Former Underground Resistance member and hard, hard techno stalwart Rob Hood made a homecoming of sorts out of his DJ gig at last Wednesday’s Solar party in Ann Arbor. Hood’s "Internal Empire" has long been regarded as a techno classic of minimalism and craft, while his incendiary DJing is hard techno militantism not heard since the days of Jeff Mills. But gigs in the Detroit area are a rarity – he hasn’t played a party since last summer’s "Once Again." Promoter Jon Layne is hoping to change that. Says Layne, "This gig was like his comin’ out in Detroit, where he could just play and represent," which, like Underground Resistance member DJ Rolando’s gig at Motor, is a nice change from the usual European-only gigs some techno names favor.


One of the more bizarre but effective pairings in the Detroit electronic scene has been the addition of DJ Godfather to Ann Arbor electro-purist outfit Ectomorph’s lineup. The strange blend of heavily effected hip-hop scratching with stern, robotic electro is a sort of when-worlds-collide funk netherworld that can only be described as "ghetto" meeting "tech." Ectomorph’s Brendan Gillen has already recorded a single with Godfather’s space-scratching, as well as some tinkering courtesy of Spacelings and Bassheads’ destination-out auteur John Ryan. Look for a 12-inch out on Interdimensional Transmissions next month. And, even cooler, the Ectomorph-Godfather experience is planning a summer tour with Dutch vintage-synth-eccentric I-f, who penned last year’s greatest video game-inspired single, "Space Invaders are Smoking Grass" and whose radically different but just as good Man from Pack LP drops on the IT label next month. Expect the tour to be the most watchable and breakdanceable thing on the road this summer. No Detroit date has been announced yet.


Word is James Lavelle, head of UK trip-hop label Mo’ Wax and half of last year’s star-studded UNKLE project, is headed to the D to talk to DJ Godfather. Godfather penned the Detroit booty scene’s summer anthem, "Player Haters in Dis House," and has forged a wonderfully split personality for himself, releasing both sexed-up booty tracks on his Databass label and stiff electro fare on his Databass label. For those still scratching their heads at why a UK indie hip-hop label head would be snuggling up to something as regional as Detroit ghetto-tech, remember Lavelle has already had DJ Assault remix a track from the UNKLE project he did with Bay-area beat guru DJ Shadow. As for Godfather, hopefully the UK boss will make him an offer he can’t refuse.


The Detroit party scene is once again off its own hook, with this weekend’s two competing parties being examples of how disparate the Detroit scene(s) have become. People looking for late-night beats can check out the triumphant return of System – who last brought Detroit the massive free party "Fuck the System" late last summer – bringing UK tech-step pioneer Mickey Finn to town. Meanwhile Detroit Groove Theory sticks a little closer to home with Detroit techno’s next-wave superstar Stacey Pullen headlining its party. For more info, look for flyers at the usual record stores and baggy clothing retailers. Also of note to fans of Stacey’s hard, soulful decksmanship, Pullen becomes a monthly resident at Ann Arbor’s Solar beginning next month.


Self-proclaimed "Superstar Scenester" Adriel Thornton is planning "Digit 2," his sequel to last year’s phenomenal Memorial Day party, and may join forces with Jon Layne to make the now touring Pole – the German sound engineer who turns a defective sound generator into an amazingly cool bug-zapper-funk-dub and who has two stellar discs out now on US indie Matador – part of the party. Stay tuned for details.

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