Techno was too good, too damn enticing to remain in Detroit forever.
Sure, underground factions wanted to remain local, to keep the sound tied to the city's decaying, post-modern locale - but artists like Rolando always had a bigger vision.
Matching cutting edge techniques to a real melodic flair, his 2000 track 'Jaguar' came close to a spectacular breakthrough. Stalling just outside the Top 40, it became a globally recognisable smash without any mainstream support whatsoever.
A true icon in electronic music, Rolando is set to return to London for a special set this Sunday. Part of the bill for secretsundaze opening party on May 4th, the Detroit icon is certain to have more than a few surprises in store for the Bank Holiday crowd.
Elsewhere on the line up Mosca is set to bring the bass, while Andrew Ashong, Alexander Nut and Virginia will all get the crowd moving.
Also toasting the launch of his new label, Rolando is in celebratory mood. Piecing together a playlist for Clash, the Detroit technician reflected on his roots and also revealed the breadth of his tastes.
Sure, it'll irk the purists but these are seven funky cuts selected by an absolute techno master. What could be better?
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1. Model 500 – Night Drive (Thru Babylon)
This is my standout all-time favourite Detroit techno record. I can remember it in ‘85 on the Electrifying Mojo radio show in Detroit – I remember him announcing it with my finger on the button, ready to record it on my tape deck. It was light years ahead of its time – still is. It has an electro beat but everything else is straight up techno.
2. Pepe Bradock – Deep Burnt
I remember back in 2000 at the very first DEMF I was playing this track and Agent X (Mike Clark) came up to me after and told me he had heard it from outside the arena and it lead him straight in like the pied piper to a sea of people dancing, nothing like you’d ever seen before in downtown Detroit. It’s a hypnotic track, what some would call a leg-kicker. It’s melodic and makes you want to dance; it has all the magic ingredients of a great house track.
3. Beastie Boys – Sabotage
Rock, hip hop, funk all rolled into one. This cool video takes it to another level. In my top three Beastie Boys tracks...
4. Jeff Mills – See This Way
As Jeff Mills’s fans go this might not be the obvious choice however for me this is masterful, it builds up, strings, doesn’t have a beat, and doesn’t need a beat! It’s multilayered. It’s an anytime anywhere track. It does every emotion all at the same time.
5. Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock
First tuned into this in ‘83 on the Electrifying Mojo radio show in Detroit. This is proper electro – the real stuff not the stuff that came out of Germany. This is the Big Bang of electro, this is where it started. I defy anyone to stay still and listen to this!
6. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Shimmy Shimmy Ya
On a whole other level of hip hop. Self explanatory, a visual spectacle. They broke the mould with him, truly unique. If I could have picked that brain!
7. The Sons of Jaguar – Jaguar (a capella)
This is just for some fun - spectacular, all five minutes 37 seconds! The sheer determination, effort and work these guys put into making this is worthy of acknowledgement. A flattering homage to my original. It’s almost like they had a 48 hour bender and got carried away with enthusiasm – brilliant!
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Photo Credit: Tim Scott
secretsundaze kicks off on May 4th - tickets.