Help Fund A Film on The Story of Detroit Techno
When most people think of Techno, they picture it being produced in Europe. The truth is that Techno was first created in Detroit by a small band of emerging black producers. Granted they were heavily influenced by the likes of Kraftwerk in Germany but that doesn’t change the fact these Detroit producers first conceived the genre. The first vinyl album l ever saw with the name Techno came from Detroit and was simply titled Techno (double album). It was produced in the late eighties as Europe enjoyed the beginnings of what later became globally known as ‘Raves’. We didn’t call them raves you understand, raves was negatively coined by the British media to create distance between so called ravers and the general public. That way it could be destroyed and no-one would care because it was associated with a love drug that has since been legalised or decriminalised in selected countries around the world. That’s another story. The soundtrack of this generation was House, Acid House, Hip House & Detroit Techno. A sound not yet recognised by major labels but embraced by the newly found record labels devised for this very genre.
There has been many documentaries covering the Detroit sound. BBC recently produced a a three part series on the evolution of dance music which featured the Techno pioneers Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson. I was also featured in that documentary series and can be seen discussing staging warehouse parties in the late eighties in episode two (Wayne Anthony Genesis’88). I’ve also featured in most documentaries on the subject of Acid House so l can speak from experience when l say that major networks only cover the juicy commercial areas of a given topic. As a film maker in the game since 2006, l can also testify how hard commissions are to acquire for production companies to make the films they want too, rather than adhere to the commission terms and conditions.
Perhaps we’ve reached a new era in film making, where the general public will lend a hand to get films made that share the whole story and not just soundbites. Crowd funding has been incredibly successful for start up or established companies inventing new products or experiences for the general public. This allows some creative freedom for organisations pushing boundaries ahead of the curve rather than trailing behind it.
God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines: The Story of Detroit Techno is currently being pitched on Kickstarter as a feature length documentary highlighting the people that created and named the genre we know as Techno. I honestly don’t have words to describe the emotional rushes l experienced whilst listening to the Strings of Life (Derrick May) in a warehouse with thousands of people during 1989. This is the soundtrack to an entire generation of people that broke away from the mainstream and formed something they could call their own.
We’re not connected with this film but we do think it’s important the global dance community become aware of this film and even donate to the final production. The film is already made the funds are for licensing the soundtrack. The more we support film makers the more films we’ll get to see that networks wouldn’t commission through politics.