Superb chronicle of Detroit techno
Director Bredow does a glorious job chronicling the often sadly-neglected history of Detroit techno music — a scene that has spearheaded entire genres of music and inspired thousands of DJs, composers, and artists for decades now. Interviewing nearly every scene luminary, we get to see the faces behind this often-anonymous genre of electronic music. Names like Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Eddie Flashin’ Fowlkes, Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Kenny Larkin, Stacey Pullen, and tons more are featured here, inextricably linked by Detroit’s burnt-out industrial landscapes and a need to express themselves with often-primitive technology.
It’s relatively brief (lasting just a wee bit over an hour in length), but “High Tech Soul” pinpoints just where this “alien electronica” originates from, as the genre’s forefathers were listening to old-school Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa, and George Clinton records, as well as other oddities wrangled from used record bins and merging that with thumping robotic rhythms and hypnotically soulful flourishes.
Truly, this is an essential history lesson for fans of Detroit’s techno scene. Enlightening, entertaining, and fun, “High Tech Soul” is a must-see for any electronic music aficionado.