72 Hours in Detroit; on the decline and rebirth of (musical) Motor City
December 13, 2014 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Electronic Beats interviews five Detroit residents (Michael Stone-Richards, a professor in the Department of Liberal Arts at CCS in Detroit; Mike Huckaby, an internationally successful DJ and longtime producer of Detroit techno; Cornelius Harris, aka "The Unknown Writer", the label manager and occasional MC for Underground Resistance Records; Walter Wasacz; a journalist and writer based in Hamtramck, an enclave in the center of Detroit; Mark Ernestus, the Berlin-based producer, DJ and co-owner of Hard Wax record store; Mike Banks of Underground Resistance [UR]; George Clinton, the founder and leader of Parliament Funkadelic; and Samantha Corbit, who has over a decade of involvement with multiple Detroit record labels) on the past and future of Detroit, and it's (electronic) (musical) history. 72 Hours in Detroit
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Mike Huckaby, an internationally successful DJ and longtime producer of Detroit techno

Its hard to have that name and not be a douchebag. But then becoming a DJ is just telling us that its harder to escape our fate.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:07 PM on December 13, 2014

Hal_c_on, not sure if you think Huckaby's a d-bag specifically because he DJs or if he's doomed to that fate because of the homophonic name, but he's black and just seven years younger than the white politician and Fox News pundit Mike Huckabee. Huckaby's first record came out in 1995, and Huckabee began his visible political career in 1993. Huckaby is quite well-known around the world for his informative lectures and work with both Ableton and Moog; if you're unfamiliar with his music, this Little White Earbuds podcast (78 minutes/House/Deep House) is a great place to start.

He also was a fixture at the legendary Record Time shop that closed for good in 2011. God, that place was amazing!

He's right that gentrification displaces those in need, but my hope is that if people are actually using the word in describing certain areas of Detroit, this once-great city -- home of the first fully automated American assembly line, the Cathedral of Finance otherwise known as the Guardian Building, birthplace of Motown and techno's legendary godfathers, the Belleville Three -- may successfully reassert its place as an American cultural and financial hub within my lifetime.

God, I love Detroit!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:05 PM on December 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Someone, more ambitious than me, should really do an FPP on The Electrifying Mojo and the Midnight Funk Association (mentioned by George Clinton in the above article). It was quite amazing hearing his mixes in the early 80s; he'd play anything, as long as it was good, and had The Beat -- Kraftwerk, J Geils, Tom Tom Club, Parliament, Stevie Nicks, ABC, Yaz, all the various Prince side projects. And Prince, when Purple Rain came out, he'd spend a couple hours mashing and mixing that shit up. It was epic.

I've got a few tapes of his shows I should upload someday; this SoundCloud file is a pretty good example.
posted by Bron at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Fantastic, thanks for posting! Love to hear from the Detroit crowd, and this was an interesting exploration of both the city and the music, and how they evolved together.
posted by Joh at 4:49 PM on December 15, 2014

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