Techno on the brain 

It seems like everyone had the same idea last week. At the same time that the MT ran a piece on the aftermath of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival ("Heat of the Night," 7/18/00), its effects on the city and dance culture in general, London-based writer Geoff Dyer wrote a piece for FEED, based on his time spent in Detroit during the DEMF. In the story, he draws connections between the abandonment of downtown and artworks found in the Detroit Institute of Arts, and questions whether techno will save the city’s soul. The festival reported a 1.5 million attendance over the three days and anyone who was there (including the two journalists) could see how the event brought the city together. Purse-toting grandmas bobbed their heads along with preteens; club kids joked with police officers; guests from all corners of the globe got to see it and be a part of it. With an outsider’s view on both the event and on Detroit itself, Dyer connects with the so-called “outsider” art of Detroit decay — the Heidelberg Project, the broken windows of the abandoned Michigan Central Railroad station, taking a tour based on the American city ruins photography of Camilo José Vergara. Check out the piece for yourself at

Melissa Giannini writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail her at

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