techno and few other intelligent things

Detroit and its Techno legacy

Take a look at this nice video on RA’s Real Scene section about Detroit, MI.


Detroit nowadays has a lot of unemployment problems and looks like an abandoned city: economy collapsed and buildings are falling apart, in 2013 Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history.


There was a time when Detroit was a florid huge automobile production centre (GM, Chrysler, and Ford)  and lots of people migrated to the city and the suburbs to work, black people especially. But what I want to talk about Detroit  is something more important: it’s called TECHNO.

Detroit is the city where techno was born from the mind and the fingers of some eclectic youngsters and their enthusiastic friends, it was the place where in the early 80s the Electrifying Mojo would use the airwaves to spread the new language, it was a place where you could go and dance your ass off in abandoned buildings or improvised clubs with a new dark and synthethic sound. This was not Chicago with its House funky beats, not even New York and its Disco shit. Detroit was cold, decaying, racially instable, poor, post industrial and dark.

Detroit music scene was always one step ahead of anywhere else. Not only because of Techno, it was also the place where a lot of Northern Soul music was produced, home for the Motown and for Thelma Records, Groove City Records, Ge Ge Records, D-Town, Carla Records and many many more.

The conjunction for the birth of techno may relies here: a strong northern soul/funk legacy fused with popular Chicago House mixed up with sci-fi and Futuristic imaginery, Acid House  and post industrial rage.

This is what I think made Detroit techno producers so unique: the ability to groove and to catch your soul.



there is a splendid documentary called High-Tech Soul to watch if you want to learn about the details of how everything came up togheter from the famous Belleville three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson) and how they needed to move to Europe (England) to legitimete themselves.


belleville three


The list of Techno producers active in Detroit is long and includes names like Octave One, AUX88, Carl Cox, Drexciya, Eddie Fowlkes, Mike “Mad” Banks, Moodyman, Theo Parrish, Robert Hood, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills, Kenny Larkin, Kevin Saunderson, Orlando Voorn.… do you get it? all the gotha of Techno is somehow related to Detroit.


I leave you with this masterpiece by Robert Hood, to me one of the best Detroiter technohead still around.





Filed under: detroit techno, documentaries, electronica, society, techno, techno music, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Old School But Good School” dj set by Franck De Villeneuve

You’re going to like the Podcast #9 on OSBGS blog mixed by French dj/producer Franck De Villeneuve.

At Old School But Good School, as the name of the blog suggests, they like old school tunes from acid to detroit from techno to the whole analogue world.

This time monsieur De Villeneuve digged deep in his vinyl collection and mixed up this great set with lots of undiscussed  gems and new discoveries (to me at least). Dave Clarke, Derrick May, Emmanuel Top, Plastikman, Jeff Mills, Adam Beyer, System 7 they’re all featured on this mix 🙂

Here’ the track list and make sure to show Franck some love!

Kraftwerk – Intermission – Capitol (1975)
Teste – Spatialk (5am synaptic) – Probe records (1992)
Plastikman – DRP / Plasticity – Plus 8 (1993)
G-Man – Continue – i220 (1999)
John Creamer & Stephane K – Forget the world – White X (2004)
Paul Rogers – Krafty (GPal pandesia dub mix) – Sumsonic (2002)
Derrick May – To be or not to be (J.Q. public mix) – Sony music (1997)
Dave Clarke – No one’s driving (Chemical brother’s mix) – Bush (1996)
M. Mayer – Pride is weaker than love – Kompakt extra (2002)
Emmanuel Top – Static – Triangle (1995)
Emmanuel Top – Ecsta deal – Attack (1994)
Scanx – Earthquake (dry mix) – FCom (1996)
Dave Clarke – The Storm (vocal) – Re-load (1995)
Fumiya Tanaka – Away go up – Torema records (1998)
777 – Alpha wave (Plastikman acid house mix) – Astralwerks (1995)
Jeff Mills – The purpose maker – Axis (1995)
DJ ESP – One with the Universe (Vocal meditation mix) – Communique records (2005)
Adam Beyer – Compressed (B1) – Drumcode (1996)
System 7 – Rings of fire (Volcaniq mix) – Butterfly records (1998)
Kraftwerk – Radio Stars – Capitol (1975)
Kraftwerk – Uranium – Capitol (1975)

while listening to the set you can take a tour over the pages of this blog… I went directly on their Techno Session with plenty of great 90’s techno tracks.

Franck De Villeneuve official website :


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Listen and download some Jeff Mills djsets from 1986 to 2010

Jeff Mills started as a radio dj (aka The Wizard) working at Detroit WJBL radio station along with Charles Johnson (aka The Electrifying Mojo).

At the end of the 80ies Jeff Mills and former Parliament bass player Mike Banks, founded the Techno collective Underground Resistance (UR). Later, Robert “Noise” Hood, joined the collective. UR philosophy was strictly anti-mainstream and was inspired by the Black Panther political movement (as Jeff Mills himself confirmed in some interviews).

Mills then moved to New York, Berlin and finally to Chicago, although he never officially leaved UR collective, he started to produce his solo works. In 1992 he founded AXIS record labels with his friend Robert Hood, investigating a more minimal and modern sound. Also, in the next years, sub-labels were created:Purpose Maker, Tomorrow, and 6277.
source: Wikipedia.

Mills is wordly known for his excellent turntablism skills, here you can check one of his performance with three turntables. , he usually uses up to seventy records in an hour.

Finally, here, you can listen to some Jeff Mills djsets from his beginning at Detroit’s WJLB radio to recent festivals and clubs.

Long live TECHNO!

Filed under: techno music, , , ,