Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Deetroit tech

I found this video via my twitter feed - see, twitter is good for some things eh?

Its a video produced by RA (Resident Advisor) and its a beautiful short documentary about the birthplace of techno. Unfortunately most Americans have no idea where electronic music came from. But if people did some digging they'd learn that house and techno originated in Yankland in the 80s'.

I myself didn't really know this for a long time - even when I lived right by Detroit! Imagine, a lover of electronic music, living right by Detroit, having no idea that the music I love found its origins just a few miles down Ford Road. That shows though, how buried this crucial part of music history is in the mainstream.

That's why I like this video, because it expresses those frustrations, of how much Michiganders and Americans have no clue about this amazing part of music history in America. Me and my brothers and some friends have expressed these same frustrations. Imagine if house and techno became as big in America as they did in Europe, or as big as hip hop in America - electronic music would nowhere be as underground as it is now.

Anyway, watch the video. What I especially love is the bit about the Youthville group - those kids are so damn lucky! And talented! And I'm pretty sure I've passed by that building. And here's an article about Motor, a club that's mentioned in the video.

Real Scenes: Detroit from Resident Advisor

Now that I think about it, I'm a filmmaker, I love electronic music, and I'm familiar with Detroit - I wish I did some work on this video!

Oh also, here's a list from Beatport of more films about Detroit techno! One day I will have watched all of them. :-D

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things I've heard recently (including the Wales, part 3)

Even at the height of my musical fandom, back in my late teens and early 20's, I was never a true obsessive, or completist, like some people can be.  Even with my favourite bands, I might've listened to some of their albums repeatedly, but I didn't always get round to hearing everything.  There was a time, a fairly decent stretch of time, when the Clash were my favourite band, and I listened to 'London Calling', 'Black Market Clash', and 'the Clash' multiple times, til I knew all the songs.  I even tracked down the UK version of 'the Clash', cos I'd read it had different tracks on it, and a 10 inch vinyl version of 'Black Market Clash' -- and where did I read about those albums?  Probably not on the internet, cos back then I'd even read books about bands I liked, and I owned a few books on the Clash.  Those multiple listens were great though, and it's probably cos I did that that those albums mean so much to me, and probably always will -- just like 'Achtung Baby' will, or 'Definitely Maybe' will.  But there were some Clash albums that I didn't properly get round to, despite owning them, one of which is 'Sandinasta!', from 1980.  I heard a track off that on the radio today, and while it did sound familiar, I don't think it's a song I really had heard a lot before.  I liked it when I heard it today but I realised that the way I'll listen to it, pay attention to it, and process it now, is totally different from how I would've when I was younger.  I may listen to it a couple of times today, and now and then when I look back at this blog, but it's not going to enter that part of my brain where my musical memories are kept -- it won't define a time period or anything for me, or go down in my thoughts as a great song because it's by the Clash;  it'll just be a good song I heard today.  Which is a bit of a shame, cos it's a good song, and it's by one of my favourite bands -- I'm just not hearing it during the right period of my life.

Next up is another track from young whippersnapper, Jake Bugg.  What I'm gonna write now is different from what I thought I was going to write.  I was going to ask, again, about what does this young person know about anything? and I can't take him seriously, etc etc.  But I re-listened to his song and you know what, he's singing about normal things, things he probably does know about -- and he plays an instrument, writes the songs himself, and so on, which is more than you can say for most crappy teen-pop artists.  I think his singing style is a little too throwback and contrived, but maybe that'll change with time.

Last up, Bodhi, from the capital city of Cardiff -- a town I wish I knew better than I do.  Came across Bodhi yesterday, kind of randomly, but  I'm glad I did as I think one can always use some euphoric dance music in one's life.  Plus their beanies are cool!