Detroit has always been known for its DIY independent stance, and no scene operates with as much funk sold from the trunk as techno-bass. When you think of Detroit’s top booty producers, you usually think of DJ Assault and DJ Godfather, but with at least three Detroit radio classics, you can’t overlook Erik Travis and his F.A.C.T. Record Label. Building his musical career on the idea of using your voice as beats and basslines à la Kraftwerk’s "Boing Boom Tschak" or George Kranz’s "Din Daa Daa," Travis jams such as "In the Mind of Erik" and "Rollin’ Through Time" use his voice and beats in such a simple and perfect way that it becomes some of the most compelling music being made in Detroit today.
Add some tech to that ghetto; they’ve got a Web site complete with free MP3s. You Web geeks will be glad to see how well they emulate the ghetto tech vibe online.
Body and Soul
A true legend is coming to town, and it’s a rare day when Detroit gets to party with one of the remaining crown princes of the disco elite. François Kevorkian moved to New York from France in the mid-’70s and started his stateside musical career as an accompanying percussionist for DJs such as Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage and other underground New York clubs, and he has been spinning discs almost as long.
Not only does this man spin classics, he makes them. His innovations in approach to production of remixes changed dance music forever. This cannot be overstated — his remixes of others’ tracks are so good that you usually only know his version and would be shocked if you the heard the original. This goes for such club classics as Yaz’s "Situation," Kraftwerk’s "Tour De France" (François was the only guy Kraftwerk would let touch their material in the ’80s), Dinosaur L’s "Go Bang" and Alexander Robotnik’s "Problems D’Amour." (The range of the music he worked with was equally open-minded; from pop to disco to New Wave and beyond, François has made an impact on every genre of dance music.)
François’ label Wave, his recording studio Axis and, most importantly, his nightclub Body & Soul have all made a major impact on ’90s dance culture. With every night in New York already claimed by other DJs, François and his crew started up Body & Soul as a Sunday-afternoon party with a rotating cast of DJs playing the best in modern underground house and classics. The club has become legendary, considered by most music heads as the best dance party in NYC.
Where else can you go to hear Fela mixed into a Spiritual Life record into a Basic Channel tune? Or see such an open crowd, mixed in age, race and sexual orientation? And to think they took this party to Central Park this year — that must’ve been some sight ...
This open-minded musical nexus is coming to our town Friday Oct. 1, with Kevorkian spinning a special three-hour set at "Interlude" (taking place at Clutch Cargo’s in Pontiac — info 313-438-3810, 248-334-1999). Also in the main room will be Detroit’s defender of the Deep House faith Mike Huckaby and former 13 Below resident Michael Geiger.
"Interlude" will also have a techno room featuring former Psychic TV collaborator Fred performing live as the Kooky Scientist. Remember when he rocked Richie Hawtin’s "Jak ‘o’ Lantern" party with that modular synth?) Also playing will be another pioneer of minimalism, Dan Bell, supported by Carlos Souffront and former Solar resident Craig Gonzalez. As if the best in house and minimal techno weren’t enough, they also have a jungle room featuring Chicago’s 3D.