Detroit’s New School


Posted on August 1st, by Diana Potts in 20. No Comments

Five bios on up-and-coming Detroit artists

LeCar : Live PA
Style : Electro

“On the quietest days Detroit sounds like road noise, sparrows, thundering bass beats, one-person arguments and construction equipment. The people and nature left over are forced to think and operate in squares and systems as they [re]consume them,” says Ian R. Clark, one half of ‘LeCar’.

LeCar’s music comes from the gut, it is intelligently produced Electro with just a hint of synth-pop.  Clark and his partner, Adam Lee Miller, have been producing together since ’95.  They have released tracks on labels such as Interdimensional Transmissions, Sony, Serotonin, Ersatz Audio and Spelunk Records (just to name a few).

Not only the name but their personal style is reminiscent of the ’80s, and their music is something for the future.  This is music that obviously comes from two people who are in tune with the city’s rhythms and are capable of reproducing the unique feeling Detroit seems to eminate. Though most of LeCar’s tracks aren’t made for the dancefloor they are excellent for those long car trips or for your intelligent music listening pleasure.

“Now that the fourth LeCar EP is complete, we’re working on solo projects,” says Miller.  Ian Clark is working on two solo projects right now, one entitled ‘The Shapes’ which is more synth- pop directed and ‘Re-Cubex’ which is more faster electro.

Miller runs the label Ersatz Audio with partner Robert Saltz out of Detroit. 

Jerry Abstract : DJ
Style : IDM

So what the hell is IDM?  Jerry Abstract defines it as “anything made with passion, obscure, not commercial, but not underground.”  Abstract has been spinning since November of ’96 and in the last year or so has gotten noticed locally for his selection of music mainly based out of Europe with such leaders as Aphex Twin and Autechre. “Music reminds me of not having limits [and] restrictions on mind body and emotions. Passion is about not limiting yourself.” Warp, Schematic, Grow, Studio One, and Global Communication, and Universal Language are the kinds of labels that you will find in Mr. Abstract’s eclectic crate, including the more traditional selection of labels, such as Plus8.

What makes Detroit such unique and passionate city to Jerry is that everybody is such an individual, but can congregate with such different tastes or styles.  He finds that there is a pressure in Detroit that does not exist in other cities, to care more about what he is doing. “Detroit DJ’s are a dime a half dozen… my number one passion is music. you can’t make a living in music now unless you are seriously doing your own thing or starting a new direction in an area.”  Jerry believes that the music is about to find itself at a whole new level while keeping in its roots in mind.  “I want to be a part of that, I will always be a part of that, I am a part of that, and I’ll always be listening.”

Mike Geiger : DJ
Style : House

Before I heard Mike Geiger spin I was consistently told that I should from people everywhere.  Once I finally got the opportunity to, I was blown away at his selection of tracks and talent on the wheels of steel.

Being a child of a music teacher, Michael grew up around American and Latin Jazz.  His influences include Jazz drummers such as Max Roach and Art Blakie.  Michael eventually added hip-hop as an influence and has combined these two sounds to help him build a style of his own. “I think the reason people like me is because I bring my influence from hip-hop to house, which I’ve been told shows through in my music and skills.”

Geiger is 22 and has been spinning for about seven years now.  He recently spun at ‘Aqua,’ a party thrown by John Acquaviva.  Michael admits that it felt good to be around people of that caliber in music and that he got an opportunity to spin a three-hour set that ranged from house to hip hop music.

Interanimi : Live PA
Style : Media/Perfforming arts

Interanimi (Meighan Fitz-Henry and Michael LeeRaven McAdow) have been performing together since 1989.  Before they met, both Meighan and Michael were noise artists and admit they were into harsher sounds and performances.  Over the years they have grown to be more minimal and about creating enhanced, focused emotions within their listeners.  Some people have reviewed their work as ‘too weird for me,” but Meighan says people who appreciate their work tend to be other musicians and artists.  They consider their music global because they combine elements from traditional music around the world and to make a single, experimental element of sound.  They also consider their sets to be very interactive; a perfect example is their use of an Atari Pac-Man game whose sounds are worked into the set as the audience uses it.

Tad Mulinex : DJ
Style : Jungle

Locally, Tad Mulinex is starting to get noticed for his Jungle spinning talents (where he goes by an alter ego, ‘SR-1’) and as a result has his first weekly residency at the relatively young age of 19 years old.

Tad was a producer before he started DJ’ing at the age of 16 and believes that producing first definitely gave him a better edge on DJ’ing than if he had started on the tables before the equipment.  “Aphex Twin, Wagon Christ, and Squarepusher,” is what he’ll say when asked who his producing influences are and whose tracks first turned him on to Jungle music.  Influences in DJ’ing include battle DJs and local Jungle DJ, Rotator.  Tad also says that the ghetto music scene has let him get in touch more with the darker side of music.  “I feel bonded with people when they feel the same thing as I do when I am DJ’ing or producing music.”

Tad adds, “Unfortunately I see Detroit focusing a lot on house and techno, which is a good thing, [but] I think sometimes people get engulfed in the whole ‘this is where it started and we have to carry it on,’ [attitude].  Unfortunately, I don’t think it leaves very much room for the experimental producers and such.  I see Detroit as a free area, you have to go out there and work hard and become independent.”