August 24, 2013
Here are the stories behind the tracks above:
Inner City-Share My Life
How many years this song haunted my mind, searching for it...it sounded so familiar, yet I couldn't find it anywhere. Shouldn't have been
suprised to find out it was more Detroit gold by Inner City, mixed by Kenny Larkin. Between 1994 and 1996 this song was on every house DJ worth their salt's rotation.
Vapour Space-Gravitational Arch Of 10
This song was actually capable of growing brain cells. With songs like "Anaximander's Time Stick", Mark Gage's minimal
techno was pure genius. One of the only musicians I never saw perform. First heard this on the Intellinet mix CD from Plus 8, a CD I am still searching for.
Southwest Detroit forever. This track is my heart and soul. The sound quality is not great, but the video highlights my old neighborhood, Mexicantown, where I lived and worked. No song can take me back to Detroit like this one. No one ever did or will ever do Latino techno like Rolando did
with this absolutely pioneering track that embodies the sinister yet resilient spirit of my Detroit family.
In 1996 I snatched up a double album called "Flux Trax" featuring a compilation of some of the most classic electronic anthems of the era. I remember
grabbing it just before some guy did, and his dismayed reaction to my score. Indeed, the album was pure gold, and might have singlehandedly helped propel me
to DJ stardom, had that been my goal. At first I didn't give this song the time of day, but it grew on me. The hard beat crawls up on you like a speeding train about to derail. It's a good one
All you former rave kids, what was the first song you heard where the bass drop was so palpable, your heart would sink into the floor when it finally dropped?
This was a classic example of that and was another ""Flux Trax" chestnut that I was lucky enough to own. Watching Hardfloor perform this at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival was a real thrill.
This might just be my all time, all purpose favorite track. When I am down, Blackwater lifts my spirit high in the sky
A Number Of Names-Sharivari
Children, gather around and let me tell you the story of why this song is a BIG DEAL, since it is widely considered the first "techno track."
Legend and mystery abound with Sharivari, and the myth is chronicled quite well in Dan Sicko's (RIP) classic work "Techno Rebels" In addition to checking out the
book (anybody know if it's still in print?), check out the Sharivari dance video from an early Detroit music TV show called "The Scene" on Youtube. I never tire of those
amazing dance moves that seem to perfectly embody the spirit of the song.
This track embodies what I imagine was the spirit of Detroit circa 1980's. An auto industry in decline, with the
jackhammer beat of the song replacing the disappearing reality of the assembly line. I see this song as the a sort of bizarro motown, as if all the optimism
of songs from that era would be cruelly juxtaposed and replaced by this sad, yet hopeful, minimal techno classic.
To say this song blew my mind is an understatement. Let's just say that it paired well with an induced mind-altering state. Of course
the genius of "Sheet One" and "Plastique" were well known by about 1995. Ethnik folded my brain
in half and served it back to me like a well-chilled wine. I went to my first techno party in Detroit in pursuit of the Plastikman mystic, which
ultimately led to my decision to make Detroit my home. As I've said: Soundwaves have the power to create and destroy civilizations. This song Can't say too much for this Hawtin character these
days, but Plastikman will always be a legend
Inner City-Good Life
Once this song enters your head it never leaves, radiating waves of goodness and all that is right with the world
More electro than techno, but all good. Someone else on Youtube puts it best: Almost 30 years after initial release, still unbeaten, still unmatched. A timeless classic which has
NO equal. Atkins is a genius and this track is simply a masterpiece.
Carl Craig pres. Paperclip People - Throw
Another Intellinet mix classic I became acquainted with. Loved the way this song sounded like a whisper of anticipation, all to aware
that one day the greatness of Detroit techno's influence on the world would be known.
Madison Avenue - Don't Call Me Baby (Madison Babe from outer space mix)
An highly danceable tune from the mid to early late 90's. Super house, but just enough
of an 'edge' to send you out to the dance floor. This remix was a huge hit in Cincinnati.
Robin S-Show Me Love
Back in the early 90's we were going into high schools and just catching wind of dance music. Mainstream tunes like this one,
as well as songs from groups like Stereo MC's, Seal, Pop Will Eat Itself etc. promised us more. I'll never forget hearing this song at one of the
earlier raves I went to, when kids used to dance in mohawks and combat boots.
Put Your Hands Up For Detroit-Fedde Le Grand
Was never sure whether this song was mocking Detroit or not, but all I know is that Detroit is 'my lovely city' and I'll
gladly rock out to any track that proclaims it loudly and proudly.
Secret midwestern raver page
June 14, 2013
I've spent the last two days unearthing some of my storied past by scrolling through the Midwest Raver: 1992-2002 Facebook group. All the jokes we
used to make about being old and still loving techno, well, they're not so funny anymore. Actually, they are hilarious because they are true.
While I may not be in a wheelchair happily bouncing to the sweet sounds of Terrance Parker just yet, I recently injured my foot by dancing too
hard at a party. Never thought that could happen to me, but now, the neck, the back! I embrace the humbling surfacing of these maladies
knowing that my fellow raver bretheren are feeling the same aches and pains. It's fun to see some of the egos from back then get kicked down
a notch, considering so many of us are now well past the has-been stage. But still, sometimes I wonder if I again bounced into some of the old
'raver royalty' if I'd have the same feelings of inferiority like I used to have. Like regardless of my success, I'll always be a 17 year-old
runaway to them, to myself! My hunch is that having been to several of the last few movement festivals in Detroit, I know there will always
be a bit of a hierarchical pecking order. But at least now, I think I can feel a little less intimidated by superstar DJ's, knowing how many
of them are saddled with kids and debt, just like everybody else, would you believe it?