UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE

Are you down with the Underground?

UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE

Instellar Fugutives 2: Destruction Of Order [Submerge/Uncivilized World]

The records they release on their fiercely independent labels carry weighty messages about society with no regard for mainstream pandering. Sleeves bear slogans lambasting corporate greed and the music biz way of stifling creativity. They take raw talent off the streets and point them in an artistically-fulfilling direction instead of drugs and crime. Their graphics are striking, veering between militant, evocative and the furthest galaxies. They don't compromise but shape future musical trends in the process. Only now are they picking up guitars.

They are Underground Resistance, the mysterious and illusive specialists in electronic warfare who operate out of the Detroit ghetto. They are the punks of the techno merdium they have selected to convey their philosophies and messages, owing as much to the Last Poets as Cybotron. UR also make some of the most uplifting, provocative and downright beautiful music in the world, putting the soul into the machines while kicking some of the weightiest beats.

UR came into being in the late 80s after 'Mad' Mike Banks and Jeff Mills got sick of the way the music business was ripping off Detroit artists in the wake of the acid house explosion. They started their own label and began to unleash a string of sonic dispatches from the trenches. Their DJs, including Mills, Suburban Knight, Rolando, Robert Hood and Los Hermanos played the toughest electronic future-funk which branched into plucking electro from, watered down abuse, spoke the future, while looking at the back alley action in Detroit and welcoming ghetto-tech booty bass into the equation. UR music can raise the roof of a nuttered nightclub with its soaring space synths and booting turbo-grooves but inside beats the eternal soul of black music with a social conscience, awareness of its heritage and fierce pride in the city that spawned it. UR want to nurture and spotlight the un-tapped talent in the Motor City which, for years, was neglected while sanitised versions cleaned up. Consequently, the music could be dark, hard - like the machines were getting angry.

I could go on at great length about the golden seam of amazing music which studs the walls of UR's underground shafts. They are electronic dance music's greatest body of creators and subversives, like a Detroit techno answer to Wu-Tang with positivity to the forefront.

The links at the end will tell you where to find out more - but a great place to start would be with this album:

'Instellar Fugitives 2' - is a collection of tracks from producers currently operating under the UR umbrella, including Suburban Knight, DJ S2, Orlando Voorn, the Unknown Soldier, DJ 3000, Dex, Infiltrator, Nomadico, the Deacon, DJ Dijital, Perception, Atlantis, Aquanauts, DJ Skurge and - of course – Mad Mike - whose 'Burning Spear' is a masterpiece of dynamics and emotion. CD2 kicks off with the Blak Presidentz hacking a mean black punk swathe with 'Never'. The stuff here transcends any TV-advertised dance compilation and does many of the things a lot of rock music stopped doing a long time ago. It makes you think and dance. Or as they put it, 'UR is a label for a MOVEMENT. A movement that wants change by sonic revolution'.

Are you down with the Underground?
Kris Needs – tMx 27 – 10/06
Contact: wastebin@trakMARX.com   trakMARX.com - Writing About Music Is Like Dancing To Architecture