When you think of techno music you probably think of crowds of young mostly-white partygoers, carefree and intoxicated on feelings of love due to various of substances as they dance around to some obscure European DJ in a converted warehouse.
Techno has become in many ways a near pure white-led scene, seemingly unconcerned with the troubles of this world.
However, its origins may somewhat shock you, or maybe not seeing as this is such a common story with musical trends.
One of the founders of techno is a Black man from Detroit called Robert Hood. He was one of the original members of Underground Resistance, and with his routes in Hip Hop he helped form the early scene.
Pitchfork had a LOOOONG piece on the whole affair and in one part of the very worthwhile read wrote
Hearing about techno as it was originally conceived—as a reaction to inner-city decay, as byproduct of African-American struggle, as a form of protest — served as a crucial reminder of the roots of this dance music, and that the name Underground Resistance was in no way a euphemism, but a reality. To the outsider — in this writer’s case, a white teen from the suburbs of Texas — it might be hard to conceive of the oft-wordless techno as revolutionary music; by the time I started hearing it in the early ‘90s, it certainly wasn’t the relentless sound of Underground Resistance. At that nascent stage, Detroit techno (and Chicago house) was being packaged and presented as the smiley-face music of Berlin, Madchester, and Belgium — the sound of Europeans and Ecstasy. Rather than Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body”, my generation was instead indoctrinated with its Belgian rewrite, Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam”. Even then, techno’s blunt force was being lightened.
And the more you learn about Robert, the more you realize what a force this man is.
What Robert talking through the early days and more below.
Also thanks to this Metro Times article for introducing us to the Pitchfork piece.
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