4/05/2006

Detroit Don Juan



There is the kind of electronic music that cashes in pretty quickly, and the kind that endures for decades. We know about the scene that is cashing in (Paul Oakenfold played Boston tonight, fwiw) and the Detroit originators have legendary screen time, but where is this new indie scene?

One of the biggest stories of the year has been the handing of the old-school DEMF festival over to the new crop of minimal funkeers known as Paxahau.

The festival, usually sponsored by Ford, will take on a new perspective under these guys, focused more outside of the US than inside. How many internationalists can fit into Detroit? Can the city re-define its sound again? Detroit has long been home to some of the best music in America (Motown, Madonna, Iggy Pop, MC5, Techno, etc., etc.) and it will host quite the group of new indie techno elite.

Of course, we think this is pretty astounding (and may even have to take our cameras there). Plus they are featuring a documentary (and we love documentaries).

High Tech Soul is the latest film to try and capture the essence of Detroit Techno and, from what we can tell, does it pretty damn well. It's strong music from a strong town, a town where they give tours of ruins.

This year in Detroit, elements from our film in progress will meet this old school aesthetic and, with paxahau organizing, this could be the most combustible US music festival in decades.

It's perfectly reasonable, then that we are one of the hosts of Juan MacLean this Thursday at the Middlesex Lounge. After all, dude gets his first name from Juan Atkins, one of the heralded Detroit legends.

Juan is taking a little break from his tour schedule to play our night here and we think its fab. It's free this Thursday. Oh, and next week he's playing Fabric in London. So, you know, he for really real. And he is part of that new indie scene, with a record deal on NYC indie DFA Records and growing up as a punk rock kid.

Juan Atkins is a brilliant mind, and had a bit of a pop group in the 80s with Cybotron. Recently, a track of theirs was sampled by Missy Elliott (always the pro sample-selektor) for her runaway club smash "Outta Control" a song we blogged about quite some time ago.

If you don't have it yet, well...

Cybotron - "Clear"

Now you do... and find a way to get to Detroit (and, you know, Middlesex).

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