Subculture vs Sensu Detroit Weekender
Isn’t every weekend a Detroit weekend at the Subbie in one way or another? It helps, of course, that this party in two parts will see techno innovator and one of the original ‘Belleville Three’ Derrick May make another of his regular appearances at the club, the very night before his one-time discoveries Octave One play a rare Scottish set on the Saturday. Okay, so some Subbie weekends manage to be more Detroit than others.
‘Detroit techno isn’t really the sound of our city any more, it’s more a genre that’s gone all round the world,’ says Lenny Burden, half of the touring Octave One vehicle with his brother Lawrence and one fifth of their studio incarnation alongside fellow siblings Lynell, Lance and Lorne. ‘In the beginning, everyone in Detroit defined how techno was by trying to create our own different sound, our own version of it. It’s hard to add something new to the style these days, though, because so many things have been done already.’
The Burden brothers are, of course, veterans of the original Detroit scene. Growing up listening to Jeff Mills on local radio stations, they worked as tech staff in the seminal Music Institute venue, which is where they met May, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins. It was the former who would release their debut single, the gorgeous ‘I Believe’ on his own label, Transmat, in 1990, paving the way for a career that hasn’t stopped since. ‘It will have been 20 years next year,’ muses Burden, ‘so we’ll be planning a special tour to celebrate, and also reflecting on our own history in electronic music.’