Motor City techno stalwart Carl Craig launched the Detroit Love event series in 2014 to spread the city’s musical vibes far and wide. An artist who’s always thinking two steps ahead, Craig has just announced the launch of an eponymous imprint, a collaboration between his Planet E label and !K7. The series will shine the spotlight on up-and-coming and established artists who have aligned themselves with the city’s sound.
The label will make its debut on May 18 with Detroit Love, a sprawling 16-track DJ mix from fellow hometown icon and Blackflag Recordings boss Stacy Pullen.
Pullen’s expansive mix features tracks and mixes from DJ 3000, Craig Sherrad, Patrice Scott, Delano Smith, Gary Martin and Ataxia. (See full track list below.)
Obligatory press release gush from Stacey Pullen: “I wanted to showcase the versatility of music from Detroit, whether it be a Detroit label or Detroit artist, the connection is there for you to grasp. My mix features music from across the board by artists that have been around for a while and those new to the scene.”
Obligatory press release gush from Carl: “Detroit Love as a label is the most obvious progression from what we have done with the parties. The idea is to connect the vibe of the parties with something people can take home with them.”
Detroit Love: Stacey Pullen Track list:
Soulphiction – Ann Arbor (Original Mix)
Craig Sherrad – The Fader
Remote Viewing Party – 410
Delano Smith – They’re Coming
Motor City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts (Marcellus Pittman Remix)
Detroit house music stalwart Terrence Parker (a.k.a. International DJ Extraordinaire) has announced the upcoming release of his new full-length album, GOD Loves Detroit, on Carl Craig’s Planet E Records. The LP follows his previous album, Life on the Back 9, which was released on Craig’s label in 2014.
The Telephone Man says the concept of God Loves Detroit dates back to 2013 when the city of Detroit had just filled bankruptcy, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy debt filing in US history. “The city was the subject of jokes on late night television, and ridiculed globally. I couldn’t help but feel GOD loves Detroit and must be allowing this for a reason. As the city began to slowly turn around I too was inspired to create a collection of songs that would ultimately make up the album.”
Parker adds, “I am very happy and humbled with how this project has manifested as a piece of musical and visual art to represent Detroit in a positive way. It is my hope this project will reach beyond Detroit to let the world know Detroit’s struggles are the world’s struggles, and Detroit’s victory is the world’s victory because GOD loves us all.”
Stream the title track below and catch Parker at Movement Festival in Detroit over Memorial Day weekend.
Don’t Waster Another Minute
GOD Loves Detroit (The Resurrection)
GOD Will Provide
Just Like Muzik
Latter Rain (Healing Mix)
Latter Rain (After The Storm Mix)
Lift Yo Hands Raise ‘Em High
Will You Ever Come Back To Me
Back in 2008 Detroit techno icon Carl Craig teamed up with Les Siècles Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth, Basic Channel’s Moritz von Oswald and the pianist Francesco Tristano to perform a live set which combined electronic and classical music. Now Craig’s Planet E label and Infiné are uniting to release an official album in March. Produced by Craig, the Versus album “mixes both orchestral and electronically enhanced versions of Carl Craig’s music in a ground-breaking techno collection of eight-tracks adapted for orchestra.” Craig will perform the album live with The Versus Synthesizer Ensemble, where he will be accompanied by five musicians. The first dates will be announced in January 2017. Craig succinctly says of the release, “Versus is my desire and dream come true to have my music interpreted by an orchestra.”
It’s been more than two days since I’ve eased myself back into life in New York after Detroit’s tenth annual Movement Festival, formerly known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. I’m not sure what it is about the experience that makes writing about it so hard. Maybe it’s my lack of distance from the event — the fact that I came of age in the Detroit techno scene in the late ’90s, the festival the culminating event of every summer for the past ten years. Maybe it’s the joy of revisiting the cultural space that once provided the only meaningful context for my young life I could find. Or maybe it’s the bittersweet satisfaction of seeing, no, hearing and feeling the violent outcry of a city that never seems to get a break ringing out from its damaged core, the specter of recent blows to its already ailing automotive industry casting an uneasy shadow over the festival’s vibrant lights (The General Motors building is, after all, adjacent to Hart Plaza. It figures as a vague reminder of the once great city’s ongoing struggle.)
Because Detroit has always been a place where one can experience, in a deeply visceral way, the sharpest of contrasts between life, death, anomie, and post-apocalyptic decay. When I first heard the sound of techno 12 years ago, stepping into a rave at the infamous Packard Plant, I discovered in those pounding, anarchic beats a startling palimpsest of soul and warmth — a warmth Derrick May brought back during the festival’s closing set this past Monday when he dropped Aril Brikha’s 1998 breakout record “Groove La Chord.” But yes! About the festival…
This year’s personal highlights include:
– Steve Bug rocking the main stage with his trademark funky grooves
– Derrick May’s closing set, which would have blown off the roof, had there been one.
– The crowd a spasm of fever and arms during Loco Dice vs. Luciano
– Ryan Elliott rocking the Red Bull Music Academy Saturday
– Octave One: ’nuff said
– Ghostly’s Todd Osborn and friends tearing shit up with a brutal mix of minimal, electro and acid house at the Blank Artists showcase (Saturday night festival afterparty)
– Los Hermanos rocking the main stage with a sublime live performance of Detroit’s own DJ Rolando’s classic “Knights of the Jaguar”
– Ghostly’s Mike Servito and Derek Plaslaiko along with New York’s own Bryan Kasenic (aka Spinoza) of Beyond Booking throwing down mad beats at No Way Back (Sunday night afterparty)
– And, of course, Audion dropping dark, wicked grooves Monday evening at the underground (or Made In Detroit) stage.
All in all, it was an amazing weekend. Techno-philes, if you didn’t make the trip to the D this year, be sure to book plans for next year now. Hotels are reasonably priced and there’s nothing quite like experiencing the spirit of techno brought back to its roots. And when you hear the pounding rhythms of Jeff Mills’ “Steps to Enchantment” filling all the Motor City’s majestic and tragic evacuated spaces, you’ll know that your recession dollars were dollars well spent.