People in Detroit’s underground dance scene know it is governed by a marvelous but perplexing rule: All or nothing. In some ways this is perfect for the peculiarly organic creative process of Detroit artistry. Play hard. Work hard. Shout it out. Rest. Recharge. Repeat. As we leave winter behind, we enter into a new cycle of inspiration, production, community. We discard the idea of the party for the reality of the new experience. It’s beginning to come at us in waves. We respond. Often with multiple adventures on the same night.
That cyclical journey was restarted on a recent weekend. We flashed into the Works on an icy Thursday night to witness the technoid-abstractions of Docile Recordings live (David Wulle, Andy Garcia and Garrett Miller playing on various machines), made a trek to Ann Arbor two days later for a showing of photos by Ghostly International graphic artist Will Calcutt (featuring DJ’d musical accompaniment by Matthew Dear, Ryan Elliott, Clark Warner and Liz Copeland), then shot out to the University of Michigan’s North Campus, where ThinkBox, Outputmessage, Kero and others performed at an art-meets-computer programming event put on by the Ann Arbor-based group Atmosphere. Then on Sunday at the Fifth Avenue Club at Comerica Park, we attended the lead-in event for the Fuse-in festival (where we saw Shortround and Carl Craig spin), then hustled down to Foran’s for a night of BPitch Control roboto-mayhem courtesy of Smash TV (Berliner Holger Zilske), hosted by the (Windsor-based) Kero and his Detroit Underground crew. Then we rested, recharged and got ready for the next round of adventures. Or misadventures.
The road to Florida
The Winter Music Conference, an annual bacchanalia held for the benefit of the dance music industry, is up and running in Miami Beach this week. It’s probably hard to convince your average red state American that a week of all-night partying in self-consciously Euro-trashy boutiques, athletic shoe stores (Ghostly’s SV4 and Elliott will spin at Adidas Original Store), bars, hotel lobbies, hotel bedrooms and poolsides has any cultural significance. Though the Subterraneans will debate the philistine bare majority anytime on that issue (c’mon, bring it on), we are not naive about the fact that the WMC is more about business than culture. And some of that business has to do with Detroit. The people behind the Fuse-In festival, set for Memorial Day on Hart Plaza, will get their first major test run March 24 at a 700-capacity venue in South Beach. Kevin Saunderson, Stacey Pullen, Kenny Larkin and Jeff Mills are scheduled to play. On top of that, there is much more 313 and 734 action in the 305.
Brendan Gillen (aka Ectomorph), Norm Talley and Dwayne Jensen; Jeremy Ellis (aka Ayro) and John Arnold; and Ghostly’s Dear and Elliott are performing at multiple events up and down Washington Avenue. Check the Miami Master List (miamimasterlist.com) for final details.
Some good Jit, man
Local hip-hop humorists and serious producer-DJs Brian Gillespie and Todd Osborn are Starski & Clutch. These two crazy dudes have just released Don’t Stop Til You Jit Enough, a booty mix-CD straight out of their imaginary Warren-meets-Chelsea ghetto crib. Osborn continues to produce for Ann Arbor’s Spectral Sounds (as Osborne: Note the cheeky vowel appendage) and is also known as crypto-junglist Soundmurderer (with musical partner SK-1, better known as Spectral comrade Tadd Mullinix). As Starski, Gillespie has a new release due called “Love Camera.” Vocals are by Dick Canon (we know him as Poker Flat recording artist Paris the Black Fu of the Detroit Grand Poobahs), with remixes by Motech’s Franki Juncaj (aka DJ 3000) and TNT (another project Osborn shares with Mullinix). Gillespie is also the prince of the Ferndale nightlife: He plays at Posh on weekend nights and at the Bosco on Tuesdays. Brothers: Keep bouncing da funk. Sisters: Shake dat booty. Everybody: Say, “Hell yeah.”
Thursday, March 24: DJ ESP (aka Woody McBride), Acid Pimp, Corbin Davis, Litmus vs. Malevolant Angel at Token Lounge (28949 Joy Rd., Westland; 734-513-5030).
Saturday, March 26: Andy Vaz, Jesse Somfay, Retail at Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300).
Saturday, March 26: Annix, Benji Hayes, Darkcube, Doc, Mike Doyle at Focus Media Bunker (440 E. Lafayette, Greektown).
Saturday, March 26: Marco Carola and Chuck Flask at Bleu (1540 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-222-1900).
Monday, March 28: Jan D, Brad Hales and Anibal at Majestic Cafe (4120-4140 Woodward Ave., 313-833-9700 ext.207).
Wednesday, March 30: Painted Pictures, Norm Talley and Dwayne Jensen at Fifth Avenue (Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-2555).
Thursday, March 31: Punisher, Avex Axiom, Ten:Thirteen, FelonE at the Token Lounge (28949 Joy Rd., Westland; 734-513-5030).
Friday, April 1: DJ 3000 and S2 at Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300).
Saturday, April 2: Stacey Pullen at Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300).
Friday, April 1: J Hunsberger, Dave Karwowski, Mike Mitchell, Ryan Crosson, Seth Troxler, element.8, Sajin and Scott Nutt at The Works (1846 Michigan Ave., Detroit).
Saturday, April 2: Silicon, Jan D and Israel Vines at Foran’s (612 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-961-3043).
Sunday, April 3: Kevin Saunderson, Stacey Pullen and DJ Binzo at Necto (516 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-5436).The Subterraneans is a biweekly column devoted to dance culture. Send comments to [email protected]