Techno is just one angle – the lifeblood of music between Detroit and Berlin is a relentless underground drive that hustles harder. If you need some of that mojo now, here’s both a pay-what-you-will compilation and a free soundpack with the likes of Tyree Cooper, Sarah Kivi, and Eric D. Clark.
The selection runs hard from top to bottom, but what you won’t get is another conservative take on genre. This is a full-course trip through bass, experimental, hip-hop, house, pop, and yeah, that one that precedes both towns’ reputation, techno. But this selection hits the gas (erm, wanna say full-throttle S-Bahn?) straight from the powerful opener, 6zm remixing Tiffadelic. If anything, it probably helps burnish Berlin’s more recent image – there’s no on-trend grayscale Instagram techno here. What you hear instead is some kindred spirits in the German capital, ready to take on something dirtier and groovier.
And yes, if you need that Detroit sound in your productions, you can grab loops, sounds, and samples from the SoundCloud playlist below.
The project is created by Your Mom’s Agency with Goethe-Institut Chicago. (You might even go as far as calling this Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg x Motor City x Chicago.)
CDM is an official media partner. Berlin-based Springstoff is the label partner (and you can buy the release from them, too).
Let’s meet the contributing artists first.
Tyree Cooper, the legendary house legend – yeah, the Tyree Cooper of “Turn Up the Bass” fame.
Sarah Kivi, rising Finnish-Iranian star of adventurous pop music and now on Team Berlin.
Eric D. Clark, a hero of that friendship between the US and Germany, the American-born artist who shaped a lot of how disco, house, and techno have evolved in Germany. Producer, singer, whatever he takes on, he’s left big hits in this decade and the three before it, collaborating with everyone from Justus Köhncke to Peaches to Giorgio Moroder.
All three of those are exclusive to this release.
And you get Tyree Cooper remixing Detroit-to-Berlin artist Alan Oldham for an even bangier banger. Sarah brews a potent electro remix of Dimitri Pike – the Detroit Techno Militia artist who’s been equally between house and techno, Detroit and Chicago, Berlin and the midwest. And more:
6zm: Istanbul->Berlin artist melding ambient, experimental, and techno influences, who nails that pitch-perfect Tiffadelic remix.
Tiffadelic: the self-described “princess of darkness” and a massive exploding talent out of Detroit.
Malonda: “electric diva” from the German side of the pond; transport to another planet once she teams up with Tiffadelic, basically.
DaddyMother: the fantastically prolific project of Pierre PapaMere (Detroit, MI) especially with Lekie (Asheville, NC); you get not one but two soul-rejuvenating tracks here, with –
Obtibob: a more recent moniker for none other than Rene Dittmar, so someone with a deep history back to 90s Berlin nightlife in Cookies, Tresor, and Sage et al, who also makes a brilliant combo with DaddyMother.
Taj Bel is another Detroit native great but while the others here started out with nightlife history, check out her early history in ballet, with no less than Judith Jamison and Alvin Ailey troupe. “Some of us are trying to survive” and “body / do you embody / what it takes to make it to the top?” are fitting lines for the moment, for anyone’s hustle.
Andreas Krach over here in Berlin is a multitalent, a hypernerd, at home with experimental noise and zero-input music and upbeat pop. Sometimes he dresses as a robot, fashioned out of cardboard boxes.
Ko and The Knockouts is a band out of Detroit – the kind of off-kilter stuff Eric D. Clark eats for lunch; that combo makes loads of sense. Yes, I said a band – kids in Berlin may have to look up what that is, but they’re a thing. Imagine like a group of DJs playing at the same time without records. (Sorry, couldn’t resist / just seeing who’s reading down this far.)
Plus Ed Boop, Strip Down, and Wavelords all make appearances, too – new to me but love the results. That is utterly dreamy, the Tiffadelic / Ed Boop / Strip Down outing that closes this out.
Love those sounds? Grab the sample pack and make your own productions – let us know what you create and we might even share some of your work on CDM. (Full tracks above on Bandcamp; the sound content to use is available below on SoundCloud.)
The pack is CC-BY-SA licensed, so if you do use the sounds, you need to make your resulting track remixable, too – but do that, and give us a shout!
Coney Island chili dog, currywurst (both available vegan if you need), it’s sound that’s filling like that. (Wait, Tyree Cooper is in there, too, so … drag one of those hot dogs through the garden in honor of Chicago.)
Big thanks to Goethe-Institut Chicago and Your Mom’s Agency for making this happen.