Detroit Soul, Pt. 2

The original Detroit Soul post was spawned with the intent of showcasing Detroit music and how the environment of Detroit influenced the sounds of the city. My mind wandered while writing, and finding a way to jump back to the original theme was unfeasible. I will attempt to rectify the situation with this post.

Detroit has played a prominent part in the development of modern music. Motown was only the peak of the musical scene in the late 1960s. Always exuding a rawness befitting of an industrial city, in-your-face rock existed alongside the bourgeoisie aspirations of Motown. George Clinton moved Parliament Funkadelic to Detroit during an attempt to become a Motown songwriter. This led to playing shows with MC5, and other rock bands, where Funkadelic discovered what could be accomplished through loud amps. The blues tradition made its’ way up to Detroit with the migration of southern blacks. A fertile jazz, soul, and funk scene existed alongside the rock-n-roll of the 1960-1970s.

Detroit would not make mainstream musical attention until Kid Rock and Eninem blew up, but musical innovation had continued on in Detroit even after the departure of Motown in 1972. Techno was created in Detroit in the 1980s during its’ RoboCop days. Before techno was mainstreamed by Fatboy Slim and Moby, it existed as music of the electronauts of Detroit. Developing alongside Chicago house, Detroit techno was music of the marginalized. Couched in the sounds of assembly line and industrial revolution, techno exemplified the coming technological age and increasing robotization/alienation of humans from work. Detroit has a spirit that cannot be conquered. And the spirit spreads further and further as more and more sons of the D move across the landscape. Just visit and see for yourself. Detroit is a great summertime destination. It is no coincident that so much S.O.U.L. has come out of the D. The atmosphere is soaked in the Funk.

To celebrate my love of the D, which I miss everyday, this will be the first of many posts exposing music of Detroit. I am unsure if anyone not from the D would live in the D, but I will never forget the time I spent there and will be sure to cherish anytime in the future I spend there. Seattle has nothing on the D.

Here are some tracks off of Detroit Soul.

J. Dilla’s “Brazilian Groove”


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