The radio show Electrifying Mojo by Charles Johnson in Detroit with its versatile program represented a fundamental idea which was liberated from the predominant conventionalizations. Not only was the music selection unorthodox – with a mixture of Kraftwerk, Prince, B-52s or Parliament – but Johnson also spoke about issues like tolerance, respect and solidarity. And this message left its mark in the minds of the young Techno community of Detroit, becoming a vigorous source of inspiration.
With the Roland TR-909, the DJ collective Deep Space which consisted of Juan Atkins and Derrick May lifted their eclectic music style to the next level. From 1985, Atkins and May went their own ways and disbanded Cybotron. A handful of gifted musicians from Detroit came closer to the goal of creating a distinct definition of music which was detached from any previous context of electronic music and which found its echoes in the future – post electronic music with the name Techno.
The thoughts of the DJs and producers also centered around the omnipresent apocalyptic situation of the city of Detroit. After the collapse of the automobile industry, the everyday life was dominated by high unemployment and a consequent wave of drug usage.
This left deep scars in the minds of those affected. In contrast to other cities in the vicinity like Chicago or Cleveland, Detroit fell into oblivion more and more. The residents of Detroit, as so often in the history of the Afro-American people, once again felt exploited and abandoned by the establishment. Especially the second generation of Detroit’s Techno-Heads sounded the alarm. The collective UR Underground Resistance – with which „Mad“ Mike Banks and Jeff Mills alias The Wizard had entered the Techno universe in 1989 – brought about a change in thinking for the minds of many thousands of Techno enthusiasts and inspired the rebellious spirit of Techno in its original form – in fundamental, musical as well as human terms. They were striving for independence, artistic freedom, and they rebelled against injustice and social grievances – on the grounds of the shattered history of the Afro-American community. They denounced the lack of ideas with which the city fathers subliminally fabricated institutional racism.
- Literature: Wikipedia of the artists listed here; Rave on! by Matthew Collin; Electronic Germany by Christian Arndt