Scan 7: Direct Effect (Detroit Underground)

Massive collaboration between Detroit Techno Militia and Detroit Underground: Gorgeous record, good people, good music all around.

I’ve lost probably thousands of songs in hard drive crashes over the years, and after whining a bit I don’t think I’ve spent too long crying over it. I’d be devastated if my physical records were lost in a fire, though, despite being pretty much a loser when it comes to building a collection. Because it wouldn’t be the music that’d be lost but the stories behind each slab of wax – where I got it, what I was doing at that point in my life and most importantly the people around me. Because almost every vinyl record I have was bought either on a recommendation or recommended by me in turn to someone else. This is a manifestation of what “community” actually means and one of its more tangible benefits.

Of my lost files there are no strong attachments. More and more often the process of finding music is a solitary one, spent hunched over a laptop, pressing sideways triangles and hovering Xs over and over again.

Detroit Underground is not a new label, not even to me, but their online activities were brought to my attention by DJ Shiva from a bandcamp promo. I hit the “follow” button and thought nothing of it until I started to see more and more wonderful records showing up in my feed every few weeks. Surprisingly, Shiva wrote the 1-sheet for this; unsurprisingly, it’s better written than this review of the record it’s promoting.

Scan 7’s Direct Effect is also backed by a crisp and kinetic promo video that contrasts Detroit’s glimmering towers, rusted trainyards and rubbish-strewn lots. The original mix is twitchy and relentless – like the soundtrack for a reboot of Bullitt shot in the modern Midwest urban matrix. Detroit Techno Militia’s T. Linder’s remix is hard as shale and denser than lead – a masterpiece built entirely around the demon metronomic pulse of percussion and a menacing three note riff. Andrew Red Hand (whose remix on Thomas Barnett’s Groove Slave project appeared on Visillusion 10 in this space) strips it down to the springs with an edit that sounds almost like a throwback from the a raver chillout room. Teste twists this track into shapes and takes it to places that feel like someone is playing the vibraphone with my spinal column. Gorgeous record, good people, good music all around.


Published in 5 Magazine Issue 140, featuring Eli Escobar, Booker T, Ant LaRock, Closer To Truth & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.