detroit’s techno culture is getting a museum exhibition in london
'Detroit: Techno City' charts the genre's timeline through the 70s, 80s, and early 90s.
Detroit isn't the first place that springs to mind when considering London's sister cities, but the Michigan metropolis and the Capital of England have a strong musical bond. The sound that Detroit artists were establishing in their hometown in the 70, 80s, and early 90s proved a massive hit in Europe, even as it failed to resonate amongst mainstream audiences back home. But the transatlantic impact was not a one-way street. While London clubgoers raved to Detroit OGs like Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, the genre's second wave vibed heavily off European influences. This rich history is now becoming the subject of a landmark exhibition at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Detroit: Techno City is the first exhibition of its kind to be held in the UK. Focus will also be given to the inexpensive equipment used in Detroit techno's glory days (including the legendary Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines), and the producers instrumental in Detroit Techno's 90s incarnation (including Richie Hawtin, Carl Craig, and Kenny Larkin). The exhibition will conclude with a focus on the Underground Resistance collective who sought to "challenge the commercial mainstream entertainment industry and re-establish Detroit techno music's authenticity with an emphasis on the city as a source of inspiration."
Detroit: Techno City is on view at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts from 27 July through 25 September, 2016.
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Flickr