Machine Soul

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0:00:00  Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express (1977, Germany)
0:02:54  D-Train – You’re The One For Me (1981, New York)
0:06:59  Yazoo – Situation (1982, Essex)
0:08:34  Alexander Robotnick – Problemes D’Amour (1983, Italy)
0:11:31  Paul Hardcastle – Rainforest (1984, London)
0:14:27  Inner City – Big Fun (1988, Detroit)
0:17:47  Captain Rapp – Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It) (1983, Los Angeles)
0:21:55  Yellow Magic Orchestra – Firecracker (1978, Japan)
0:25:07  Kraftwerk – It’s More Fun To Compute (1981, Germany)
0:28:02  Inner City – Good Life (1988, Detroit)
0:31:43  George Kranz – Trommeltanz (Din Daa Daa) (1983, Germany)
0:35:25  Hashim – Al-Naafiysh (The Soul) (1983, New York)
0:38:56  Cybotron – R-9 (1985, Detroit)
0:42:29  Model 500 – No UFO’s (1985, Detroit)
0:46:15  Cybotron – Clear (1983, Detroit)
0:49:24  Adonis – No Way Back (1986, Chicago)
0:52:26  A Number Of Names – Sharevari (1981, first Detroit Techno song)
0:55:42  Kano – I’m Ready (1980, Italy)
0:59:14  Model 500 – Night Drive (Thru-Babylon) (1985, Detroit)
1:01:37  Model 500 – Future (1985, Detroit)
1:03:53  Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings Of Life (Piano Mix) (1987, Detroit)
1:08:36  Kraftwerk – Numbers (1981, Germany)
1:10:50  Kraftwerk – Computer World 2 (1981, Germany)
1:12:42  Channel One – Technicolor (1986, Detroit)
1:16:17  Kraftwerk – Tour De France (1983, Germany)
1:18:14  Kraftwerk – Tour De France (Francois K Remix) (1983, Germany)

I made “Machine Soul” back in 2009 for the now-defunct Hello Friends site (RIP).  I was inspired to make this mix after having spent the day/night with my younger cousins and a Japanese exchange student at The Movement electronic music festival in downtown Detroit.  For those that don’t know, The Movement is a three-day festival, lasting from noon to midnight each day, and it is spread across four different stages.  The music is mostly Techno, House, and Electro… you know, the stuff that Detroit is famous the world over, but rarely known for here in the USA.  Even in Michigan, very few people care about it, much less knows that the music exists.  I used to have a saying: “Detroit is where the music is made, not played…”, and I often found myself using it for both Detroit Techno and Detroit Rap artists.

Seeing as how the exchange student and one of my cousins had never been to Detroit before, I wanted to do something special for them.  Downtown Detroit is usually a ghost town, but because of The Movement festival, I knew that there was going to be thousands of people walking around and the city would be alive for once!  Plus, the Tigers had a game that day, so that would bring in even more people.

I packed the girls in my car and headed down to festival.  I first gave them the grand tour, starting out in Pontiac and taking Woodward Avenue all the way down to Detroit.  I drove them around, showing them all of the landmarks, where I used to live (near Wayne State University), the DIA, CCS, Michigan Science Center, etc.  We ate lunch in Mexicantown at Armando’s, checked out the Ren Cen, rode the People Mover, showed them Comerica Park, walked around Greektown, and ate dinner at the New Parthenon.  The exchange student got a little excited when we walked past Saint Andrew’s Hall because she knew what it was because of the movie “8 Mile“.

My three homegirls were somewhat familiar with the types of music being played at The Movement because you just can’t help but hear it nowadays in movies, TV shows, commercials, video games, etc.  But they had no idea that there was anything like this–that there was this subculture of people who were really into this music, liked to dance to it, knew what the songs were, dressed a certain way, etc.  All that they knew was whatever was popular on “the radio”, what they heard in videos or at the local bars.  So their eyes were opened wide to thousands of people who were totally into this stuff.

As the day went on, the girls started to ask questions like, “How do people even find out about this music?  It’s not on the radio, so how do you hear about stuff like this?  Where do you go to dance to this…because they don’t play it at the clubs/bars where I live?  Where do you go to even buy something like this?  It’s not sold in any of the stores…”

Well, all of this really got me thinking about how it all started.  The girls didn’t know anything about the music and were interested in knowing more about it.  This inspired me to make a mix that could be used to “educate” younger generations on some of this music’s origins.  For “Machine Soul”, I wanted to put all of the important early Detroit Techno/Electro songs (that were actually made in Detroit by Detroit artists), and include some of the other songs that were popular in Detroit at that time.  I had to make some judgement calls (in terms of track selection) and scale it back a little bit, because otherwise I would’ve been forced to make an 80 minute mix of nothing but Prince songs!  And if there’s one thing that we can all know for certain, it’s that Detroit loves them some Prince!


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