cruising in 1st place in a sailboat race.
So I just found about this Pink Floyd band, just kidding.
Ten years ago, I was a lowly, heartbroken college freshman, working with my friends Disco D and Matthew Dear on our first single, “Hands Up for Detroit”. Now, after a decade of hard work, finding an amazing team, and a little bit of luck, we’re fortunate enough to celebrate with our artists and friends.
Toronto will be a special date: the Drake Hotel is one of Tycho’s favorite venues (Scott said it was one of his best shows yet.) We always have a great time whenever the team plays there. Tickets are on sale now and discounted here.
Here are a few tracks from each of the Toronto show’s artists – including a Tycho debut.
Lusine – Two Dots
Lusine has a new album on the way, and (perhaps non-objectively) I’d venture to say it’s his best.
Here’s the first single, featuring the lovely voice of Vilja Larjosto.
Secret Frequency Crew – Neon Bridge
Here’s a song from Adrian Michna’s old group, Secret Frequency Crew, who were on the classic Schematic label. Forest Of The Echo Downs really caught my attention and made our best-of-the-year list back in ’04. It was a good preview of what was to come (busted jazz, stabbing horns, skittering Miami machinedrums) with Michna.
Milosh – Move On
Mike Milosh occupies a very distinct space in electronic music with his subtle programming and weak-in-the-knees vocals. He just released a new EP with Paul Phisterer which will make you want to plant a tree it’s so pretty.
Tycho – Coastal Brake (Manual remix)
There’s this guy Tycho who’s pretty good too. He’s got a new single coming out this summer with some great remixes. Here’s an exclusive debut of Manual‘s remix of the forthcoming “Coastal Brake.”