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Published 6/30/1999

Channel Zero

The "Detroit Technology" radio show, that impossibly cool joint venture between Record Time, Planet E, Made In Detroit and theplayground.com, proved to be too impossibly cool and is now kaput. While insiders say the late-night mix show was never quite given its due by host station 89X – buried on the schedule after a "live" alternative rock mix show done in the 89X studio – plans were under way to move DT to a more favorable time slot. In the end, however, the powers that be at 89X had a problem seeing how their listenership could handle the transition from Alanis Morissette fare to progressive dance music. Internal squabbles among the show’s sponsors probably didn’t help things much, but for the listeners in Detroit, a town that has looked to the radio for inspiration since the days of the Electrifying Mojo, Mike Halloran and "Brave New Waves," the loss is palpable – not to mention that Detroit techno has lost yet another chance to prove itself on the home front. Said one Planet E insider, "Where else could you hear Derrick May, Kenny Larkin, Carl Craig and Kevin Saunderson all in one month in this country?"

Our sentiments exactly.

Channel Hero

Not like he needs the press, but checking in with Plastikman always makes for good copy. And, like the rest of us, it seems Richie Hawtin’s got that premillennial tension thing making him yearn for the glory days of yesteryear. While that may be Pearl Jam for his fans, for homme de plastique it’s the snappy industrial jams he used to spin in the glory days of the Shelter in the late ’80s-early ’90s, as evidenced by Hawtin’s dead-serious inclusion of hard ’80s industrial tracks in his "decks, efx and 909" sets.

Now Hawtin’s "talking about" recording with Nizter Ebb singer Douglas, who has family in the Detroit area. Hell, call Geordie from Killing Joke and let’s get this Detroit vs. the UK ’80s thing going full-on. Meanwhile, Hawtin is set to release a mix disc documenting his "decks efx and 909" set. In other M_nus label news, Theorem’s Dale Lawrence is collaborating with U.K. mood swing techno lads Swayzak. As for when Hawtin’s gonna throw another one of his slammin’ Plus 8 parties, no word yet, but Detroit could sure use one right about now.

God’s Not A DJ, But Nobody Said Church Couldn’t Be A Club

So far it’s way on the down low, but Sunday afternoons are turning into Detroit’s best party down at One X, where everybody not left in a K-hole from the weekend comes to hang on the patio in the warm Detroit sun and chill to DJs Alton Miller and Scott Zacharias playing whatever they goddamn well feel like. Called "Service," the party is a casual, no frills affair, more like a barbecue than a nightclub or a rave. Keep an ear and eye out for what’s the dilly-yo time-wise and such.

Comin’ From Tha D

He may be Details magazine’s poster child for Detroit ghetto-tech, but he’ll always be our little Disco D. Dave Shayman, Detroit booty’s most unlikely hero and his 18-year-old, U-M sophomore bad self, has already submitted a track of electro for the New York-based Astralwerks label’s Unknownwerks Vol. 2 – not to be confused with Vol. 1, which features a bunch of kids trying to be Fatboy Slim. In the meantime, Shayman’s remix of his own "Cannot Stop This" track comes out on Bad Boy Bill’s Contaminated label this month.

Comin From Tha D, Again

The third vinyl installment of the Comin’ From Tha D compilation of new Detroit nontechno producers flips the script a bit with remixes by fellow Detroit artists. Alan "T-1000" Oldham – the hardest working man in Detroit techno – twiddles the knobs of a Punisher track, while pasty white electro artists LeCar rework the deeper, darker electro of Dopplereffekt; Ectomorph does battle with an Adult track and Aux 88 founder Keith Tucker works some 808 magic on a track by Music Institute founder D Wynn. See? Detroit’s one big happy family.

Stay Tuned

Changes ahead on the Pitch’D horizon. New bylines, rotating perspectives, shorter sentences, fewer hyphens. Next month: Innerzone Orchestra live in New York’s Central Park and a report from Barcelona’s Sonar Festival. Dig that.

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