June 16, 2009

BONUS: "Retro Techno/Detroit Definitive : Emotions Electric" compilation liner notes by John McCready, July 1988 (re-edit 1991)

[bonus post: I found this great transcription of a late '80s compilation's liner notes about Detroit techno, with some great quotes by Derrick May and an interesting interview with Kevin Saunderson. I am mystified, however, by Kevin's statement that his favorite piece of gear is the Roland SD 8000.... I can't find a single piece of info on it. Perhaps he meant the Roland CR-8000 drum machine, which I am a big fan of and have used many of the sounds from in my own productions.]

"The Techno Rebels are, whether they recognise it or not, agents of the Third Wave. They will not vanish but multiply in the years ahead. For they are as much a part of the advance to a new stage of civilisation as our missions to Venus, our amazing computers, our biological discoveries, or our explorations of the oceanic depths." The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler.

"We're not really interested in tearing you up with the scratches and cuts tonight. We're more interested in...educating you for the future..." Derrick May, WJLB Radio Mix

It's 3am and the streets of America's seventh city are deserted as Derrick May pilots his car through a crumbling monument to the Second Wave - the age of industry and mass production - the age of Ford and Gordy who both ran their second wave empires from here. "This place is fucked man. It's finished," he says shaking his head incredulously. We pass a gutted building filled with holes that were once windows. Detroit is winding down the past and isn't sure if it wants to be part of the future.

Driving down Woodward Avenue, we pass the wooden house that was home to the carefully-honed pop soul of Motown. Motown was the musical backdrop to the Second Wave. Motown means nothing to Derrick May.

Via systems dance records like 'Nude Photo' and together with fellow artists Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, Derrick has invested his time, money and energy in the future.

Detroit rolls by like a discarded set from Robocop, a film set in the city's fictional future. "Now you understand why we make this music," he says, "We can do nothing but look forward..."

[continues] http://www.ele-mental.org/ele_ment/said&did/emotions_electric.html