Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Burden lifted

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2001 at 12:00 AM

From essential work as Submerge distribution partners to downright revolutionary imagery and sound via Random Noise Generation, the brothers Burden (all five of them) have turned an address — like the 313 area code itself — into a deliverable cultural message.

On Detroit Calling, Lawrence Burden plays his family’s mailman. Though more like a genre profile than a spontaneous mind-altering night out seeing the eldest Burden spin, Calling consistently offers the goods, reflecting the last 10-plus years of Detroit techno without sounding retro or obtuse.

The mix starts hard and quick with “Eniac,” the first of nine Octave One tracks that form the musical structure of the robust 28-track record. From there on, LB provides an unyielding power mix, which tips its hat to all the major players of Detroit techno’s “second wave” — Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig — as well as 430 West’s own output, including his 18-year-old brother Lorne’s “Thrash.”

Certain featured tracks, such as Rolando’s “Jaguar,” Craig’s “Designer Music” and Hawtin’s “Orange,” might seem a bit obvious to those in the scene. But with brother Lawrence linking them together, the mix never loses its relentless pacing, thorough sonic quotations or powerful confirmation of purpose. The key track in this last piece of relevance is the recently produced Octave One bomb, Blackwater,” featuring the vocals of Kevin Saunderson’s wife, Ann. Two mixes are offered here, both turning the mostly sober assault of drum machines and techno heritage into a beautiful resonating story linking techno to house and back again. Among the light attack of beats and a melodic synth line, Saunderson’s vocals (“just open your heart, just open your eyes”) hint to a past recovered in the march toward the future. To the Burden brothers, it’s a powerful centerpiece to an album that, true to intention, represents the depth of their funk.

E-mail Carleton S. Gholz at


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 3, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation