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Pitch'd

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Published 11/17/1999

WE ARE ON TV

Last Tuesday night at Motor’s weekly "Family," fliers (intended for Kompress) were handed out for "Turn On – Tune In – Find Out," a TV commercial for Richie Hawtin’s New Year’s Eve event, "Epok." Rumors have been flying around like crazy about this thing (like the unlikely notion that Jeff Mills will be playing), so this was Hawtin’s chance to put that all to rest. The two-minute commercial, made by Detroit’s Pilot Pictures, features long, silent bits, full of anticipation as the clock hands move toward 12, peppered with short frantic blasts of classic Hawtin (pictured below left) tracks followed by a lightning-fast montage of Detroit party history centered around Hawtin events. Some of the still images include Dan Bell and Richie playing as Cybersonik at Industry, the facades of the Music Institute and 1217 Griswold, Billeebob freaking out at the Lodge and Mare picking her nose at the Lodge II. It ends with a computer crash at midnight and an announcement that the party will be held in Detroit in a limited-capacity, secure, legal venue and to check out the WebPage. The WebPage, in turn, tells you to look for a new flier(!) – which you can find within a few weeks – with full party info.

Meanwhile ... Nov. 6’s "Kompress" became "Kancelled" due to the negative power of the press. The Toronto Star ran a typical "rave exploitation" piece with all the horrors that go along with that. The piece in the Star started a province-wide crackdown on raves and, unfortunately, that included Windsor, where "Kompress" was to be held. Lots of last-minute options were explored, but nothing panned out.

Since the press has so much power, I just thought I’d use this as a chance to say that raves are OK – there are no more drugs there than you would find in your own neighborhood, the music is played at a nice conversational volume, and most promoters do report their annual earnings for tax purposes.

L-L-L-LIVE NOT MEMOREX

Jeff Mills (aka "the Wizard") is probably Detroit’s most popular mix show DJ of all time. He ruled Detroit’s airwaves (along with Mojo, but that’s a different story) in the ’80s, moving all around the dial during his reign. His techniques were revolutionary, his cuts so fast and so amazing that anyone who heard him play was inspired and he knew how to hype a crowd: Anything from two copies of "Push It" to Afro-Rican to Eric B was fair game and in the mix. Applying hip-hop techniques to faster, more progressive dance music, Mills’ Wizard sets practically invented the style Detroit street DJs are now known the world over for – ghettotech.

Never wanting to stop progressing, Mills always went deeper: He got into industrial (I even remember him playing "Cocaine Sex" on WJLB), co-founded Final Cut and in doing so, began his remarkable recording career. Later, he co-founded Underground Resistance with Mike Banks and helped start a whole new era in Detroit techno. He’s coming back to Detroit this Thanksgiving and doing a special six-hour set as The Wizard – all old school. This once-in-a-lifetime event will happen Saturday, Nov. 27 at St. Andrews Hall (431 E. Congress, Detroit, 313-961-MELT).

EXTRAS

Drexciya (Tresor), Dopplereffekt (DJ Gigolo), Ultradyne (Pi Gao), Heinrich Muller remixing Le Car, and Japanese Telecom (both on Intuit-Solar) have new records released this month ... keep an eye out. ... Linda G has left Motor to manage Mr. Sports in Redford. Why do you care? Because they have a license to serve alcohol (until 2 a.m., then again at 7 a.m.) and have dancing 24 hours. Trust that world-class DJs and a real sound system will be installed by next month. ... Beginning this Friday, Liz Copeland hosts "DJ Lab" at Lush (10241 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck), featuring some of Detroit’s best up-and-coming talent in an intimate atmosphere. The kick-off party (Nov. 12) features Derek Plaslaiko with DJs such as Magda and Recloose coming up.

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