In a world full of digital technology, people often forget about the importance of analog artifacts. In electronic music, it’s entirely different: The hands-on medium of vinyl is the quickest and most revered form of communication. 12-inchers are the currency of DJ culture, allowing the DJ to make his own statement in the context of a continuous mix on the dance floor. Yet, even just a month after release, dance 12-inchers can be incredibly hard to find. In contrast, CDs serve to document the culture, summing up developmental phases and ideas. With an acute knowledge of these contexts, Planet E has put together Geology 2, the second volume of subjective studies of its catalog.
Geology 2 fixates on the feelings of a small, warm, intimate, “Hot Box” groove (thanks, Meredith), the special kind of party Detroit is known for, while you’re out on the dance floor. Highlighting the difference in formats, the CD is continuously mixed by Detroit house veteran Mike “Agent X” Clark with pure Detroit flair. This study follows the many variations and permutations of house within the Planet E catalog, most of which were never available on CD before — with a few previously unreleased cuts, including Common Factor remixed by Kirk Degiorgio’s Future/Past project, Russ Gabriel’s take on Carl Craig’s classic “At Les,” as well as a previously unreleased version of “Steam” by Paperclip People and a new Chaz Vincent track. Then there are the chuggy New Wave-inflected melodies of Recloose’s “Can’t Take It,” the batucada drums of Tony Ollivierra’s “Bok Choy,” the classic Detroit-radio feel of Kenny Dixon’s “People Make the World Go ’Round” remix, the late-night stylings of veteran DJ-producer (he had a residency at the Music Institute) Alton Miller, Mike Clark’s own ecstatic “In the Morning” and LFO’s Mark Bell (yeah, the guy who did the music for the last few Björk records) under the project name “Clark” doing “Jak to Basics” — this CD does everything it can to show the many eccentric sides of house in all its glory. Forever blurring boundaries, Planet E unearths another gem, er, rock. More info at www.planet-e.net.
So you want to experience Detroit’s adventurous take on house in person? Want to feel the heat of that “Hot Box”? Well, on Jan. 20, you’ll have plenty of options. Planet E & Exclusive Productions are presenting their second “Life” party, featuring London’s Phil Ahser (Restless Soul and People Records) with the female intuition-in-tag team set of Hannah & Korie, as well as a special guest from the Planet E camp in a very intimate venue (meaning very limited space, arrive early). “Life2” is $12 with free beverages at 1362 Gratiot (back entrance), opposite historic Trinity Church on Gratiot at Russell, Detroit.
The same evening, 7 p.m. at C-Pop, you can catch the opening of photographer Joe Vaughn’s images of the DEMF, with DEMF headliner and former Hot Box resident Theo Parrish spinning. Next door at the Majestic, Stacey Pullen will be playing as part of the “Absolute Couture” event. The photographs will be up through February. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.
A few years ago, about the only club night with a clue was “Family” at Motor — run by Adriele on Tuesday nights, this party was something Detroit needed as part of the healing of its post-rave nightlife. Just a few weeks ago, “Family” had its final night, and out of the ashes comes “Select.” “Select” was founded by the Odic Force crew, hot on the heels of their successful summer Sunday night outdoor party, “Effexx,” at Hockeytown Cafe. Tuesday nights continue to be a service to the underground electronic scene, with one of the main goals of the night being “to break new talent and give people that should be already headlining spots,” according to promoter Dave Grobbel. Focusing the core of the month on residents Magda and George Rihani in the big room, and Brian Gillespie in the study, with the format of special guests on the first and last Tuesday of every month, the night is already breaking its own rules. Throwing a special birthday party on Jan. 23 for Carlos Souffront, with Carlos spinning (of course) and special guest UK techno iconoclast Cristain Vogel (Mute, Super_Collider, etc.) in his Detroit debut, “Select” is already setting up classics. More info at motordetroit.com or 313-369-0090. Motor is at 3515 Caniff, Hamtramck.E-mail Pitch’d at email@example.com