After someone brought up the Eddie Fowlkes track “Move To Detroit” on the 313 mailing list, I found that it was on a Tresor release, and started looking at all the Detroit music that was released on Tresor in the 90s. This got me
thinking — while the primary vector of international dissemination for Detroit techno came from the UK, the Tresor label was crucial, particularly for popularizing the harder side of Detroit Techno. Even in the United States, Tresor releases were an important source of new Detroit music, as Tresor often had wider US distribution than Detroit labels.
The tracks here aren’t all Tresor original releases — many Detroit tracks were licensed from Detroit labels — but I’ve given the Tresor catalog number and date. Two of the tracks are actually by German artists, but that can be misleading as some of Juan Atkins releases were produced in Berlin in collaboration with Mauritz Von Oswald, and Thomas Fehlmann. The influences were by no means unidirectional — just as Detroit artists were hugely influential in Europe, Detroit artists often found new sounds through exposure to European music and culture.
With the rise of the modern ‘minimal’ style centered on Berlin and Richie Hawtin, it’s important to remember the way Berlin and Detroit first formed an artistic affinity, and the way that Tresor in particular helped make the careers and reputations of Detroit artists on the world stage.
I’ve been putting together a list of tracks to have set up for a radio DJ set, and it’s interesting how much I make judgements based on listening to just a few seconds of a song. Looking back at the list I made, I’d say I was after dubstep and dubstep-esque tracks that are more melodic than wonky, more two-steppy than half-stepper.
But as I listened, it was never something so literal or premeditated. It’s the same when I’m working on a track. I’m making choices all the time without really considering why I’m making those choices. I like the results I come up with, but I wonder if other people are more methodical.
Oh and if anyone cares, here’s my track list…
Gaslamp Killer “Hell And The Lake Of Fire Are Waiting For You”
Cex “Last Gasp”
Martyn “All I Have Is Memories”
S.Y.N.K.R.O & Indigo “Heaven”
Martin Kemp “No Charisma”
Zomby “Expert Tuition”
Untold “Just For You”
Silkie & Harry Craze “French Knickers”
Mount Kimbie “Serged”
El-B “Son De Cali”
A Guy Called Gerald “Meaning”
Blasta “Black Muscatel”
2562 “Love In Outer Space”
Fulgeance “Lonely Night”
Floating Points “K&G Beat”
Blue Daisy feat LANote “Fall”
NOTE: All of these tracks are in one of three categories: 1) I bought them 2) They’re Creative Commons & Freely available on the Internet or 3) They were given to me directly by the artist. I won’t say that I’ve never downloaded anything and not paid for it. But when it comes to music I put in mixes or play out, I think it’s important to pay for it if you play it. Otherwise you’re just another punk ass motherfucker trying to get something for nothing.
Out of work today with a cold, so I lashed up the mix I’d been collecting tracks for. The theme, again, is dub techno & dubstep, with some detours into other genres. The track selection basically came out of listing my ITunes library in the order of most recently added, and picking tracks that I liked.
Ordering was mostly by tempo so I could gradually accelerate — from 105 to 140bpm. I find that there are tracks that are linked by mood but disjoint in tempo, and I hate playing stuff more than Technics standard plus or minus eight percent. Hence the gradual windup. And I’m never again going to try and link to every fucking track in my track listing. It takes a long time!