Itís a Sonic revolution
The legendary Detroit collective, promoters of Techno as a force for positive awareness and social change, the most militant, the most political Techno producers, soldiers against corruption, racism, and the proliferation of mediocre audio and visual programming, mixing music and social activism to an extent never seen before or since, outside Hip Hop. Itís the live incarnation of UR.
The group, label and production company were founded in 1989 by "Mad" Mike Banks, Jeff Mills and Robert "Noise" Hood as an independent outlet for the Detroit sound they adapted to complex social issues; particularly the depressed downtown neighborhoods of their own city. Most of the labelís early output was Banks, Mills and Hood, solo and in various permutations; their sound was shaped by the legacy they inherited - a Detroit combination of Motown, Chicago soul and caustic, lo-fi techno. The influential UR releases from the early 90s sparked the second wave, the renaissance of Detroit techno.
UR started releasing records in 1990 with UR001 Your Time is Up
by Underground Resistance feat. Yolanda, a vocal house record from Mills, Banks and Yolanda Reynolds (re released later on Clone). Early UR defined the stripped down, anonymous, DIY aesthetic, refusing to be photographed or identified in the early days, the masks and bandannas adding to the guerilla mystique.
In later years, UR releases occasionally leaked into other contexts (usually under the guise of "reconnaissance" or "infiltration"), with a strong connection in particular to noted Berlin label Tresor in the late 90s. Suburban Knight, Blake Baxter, Jeff Mills, The Vision, Drexciya, and Scan 7 have all released records on Tresor, and Drexyia also appeared on the Dutch techno imprint, Clone.
Mills and Hood left UR (and Detroit) for New York in 1992 to pursue (and achieve) international success as independent artists. Banks took the helm and continued to build the label, releasing EPs such as Return of Acid Rain
, Message to the Majors
, and Galaxy to Galaxy
under the UR banner, as well as 12-inches by increasingly renowned artists such as Drexciya.
Rearrange the parts of Banksí UR and you get Galaxy2Galaxy, or Timeline, or the Interstellar Fugitives - live bands and DJs originally formed as a collection of some of URís hottest producers organized around a theme. After the concept was formed in 1998, The Interstellar Fugitives album was first full-length release on Underground Resistance the same year. The late 90s saw the collective's sound redefined as High-Tech Funk, reflecting a shift in emphasis from hard, grubby, 4-track Techno toward breakbeats, Electro and other influences. In 1999, newcomer DJ Rolando released UR's most commercially successful EP, The Knights of The Jaguar
, the latin inflected classic.
Interstellar Fugitives have appeared increasingly frequently in Japan (liquid room, metamorphose) and Europe, though their first live show in the US was in 2006. The show blends DJs with live band performance throughout the night, with a heavy video component courtesy of Frankie Fultz, aka the Illustrator, who was responsible for much of the art from URís early years. A second Interstellar Fugitives album was released in 1995 Interstellar Fugitives 2: The Destruction of Order Ė a high concept, sci-fi record about order and chaos.
The name Galaxy2Galaxy originally referred to Mad Mikeís legendary techno-futuristic EP from 1993, and has since been used on several compilations as pseudonym for Banks, but since 2005 has been used for various members of Underground Resistance playing live, using the same concept as Timeline.
The line up will include: Gerald Mitchell, aka Deacon, keyboardist and member of UR, Galaxy2Galaxy, Timeline and Los Hermanos, Raphael Merriweather Jr, aka The Unknown Soldier, aka M.I.A, formerly of the Tek Brothers, Cornelius Harris, aka Atlantis, aka the Unknown Writer, URís main MC and member of Galaxy2Galaxy, the mysterious Mad Mike (Mike Banks), father of UR and great pioneer Detroitís Techno scene, James Pennington, aka Suburban Knight, Milton Baldwin, aka DJ Skurge.
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