Detroit’s accepted twin pillars of musical history are undeniably monumental: classic ’60s Motown and late ’80s techno. But, during the ’70s (between 1973 to 1985), there was another influential pre-techno sound — the disco and post-disco era — that swept through the Motor City’s nightlife club culture and has been lost until now. As established Detroit DJ Mike “Agent X” Clark points out: “I try to mention it in interviews, but it gets deleted because it predates techno. It would be great to finally have Detroit heard and understood before techno.”
Without even really noticing what we were doing this morning, we inadvertently wrote up a news roundup packed almost exclusively with news about Detroit’s always fertile techno and house scenes. Almost exclusively, we should point out—don’t worry, there’s other stuff, too, so get readin’!
Justin Martin and Eats Everything have been making a splash on Dirtybird label for a while now, but last year’s successful solo releases, BBC Radio 1 Essential mixes, and non-stop touring schedules accompanied by a summer residency in Ibiza have just further cemented their—and their label’s—place amongst dance music’s finest.
Kevin Saunderson has been marking his KMS label’s silver anniversary in characteristic multifarious fashion—there are the parties, of course, and now we have a bursting-at-the-seams compilation which whittles hundreds of KMS releases down to 49 essential tracks. This half of 2012 has also seen him contribute an edition to Defected’s long-running In The House compilation series, alongside a punishing DJ schedule, and live sets with the re-banded and revived Inner City.
Saunderson has always pursued various lines of development in the spaces between the bracing techno productions under his own name and the loveable house anthems of Inner City. Today’s pick highlights one of those classic house/techno hybrids from the recent compilation KMS 25th Anniversary Classics – 2.5 Decades of Techno, a track described as “the darkest avant-funk of the early Detroit Era” in the respected rave tome Energy Flash. It’s “Just Want Another Chance,” circa 1988, from Kevin Maurice Saunderson (a.k.a. Reese), and it’s the Track Of The Day.
The Movement 2013 festival in Detroit might be 333 days away, but they aren’t wasting any time finding out who fans want to see at the 14th annual Memorial Weekend techno event next year. The promoters, Paxahau, have just posted a thread on the Movement Facebook Page asking inviting you to answer the question—”Who would YOU like to see at Movement Detroit 2013?”
This year, Detroit techno legend Kevin Saunderson celebrates 25 years of his pioneering label KMS Records. And over the weekend of Detroit’s Movement Festival in May, he assembled a monumental cast of players—the brotherhood, as he calls them—to commemorate the occasion. Without exaggeration, it’s hard to imagine a more stunning convergence of Detroit techno’s legacy in one room: Saunderson (along with his Inner City project), Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, Carl Craig (live as 69), Kenny Larkin, Stacey Pullen, Blake Baxter, Terrence Parker, MK, Kyle Hall, Buzz Goree, Allan Ester, D-Wynn, DJ Minx, Mike Huckaby, and Mike Clark all performed at KMS 25 – Tribute to Detroit on May 27th.
Three days of Midwestern heat and humidity is one thing, but when you pack a lineup like this year’s Movement Festival into a long weekend, and add in tens of thousands of revelers, numerical temperatures are rendered meaningless. All the same, in today’s installment of the Movement round-up, we run down the scorching performances of yesterday’s schedule.
In case you couldn’t tell, we’re pretty darn stoked about this week’s Movement Festival happening in Detroit from Saturday through Monday. To get us—and hopefully you, too—even more jazzed, we tapped some of our favorite DJs, who’ll be playing the illustrious Beatport Stage at Movement, to give us a playlist of what they’re caning these days. Peep each artist’s chart below, and then check back on Beatportal next week for a full round of post-festival coverage and interviews.
If you’re even remotely a fan of Detroit techno, you’ll know that the lineup announced for KMS 25: Tribute to Detroit, Kevin Saunderson’s celebratory event that’s being held over the Movement Festival weekend in the Motor City, is one of a kind. Literally, every major player responsible for the foundation of Detroit techno will be performing on May 27th to commemorate Saunderson’s 25th anniversary of his label, KMS Records.
It’s near impossible to be a fan of hip-hop and not worship at the altar of J Dilla. The late Detroit-bred beatmaker for everyone from his own Slum Village crew to Busta Rhymes was considered a legendary sampler, cratedigger, and producer in life—and probably even more so in death, when he passed away from a rare blood disease in 2006 at age 32.