sweet as the scratch

17 detroit techno tracks:
from cybotron to kyle hall

Since the 'second summer of love' in 1988--otherwise known as 'that moment when British club culture discovered e and acid'--electronic music has been largely associated with Europe, particularly the UK, France, and Germany. To be sure, house, techno, jungle, ragga, grime, garage, idm, etc. are majorly influenced by artists, clubs, and listeners from these countries, and would hardly have the global audience they do today without them. But it is also important to note that the origins of these musical forms are in the basements, bedrooms, and recording studios of working class black dudes from America and the Caribbean, as well as in Jamaican dancehall culture and New York and Chicago gay clubs like Paradise Garage, the Warehouse, the Loft, and the Powerplant.

In particular, during the early 1980s, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May introduced the world to the repetitive, industrial, and futuristic sound of techno. Groomed in Atkins' basement, and later distributed through public radio, the hit television show 'The New Dance,' and local Detroit clubs like The Music Institute and The Majestic, Detroit techno took shape as one of the first movements in American popular culture in which artists used machines to create music. Remixes, sampling, synths, bass, and dub are all present in Detroit techno, as is skill, innovation, and craft. Ultimately, without the experimental sounds of Atkins, Saunderson, and May--the Belleville Three as they are called today--the explosion of electronic music and dj culture abroad would not have been possible.

Call it Afrofuturism, call it sonic postmodernism, call it whatever, Detroit techno is some funky ass, soulful, futuristic type shit that will get you nodding your head no matter what the setting. From the Belleville three on through to today, it has provided a space for black musicians to experiment with technology, sound, art, and culture. Check out this mix and get hip to the (other)world of Detroit techno:

0:00 "Alleys Of Your Mind" - Cybertron - (1981)
3:25 "Big Fun" - Inner City - (1988)
6:42 "R-Theme" - R-Tyme - (1989)
12:50 "Thought Process" - Infiniti - Skynet
17:11 "The Dreamer" - GB - The Xpander & The Dreamer EP
22:54 "Starlight" - Model 500 - (1995)
29:05 "No UFOs" - Model 500 - (1985)
35:53 "Brownstone Express" - Metro - Journey Thru The N.Y. Underground
40:00 "Strings of Life" - Rhythim is Rhythim - (1987)
45:56 untitled - X-Ray - Let's Go
51:39 "Dr. Crunch" - Kyle Hall - The Boat Party
57:27 "Ladies & Gentleman" - 69 - 4 Jazz Funk Classics
1:06:14 "Placid Angels" - John Beltran
1:11:49 "Detroit 808" - Scott Groves - (2009)
1:18:15 "I Hate" - Omar S - 002
1:21:43 "Israelee Night Falls" - Glenn Underground - Atmosfear
1:29:39 "Factory" - Eric Ericksson - Someone is Watching EP
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