Detroit is alive… Rejuvenated, and building on its roots at an awesome pace. From urban developments in the downtown area, to an exploding food culture spread throughout the metro-area. Equally as lively, is our music scene, and namely… the electronic music scene. Once a beacon of light that birthed the country’s first sounds of what would eventually be known as Techno, it is now re-defining itself, as another wave of cutting-edge artistry emerges from the ashes of a once-forgotten city.
To highlight the happenings of this bubbling cauldron of culture, we ventured out into the night to experienced some of the magical gatherings happening here. Parties, as we used to call them, have mostly moved into the clubs and out of the warehouses, but that doesn’t stop Detroit from cultivating that gritty industrial vibe we are so fond of. Dark spaces, grinding rhythms, and giant rooms filled with sweat-soaked bodies once again rule the land of the motor city. The Detroit Techno House staff visited a few spots and found just what we needed to feel the energy of a city ripe with desire.
One of the most recent events we attended was an amazing show put on by the Texture crew. Bringing out Gunnar Haslam from New York, and involving Interdimensional Transmissions founders BMG and Erika, this party was a prime example of the special vibration that is resonating through Detroit right now. The venue was decked out in billowy drapes that made the entire space feel like a portal to a different universe. No straight lines or defined edges caused for your mind to rely less on sight, and more on sound. It was perfectly matched with a subtle and intuitive lighting display, projected high above the crowd on soot-covered walls. The presentation was, clearly, as important as the programming, and it showed in a masterful manner. Shigeto of Ghostly International also played this show, and took us through a myriad of styles with a very rare set of faster-paced electronica that perhaps only he could define precisely. Two floors of people filled this party with an energy that was palpable. Everyone in the building could feel what was happening, and we all knew it was special. It’s a symbol of Detroit rejecting its “new” labeling and taking back the true essence of our community. Also on the bill that night were Shady P of How To Kill, Rawaas of Lobster Theremin, Jaos of Paxahau and Jacob Park. The texture crew has another event planned on November 4th with Route 8 doing a live set along with a host of other amazing acts.
We recently also visited a full moon party entitled “Wicked Moon” That featured the sounds of Monty Luke, Marshall Applewhite, Keith Kemp and Jerry Downey Jr. This event had all the feelings of an old school Detroit party and the music could not have been better. Serious selecting from Monty Luke, coupled with precise mixing and a command of the rig made for a night when it was impossible not to dance. The space was an expansive multi-room establishment that tugged on the heart strings of the nostalgic raver, and offered a cornucopia of stimuli for the advantageous. Deep into the morning we communed and awed at the spectacle that is the Detroit artist community in this new era of existence. The party seemed to happen effortlessly, not too crowded, but very well attended. It was not for everyone, and that’s what made it so perfect.
This post is not about one party, or one genre, it is about a community… A community of people that have grown up influenced by the pioneers of this scene, and bleed respect for the culture it birthed. We are children of the sound, and our parents will never expire. As long as kick drums vibrate our bodies and melodies soothe ours souls, the origin of this magical science will endure. To be a member of this community is truly a badge of honor that creates a unique awareness that can be applied to every aspect of life. Having an appreciation for this music and this culture seems to equate a certain particularity with the rest of existence that we choose to involve ourselves with. Techno-Snob is not a term I fully embrace, but the sentiment is well appreciated, and at times a fair assessment of the people who truly “listen”. The moral of this story is that Detroit as we know it is gone, but the “new” Detroit is not some gentrified clone of American consumerism. It is an intelligent and cultured product of a past that is beyond comparison, and a future that will recklessly embrace change, while never losing sight of where it came from. Fuck a $3000 apartment in mid-town… Give me a dark room and some dance music, and I’ll die a happy man.