Time sure flies when you're not having fun. Detroit's dance music community has been comparatively quiet since late last month, when the Fuse-In fest converted the sleepy D into the Ibeza of the Great Lakes. But now, instead of dancing to weird wonderful beats and, um, sharing da love, we're back to bitching about who got screwed out of what money, whose lawyer has a bigger dick, and who wants their version of the truth told in the press. In other words, it's business as usual.
In the future, festival promoters should eschew money guarantees and open up the process to independent players on the Detroit scene. Let those who actually love the music help build the next festival, beginning now, with nary a hint that anyone's getting taken advantage of. Build momentum throughout the year, not rush into action in April and May. As it stands today, the dance community is helping to destroy itself despite all the noble intentions of showcasing the historical importance of Detroit electronic music in the form of a three-day festival. As Jagger uttered at Altamont, "People: Why are we fighting?"
Huck in a box
Speaking of lovers, consider Mike Huckaby, the soft-spoken, Ghost Dog-like luminary of Roseville's Record Time dance room, who has not often prioritized career opportunities over his comfortably established underground position. But at Foran's Pub on July 5, Huckaby will celebrate the release of the first two 12-inch singles from an ambitious boxed set on his Synth techno label. Each 12-inch contains an original cut and, on the flip, an exclusive Huck remix utilizing digital music software by Native Instruments. The first two 12s allow Huck to interpret local lo-fi technoids Deep Chord; and future releases will include tracks by Blake Baxter, Shake, Juan Atkins and Portugal's The Advent. The planned set tentatively out this fall will include a copy of each single plus a 60-minute DVD of Huckaby creating the project. The purpose of this boxed set? To bring about unity in the local scene and showcase the strength of Detroit music and digital technology, Huck tells us.
There are a bunch of young, diverse producers in this town who were raised on Detroit music culture that began with Mojo, The Wizard (Jeff Mills) and the legendary, near-mythic institutions the Music Institute and the Packard Plant. Ex-Grand Pu-bah Andy Toth plus Greg Mudge and Colin Zyzkowski and up-and-comers Rob Barrett and Martin Anand are all part of a promising new label called People Mover Productions. With aid from John Briggs (aka Zoetic), PMP already threw its first major party, an innovative Sunday brunch live-DJ bash, during this year's Fuse-In. People Mover is celebrating the release of a new CD, PMP 4.2, with a party Saturday, July 9, at Corktown Tavern.
In national news, Missy Elliott's new single, "Lose Control," ought to be familiar to Detroit ears. That's because the backing track is an instrumental version of Cybotron's (aka Juan Atkins and Rick Davis') 1983 side "Clear." Atkins, you'll note, made bank when Sir Mix-A-Lot famously sampled his 1986 Channel One track "Technicolor" for "Baby Got Back." Hopefully, the new royalty cash will help Atkins relaunch his failed Metroplex store on West Seven Mile Road.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29: Korie, Malik Pittman, and Malik Alston at Fifth Avenue. Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-2555.
THURSDAY, JUNE 30: Keith Worthy vs. Raybone and Jon Easley vs. Jeff Woodward at Half Past 3. 2548 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-865-4789.
FRIDAY, JULY 1: Ryan Elliott at Oslo. 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300.
SUNDAY, JULY 3: Geoff Johnson, Matt Christensen, Mike Huckaby and Manasyt at Corktown Tavern. 1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-5103.
SUNDAY, JULY 3: Korie, Bruce Bailey, Earl McKinney, Vernon English and Mike Brown at the Y. Jefferson Avenue two blocks east of I-75, Detroit; 313-930-3309.
TUESDAY, JULY 5: Blake Baxter, Mike Huckaby, Mike Servito, John Johr, Greg Mudge and Robert Barrett at Foran's Pub. 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043.The Subterraneans is a biweekly column devoted to dance culture in Detroit. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org