Everything written about Eddie Fowlkes these days has the feeling of a pamphlet or a petition seeking redress for some awful historical travesty. I assume this is by design, but it doesn’t jibe with my own memory, you know? Maybe somebody somewhere thinks Eddie’s nothing special, but pretty much everyone I knew growing up had nothing but good things to say about him.
I think I first heard Eddie DJ at a Superstars of Love party, but as far as his own music goes, the oldest record I have of his is a Tresor compilation – one of those “Berlin/Detroit Techno Alliance” CDs. I thought 3MB featuring Eddie’s “Illuminism” was second only to Jeff Mills’ “Changes of Life” on that record. I don’t know if the first is widely considered a classic but the second is, and they both are stone-cold tracks as far as I was concerned. Eddie had a lot of respect as an elder statesmen then.
Now, practically every piece about Eddie (and this is turning into one too) has less to say about what his current music sounds like than what his perceived place in the Detroit Fantasy Techno League ranking is, or what some dork in Mixmag said about the Belleville Three and whether we should hold some referendum to change it to Four.
And now we’re doing it again. Instead: music. Two new records on Detroit Wax showed up in stores at about the same time last week. Special is the better cut of them. “War on Dance” is a playful but elegant little tune – the sort of thing that has the exuberance of jackin’ house but a sophistication most of those sloppy records can’t attain. On the flip, “Something Special E” is made for a much bigger room – epic and truthfully more menacing, at least until that sonorous, five-times-oversized vocal kicks in.
These tracks feel strange put together – almost like two different producers split a record.