The place of origin and the Mecca
, it is only fair that the city of Detroit has named techno in its most pure form.
The history of Detroit techno starts in 1982, when a college student named Juan Atkins
first started making music with the group Cybotron
. In 1986, he had moved to Detroit, started his label Metroplex
, and released one of the first techno classics: "No UFO:s".
Soon, two of his old college mates followed suit; Kevin Saunderson
started the label KMS
and scored two massive hits with "Big Fun
" and "Good Life
" under the name Inner City
. Juan's other friend, Derrick May
, started the label Transmat
and released 21 12-inch
singles. Transmat is still one of the most influential techno labels, and those first releases is seen as a truly classic series. This music defines the "classic" detroit sound.
The "neo-classic" period of Detroit techno started in the early 1990:s. At this time, the scene was in a coma - the producers had superstar DJ status overseas, and the rave
scene had taken the American punters' attention.
Then, Richie Hawtin
) founded Plus 8
records, taking the Detroit sound into a new era. In 1991, Carl Craig
formed Planet E
, after breaking up with Transmat.
Another label started in the early 90:s is perhaps the essence of the Detroit techno scene: Underground Resistance
, or UR
. Lead by techno icons Mad Mike
, Robert Hood
and Jeff Mills
, UR portrays themselves as underground militants
- some UR t-shirts has the logo printed on the inside (!), the label of each released record depict a never-ending guerilla
battle versus commercial interests, DJ
:s playing UR music are "soldiers" and the UR records are "ammunition".
The sleeve of each record has a "WARNING" sticker that discourage the potential listener from buying the record from a major record dealer chain.
Ironically, UR is one of the independent
labels struck worst by the arrogance
of the big-time labels. The full story can be found here
The Detroit scene is very much active today, with labels like UR, Transmat, Plus 8 and Planet E still releasing new tracks and signing new young talent.