TitleCome Around (feat. Timbaland)ArtistM.I.A.AlbumKala
The second moment, also belonging to the 1980s, is that of Detroit Techno. This innovative music form is, I would argue, one of the most fascinating and most aesthetically successful instances of cybernetic accelerationism. Deliberately couched as a post-industrial Afro-futurism, it aimed to ‘erase the traces’ (Brecht) of the Fordist sound of Motown and to mimic the new robot production-lines that had displaced the remains of ‘variable capital’ (i.e. humans) for ‘constant capital’ (i.e. machines) at Ford. In this way it traced the mutating social space of Detroit – from the ‘white flight’ following the 1967 insurrection, the de-industrialisation that followed, and its own position in the suburban site of Belleville High, where Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson met. Mixing European influences (Kraftwerk, New Order, Depeche Mode, etc.) with the Detroit funk of Parliament / Funkadelic, the result was a singular form that defied the studied reflexes of postmodern collage for an integrated acceleration.
The axes of Detroit Techno were an increase in speed (in bpm) from the previous forms of disco and House and a stripping-out of the humanist residues that often dominated those forms – not least the voice. The singularity of its aesthetic invention lay in this welcoming of the ‘mechanisation’, or better ‘computerisation’, of the aesthetic (which had obviously been prefigured by Kraftwerk’s Man-Machine and Computer World). The apotheosis of the form, at least as I regard it, is the work ‘It is what it is’ (1988), by Rhythim is Rhythim (aka Derrick May). This was, as one semi- ironic description went at the time, ‘dance music with bleeps’. Retaining funk, the insistence of Detroit Techno had the utopian, if not kitsch, elements of sci-fi futurism coupled to the dystopian fragmentation of the city-space (‘Night Drive Thru Babylon’, as the track by Model 500 had it). Again, the equivocations lay in a sense of abandonment: an escape to the future, escape from labour, or the loss of labour and the collapse of the future into permanent unemployment?Speed Machines - Ben Noys (via circulationwithinmyskull)