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Techno History
Jeff Mills as The Wizard

Detroit in 1701

Detroit, MI in 1701

RIP Ron Murphy

Detroit lost one of its music pioneers this past weekend, He was not a musician or songwriter or mogul. But Ron Murphy was as reasonable for what Detroit music sounded like as any big name artist. Using his ingenuity, technical knowledge and genuine love of music: Ron fashioned a sound that was uniquely Detroit, and envied all over the world. In 1989 Ron Murphy and his business partner Steve Martel opened National Sound Corporation, Originally a Detroit record store. Derrick May & Juan Atkins hired Ron to master records for them. It was a matter of time before the record store closed and Ron Murphy was mastering records full time. In 1994 Steve Martel passed away, so Ron changed the company name to Sound Enterprises, but the “Detroit Sound” never changed. Murphy would spend the next two decades mastering records for what would read like a who’s who of Detroit Electronic Music scene.

At the time of his transition he was 59 years young. His later years were marred by poor health. But his love for the technology and the music never wavered.

On a personal note Natalie Chickiee and I had the opportunity to interview Ron and spend an afternoon talking music, technology and Detroit history. We found him charming, funny and interesting. That interview can be heard on the Detroit Digital Vinyl (Submerge Podcast)
RIP Ron Murphy


*Photo taken by T.Linder while Ron cut the first DTM record ever! 

Joe Zawinul

by Magic Mike Young 

Joe Zawinul passed away at the age of 75 September 11, 2007. To many of you reading this may not recognize his name. But, If you love electronic music as much as I do you can not denied the impact this man has had on Electronic Music. The man’s work speaks for itself. Having influenced 2 generations of Keyboard players and having a career that spanned almost 50 years.

Zawinul was born in Vienna on July 7 1932. He was named Jazz Keyboard Player of the Year by Down Beat (Jazz Magazine) 30 times.

His band Weather Report was named Jazz Fusion band of the year 10 straight years in a row. If that were not enough His Band "The Zawinul Syndicate" performed for over 20 years. He also played a major roll in aiding in the design of the Oberhim and Prophet electronic keyboards. He was one of the first musicians to record a album using electronic keyboards (non classical). And he was one of  the first to use a sequencer, and a sampler on a recording.

In his 50 year career Zawinul has played for and with such music legends as Miles Davis, CannonBall  Aderly, Dinah Washington and started Weather Report with Wayne Shorter in 1970. The last time he played in Detroit was at the “Detroit Jazz Festival” in 2004 with the Zawinul Syndicate. In my opinion Joe Zawinul’s most important contribution was introducing America to a group of world class musicians who came from Africa, South America, and Europe. His influence on Jazz, Pop, and World music will stand the test of time and endure.

Check It: Shake Interview

Talking Shit with Shake: Part 1
posted by pipecock 

Anthony “Shake” Shakir is one of techno’s true innovators. Despite having tracks out since the initial “Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroit” compilation, he is consistantly one of if not the most underrated techno producer out of the D. infinitestatemachine had a long talk with him, trying to see what makes him tick. Also check out the exclusive mp3 clip of a track from his forthcoming album….

Read the rest of the article on their site:

Click Here for full interview.


Mad Mike: Novation Drum Station
DBX - Losing Control

Detroit History: Felton Howard

Felton Howard is one of Detroit's legendary multi-genre DJs. His diverse style is rooted in his appreciation for Gospel music and uplifting House, as well as Garage, Disco, and of course, Techno. He is one of the few DJs in Detroit that had the opportunity to meet the legendary Larry Levan, at the Paradise Garage, as well as visiting the hallowed Better Days nightclub in New York City.

In 1976, Howard solidified his commitment to becoming a professional DJ by becoming the first mobile DJ in the city of Detroit. He owned Technics 1200 turntables, a Bozak mixer and a huge Cerwin Vega sound system. This sound system later became the tool of many of artists that were starting to make names for themselves in the Motor City. The equipment was fitting for a work schedule that made Felton the first DJ in Detroit to perform four nights a week. In the 1980s he was the first DJ to create the twelve-hour, non-stop music parties for packed crowds (1500+) as the resident DJ at Climax2. During this period, Howard had the opportunity to compete and play alongside several other seminal Detroit artists: Ken Collier, Stacey Hale, Duane and Tyrone Bradley. At this time, he learned how to outfit a club with proper audio equipment from his time spent working with Ed Duncan of Duncan Sound Systems, the audio supplier to all of the city's major clubs until the late 1980s.

In the 1990s Felton Howard took his many years of club experience and opened up a late-night underground venue, Club Better Days, named after the club in New York. At Better Days, he opened up the booth and crushing sound system to other DJs, and resided over one of the few afterhours multi-cultural dance clubs in the Detroit at that time.

In 2001, Howard's love for technology directed him to become one of the first DJs on the planet to use the Final Scratch turntable/laptop interface.  With this new tool he was able to use it to its full potential, performing DJ sets comprised almost entirely of his own remixes and edits.

After Better Days closed, he returned to his first passion as a DJ, he has maintained a hectic performance and touring schedule ever since.   His 30+ years of experience has proven that time has enriched Felton Howard's intimacy with the many facets of electronic music. In his own words, "House is not dead. It just moved to a different location."


Stick It In Your Ear - WDTR July 04

Our primary objective is to keep the groove...

Detroit Techno Militia is proud to present the first in a series of archived broadcasts of the show "Stick It In Your Ear". For 11 years "Magic" Mike Young and Alisa Ruffin hosted "Stick It In Your Ear" Friday nights on 90.9fm - WDTR. Over the years, several of Detroit's most prominent and influential artists filled their studio and the airwaves. Some of the artists that appeared in-studio include: Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, Eddie Fowlkes, Alan Oldham, Alton Miller, Mike Grant, Niko Marks, Anthony "Shake" Shakir, Keith Tucker, Tom Tom, Black Tony, Scan7, Santiago Salazar, Invincible, Jeremy Ellis, Tony & Unsel Brown, Strand, Timmy Reggisford, Norm Talley, Mike Clark, Nicole 11:11, Dan Diamond, Reggie Dokes and many more! Each show gave it's listeners a chance to learn more about all genres of electronic music (with a heavy focus on Detroit...of course) and about the people that made it happen. Listeners were able to call in and give their shout-outs, ask questions and participate in on-air contests.

Magic Mike & Alisa always provided listeners with up-to-the-minute information on all the major electronic music events in our community including all of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, The Pontiac Techno House Festival and Techno Brings People Together. They've broadcast live from the Concert of Colors the three years that featured Carl Craig & Kevin Saunderson/Trance Global Underground and the Tom Tom Club.

In 2004, WDTR changed formats and their call letters to WRCJ. This is the reason why we've started sifting through piles of DAT's, mini-disks, CD-R's and tapes to ensure the knowledge they provided us continues on for the future generations. To preserve their historical nature, we are not editing out things like PSA, stations ID's, callers or commercials (many of which were produced by Detroit Public School students).

Show Facts:
Keith Tucker wrote the most current theme song for the show. The record is called "Stick It In Your Ear" and it is track A titled WDTR Vocals by Wanda Dixon.

This show was one of the last "Stick It In Your Ear" shows recorded in July, 2004. It features music by: Keith Tucker, Eddie Folwkes, Agent Sumo, Los Hermanos, Andre Loademann, Mrs. Wood and others. Track ID's are available during the show.

Now without further ado...

Ladies & Gentleman, Boys & Girls... Click here to download the first show in the series.
You must be a registered member to download this show and it will only be available for a short time. Click here to register.


Detroit History: Abdul Qadim Haqq

Detroit Techno Militia is proud to present another chapter in Detroit's techno history: Abdul Qadim Haqq. He has been serving the techno music community since 1989 and he is dedicated to Techno Visual Art. His artwork continues to inspire fans all over the world.

Abdul Qadim Haqq
Third Earth Visual Arts / Underground Resistance - Detroit

If you have ever bought an Underground Resistance record, a Red Planet one or been to the old Submerge building on Grand River and looked at the ceiling you know Abdul Qadim Haqq. For over 16 years, Haqq has contributed to the science fictive creeds of the Submerge crew, Juan Atkins, Derrick May and others by making visual worlds that are synonymous with the music. Characters such as The Illuminator or Firekeeper legends all have Haqq’s multimedia infusions. Each time he writes or colorizes one of the riddles to the multi-cultural electronic disbursements of funk the underground resists more junk talk about the mainstream having a chokehold on the world’s sound consciousness.

Haqq, (AKA the Ancient) spent a lot of time with television as a child and got his first ideas about other life from TV space cadets like the Star Trek family, Speed Racer cartoons and all sorts of fantasy. He did not know that he would draw from those days of channel blinking to literally illustrate what the tales of the Little Bighorn looks like remixed into Techno. After completing art school, he met Banks in ’91 and did his first project for him. He recalls having the same feelings about the sound then and now. “It [the music] always sounded like it was from beyond this world.” At the time UR was new but the music had already been living and Haqq knew this from his nights spent dancing at the Music Institute, which is burnt into the city’s history of computer dance jams. One day Derrick May skimmed some of his journal entries on Native American rituals and chose some of Haqq’s notes on the Lakotah for the backsleeve of his magnum opus, Rhythim is Rhythim’s “The Beginning”. That instance was just one of the increasing moments of Haqq’s eye and eye (third and physical) visions that are evenly building optical rapture.

Jacob Lawrence’s urban inspired hues flipped into almost fluorescent space people at a party are one way of describing Haqq’s new Submerge mural. However, the green dreadlocked man called “The Martian” definitely exhibits some Afro sci-fi reality. DJ Rolando’s key to the Aztec Mystic for the “Vibrations” CD contains more text from the Ancient. When asked how he picks and matches the otherworldly sounds to specific cultures, he explains: “The rhythms are tribal and Native Americans as well as African-Americans have healthy tribal histories.” His Islamic practices also inform the work because as he says, “Techno can be about realizing your fullest potential spiritually, the concepts work across the board.” The cover for Scott Groove’s, “Music in the City” is another piece from Haqq that melds his sight of cement verging on the fantastic approaching stuff farther than the stars.

Since ’98 he became the artist for most of UR’s productions. And working for others is one part of his mission as he develops more for art shows. Haqq’s role as the Ancient is a further affirmation of the fact that we do hear and see sound.

by Tamara Harris

Upcoming Event
August 11th, 2006 - London, England - ISF2 Movie Primier and Art Exhibition

For more info about Abdul Qadim Haqq, please visit his site: Third Earth Visual Arts


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