Driving into town from Metro Airport, we put on the radio and heard right away Trans-Europe Express from Kraftwerk. This was then followed by a Parliament track and a Funkadelic track (George Clinton).
For us this almost summed it up, as these were primary influences for us in the 70s. Funkadelic were based in Detroit, and the influence of Kraftwerk on the young experimentalists who eventually "invented techno" is vast and well documented.
I mentioned this to Derrick May who explained that we had been listening to The Electrifying Mojo, who was a very influential radio DJ in the early 80s and who had just started on the air again.
One of the highlights of our trip was meeting Mike Banks (Underground Resistance), who also mentioned The Electrifying Mojo and said he had been a positive influence on a whole generation of young people in Detroit and had been one of the founders of techno.
Why do we like working with Detroit artists? It's because as musicians we feel that Detroit music is the deepest, wildest and most avant garde style to grow out of dance music. For us it represents the pinnacle of creativity, coupled with a deep and unbridled funkiness.
Why do Detroit artists like working with System 7? Hard for us to answer, but it must be something to do with the fact that we are musicians, and despite the abstract nature of Detroit techno there is also a respect for musicianship via early electronic jazz (Weather Report, Miles Davis etc) and a desire to experiment with the unique System 7 sounds that we can supply.
Interestingly enough, Mike Banks once played guitar for The Brides of Funkenstein, a Parliament offshoot.
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