In 2018 club culture is a global industry.
At the last count, the variants of electronic music - from left field through to stadium filling EDM - supported a $7.1 billion industry, spanning every continent on Earth.
Yet for the most part it can be traced back to a handful of African-American innovators. Techno, for instance, largely owes its roots to a clutch of producers in Detroit, operating at a time when the city's heavy industries were in a state of collapse.
Crafting dystopian hymns that looked relentless to the future, producers such as Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson demolished the rule book, carving out their own genre from its ashes.
New documentary God Said Give 'Em Drum Machines: The Story of Detroit Techno traces these stories, with film-makers Jennifer Washington and Kristian Hill uniting for an ambitious, feature length project.
Clash spoke to the film makers about their crucial Detroit techno cuts, the first wave jewels which truly made an impact...
Rhythim is Rhythim (Derrick May) - 'Nude Photo'
The song that attracted the attention of Neil Rushton, a Europe record promoter, that talked Derrick into traveling to London for an opportunity to further his music career.
Cybotron - 'Techno City'
Released in 1984, this song was the first recorded instance where Juan started referring to this music as Techno.
Inner City - 'Big Fun'
The first time Neil Rushton heard 'Big Fun' on a cassette labelled 'InterCity' in Derrick’s basement, he immediately advised Kevin Saunderson to: “Pack your records up. That’s it. Your life’s going to change. There and then. It was so big!”
Eddie Fowlkes - 'Good-Bye Kiss'
The debut single by Eddie Fowlkes that became a local hit after creating a “hand to hand combat” or citywide grassroots promotional system along with Juan Atkins, that finally landed the song on Detroit’s WJLB FM 98.
Cybotron - 'Cosmic Cars'
Blake Baxter admired Juan describes 'Cosmic Cars' as influential to his own music and “mindblowing” because it wasn’t on a major label at a time when “everything was on a major label.”
Channel One - 'Technicolor'
After Juan released the Cybotron music, he released a series of tracks after teaching his friends a thing or two. 'Technicolor' was the first of more like 'Good-Bye Kiss', and 'Let’s Go' which Juan brilliantly mastered and released all at the same time. 'Technicolor' was also later sampled by Sir Mix-a-lot in 'Baby Got Back' and Nicki Minaj’s 'Anaconda'.
Rhythim is Rhythim (Derrick May) - 'Strings Of Life'
Neil Rushton compares Derrick’s most well known song, 'Strings Of Life', to James Brown’s 'Sex Machine' and describes it as “iconic, jazzy, and wonderful.”
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