With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, electronic dance music (EDM) will be at the forefront of Detroit’s music scene once again.
On Tuesday, May 19 from 7 – 8:30 p.m., the University of Michigan Detroit Center, in partnership with the Detroit Techno Foundation and Movement, is proud to present, “Tracking the Mind of Detroit Techno.”
Open to the general public, this event includes complimentary admission, parking and light refreshments for all attendees.
As electronic dance music grew in popularity throughout the 1980s and 1990s, so did the landscape of producing tracks - specifically for live performances. With the concept of creating tracks for live mixing, rather than just blending songs, a greater emphasis was placed on the DJ to also be a producer.
Through an audio-visual and vocal presentation, this event will highlight the evolution of track creation vs. traditional songwriting, illustrate how a track is produced, discuss how technology has impacted music, and examine what defines the sound of Detroit Techno.
Participants for this event include:
- Keith Kemp - DJ/Producer
- Brendan Gillen - DJ/Producer/Label Owner
- Brian Kage - DJ/Producer/Label Owner
About the Panelists:
Keith Kemp, a Detroit native, was drawn to Detroit’s electronic music scene and spinning records after high school in the mid-1990s, which led to connections with Detroit artists such as Carl Craig, Plastikman and Underground Resistance.
Kemp began spinning at record stores around metro Detroit, and later selling vinyl at the revered “Dance Room” of Record Time. Hoping to capitalize on Detroit’s mid-90’s rave scene, Kemp began performing across North America. He developed into a highly regarded technical performer, combining his love of house, Industrial and German minimalism with Detroit techno.
With a love of computers, Kemp has been collecting equipment since 1992 and established a technical expertise manipulating synthesizers and software-based audio workstations, which opened the door to producing, operating a music label, and performing his own live music.
Kemp, a veteran performer at Detroit’s Movement festival over the years, will be returning to the stage as a performer in 2015.
Brenden Gillen is a founding member of the group Ectomorph and brings a unique perspective to Detroit Techno. The group released their first single in 1995 as an attempt to make Detroit music for Detroiters and not exclusively for export.
The group’s early singles led to epic status within the Techno world. A strong underground cult following has continued to develop through releases on their own label, Interdimensional Transmissions. Ectomorph’s live shows are legendary for their ability to fluidly incorporate the improvisational techniques of jazz into their synthesized music.
Outside of the DJ world, Gillen has also worked as an audio engineering and producer. From mastering the first Ghostly projects to producing Wolf Eyes' Sub Pop album, his experience in Detroit’s Techno movement is truly unmatched.
Brian Kage is a Producer and DJ from Detroit, Michigan who owns the label, Beretta Music.
As a solo artist and one-half of the duo, Reference, Kage’s music industry break came when his “DetroitLuv” EP was played on legendary Radio 1 Essential Mix show by Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos. As part of Reference, Kage has appeared on Carl Craig’s legendary label, Planet E, and performed at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and Fresh Weekend in Barcelona.
As the co-founded of Beretta Music in 2002, Kage has built an impressive portfolio, which includes artists such as Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Jesse Somfay, Luke Hess and Alex Israel.
Although a music producer and label owner, Kage prefers to create carefully crafted works with exceptional quality over time, rather than force the creative process.
Outside of the Techno realm, Kage has also worked with artists such as the Insane Clown Posse.
About the Moderator:
Tom Newman is the Executive Director of the Detroit Techno Foundation and has managed the main stage of the Movement Festival (Paxahau) in Detroit since 2006. A well known DJ and Producer in his own right, Tom has been involved with Detroit Techno for more than 20 years, producing more a dozen singles, EPs and performing locally and international, including Detroit’s Movement festival.