Dennis Coffey was (and is!) a true son of Detroit, one of the few musicians to score instrumental top 40 hits. An associate of the Funk Brothers, he’s someone you should dig. He even is responsible for one of the famous hip hop breaks, the “Scorpio Break” from the song of the same name.
I know we all occasionally make a fetish out of vinyl records. But aside from the considerably groovy content of this release, I love the sonic texture the 45RPM Thrift Store Vinyl adds to these recordings that I did last night.
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.
Omar S is kind of a big deal these days. A mix CD for Fabric, gigs in the UK and Europe. But this is a guy who has stayed independent, and done his own thing his own way. I was completely blown away by his afternoon DJ set in Greektown this year during DEMF, so when I got home I went to the FXHE site and bought all the MP3s he offers and some vinyl as well.
Turns out when you order stuff from FXHE, you have to exchange e-mails with Alex himself, which is kinda cool. Great guy, too — he ended up sending me more MP3s than I actually ordered.
So in honor of Independence Day, I give you an all-FXHE mix.