"The Techno Rabels are, whether they recognise it or not, agents of the Third Wave. They will not vanish but multiply in the years ahead. For they are as much a part of the advance to a new stage of civillisation as our missions to Venus, our amazing computers, our biological descoveries, or our explorations of the oceantic depths. "The Third Wave Alvin Toffler.

"We're not really interested in tearing you up with the scraches and cuts tonight. We're more interested in... educating you for the future... " Derrick May, WJLB Radio Mix

It's 3am and the streets of America's seventh city are deserted as Derrick May pilots his car through a crumbling monument to the Second Wave - the age of industry and mass production-the age of Ford and Gordy who both ran their second wave empires from here. "This place is fucked man. It's finished", he says shaking his head increadulously. We pass a gutted building filled with holes that were once windows. Detroit is winding down the past and isn't sure if it wants to be part of he future.
Driving down Woodward Avenue, we pass the wooden house that was home to the carefully-honed pop soul of Motown. Motown was the musical backdrop to the Second Wave. Motown means nothing to Derrick May.

Via systems dance records like "Nude Photo" and together with fellow artists Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, Derrick has invested his time, money and energy in the future.
Detroit rolls by like a discarded set from Robocop, a film set in the city's fictional future.
"Now you understand why we make this music", he says, "We can do nothing but look forward..."
Alvin Toffler's book is a kind of bible to Detroit's new musical revolutionaries. This future shock manifesto sees the Third Wave technological future not as a cocktail of 1984 Numanoid nightmares and Robocop lawlessness, but as a place where man still controls. The nightmare of a brave new world where machines and robots call the shots has no place in this book. Alvin Toffler, like Kraftwerk, is not afraid of the pocket calculator and if he knew of them, it's likely the academic would approve of Model 500, Rhythim Is Rhythim and their positive futurism.
The music they both make is not afraid of the future and the view they project is as complex, as contradictory and as plausible as the world of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Detroit's electronic music community don't fear the robot. Unlike Gary Numan they look forward.
And unlike the ironic acid casualities of Chicagoor the scratch fanatics of New York, they have no interest in old records, or scratch science. They are the Techno Rabels-musical agents of the Third Wave who see the fusion of man and machine as the only future.
If Alvin Toffler hadn't learned to use a word processor, it's likely that he would be connecting sequencer to drum machine and releasing records on Metroplex, KMS or Transmat, three of Detroit's most active dance labels.
Names like Metroplex and Transmat are now bywords for a second which has hi-jacked dancefloors across the world and diverted the spotlight from Chicago - despite the fact that Detroit's new age electro sound has only a tenuous connection with House. Only House clubs and DJs are open-minded enough to deal with a high-tech sound which can find no other home. Like House it is a machine-driven dance music. And like House it has an idealised notion of Europe and European electronic music borne of a love for Kraftwerk.
But despite American dance music's long standing obsession with Europe - from the Munich Machine and Italian Disco to the popularity of records from artists like Telex and Klein And MBO - the new music of Detroit is the first to truly incorporate the European sound-a mxture of technology, detachment and neo-classicism (mirrored in the synthetic strings of Rhythim is Rhythim) so that it seems like something more than a strange metal leg on the wrong body.
From D Train and The System to Bambaata and Arthur Baker, this obsession has plotted its way through US clubland. Every US producer shocked by the starkness of Kraftwerk has since dreamed of Europe and the Trance Europe Express.
The reasons why the most vibrant musical community in the world should want to embrace Ralf and Florian's Robo pop are unclear. European music isn't intrinsically better than the second of America. In most cases it is uncategorically inferior. "Perhaps I an idealised image of Europe and its music," says Derrick May. "I have a certain way I see it in my mind. I feel I should be there, I know I'd feel right there."




To be continnued...

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no MP3/CD-R, no selling/buying anything, no eBay, no time to look around for something you want here in Japan unless you know me.
so there's not much point in asking...


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