A Work-in-progress screening of "God Said Give Em Drum Machines" with director Kristian Hill and producer Jennifer Washington
In the 70’s, Detroit was struggling, but the club scene was thriving and everybody was dancing to disco music. Soon after, the innovative DJ culture set the stage for a group of friends to start tinkering with early electronic instruments. All of a sudden a new type of futuristic music was born taking the underground dance scene by storm.
DJ/Producer, Juan Atkins, known as the Originator, created the term Techno. He was later joined by Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, Eddie Fowlkes, and Santonio Echols. As collaborators, they released local hit after local hit and finally caught the attention of some eager Europeans.
In 1988, London based record label owner Neil Rushton came to Detroit searching for gold, found it, licensed it and sold it overseas, taking the group of friends and their burgeoning industry with him on an overseas quest for bigger and brighter things than Detroit could offer.
Techno became an overnight sensation and so did Juan, Kevin, and Derrick. But it didn’t happen for the rest. When the money entered the picture, friendships were broken, leaving them fractured as a group, with no collective bargaining power in the music business. With no knowledge of publishing and licensing, Blake, Eddie and Santonio, whose contributions went largely unrecognized and uncompensated, were left in a state of heartbreak and despair to this day.
By the late 1990s, dance music changed and so did Detroit. Techno had long been forgotten and secretly became a mere export, with no new audiences being cultivated. Manufacturing jobs were sent to other countries, and unemployment and crime hit a new high. Hip Hop became the new sound, and the new underground culture provided illicit means for the youth with no direction in the city.
Today, Detroit is largely unrecognized for the creation Techno, which was the beginning for what is now known as the $7.4 billion dollar business of EDM. As of 2017, there are no African Americans listed as top earning artists.
The founders eventually discover brotherhood and betrayal don’t always mix on the dance floor. Now over 30 years later, they fight to keep their legacy and music alive in a city that is only now giving them their due recognition.
Join us for a presentation on the making of the film, a rough cut screening and conversation with Director Kristian Hill and Producer Jennifer Washington to follow.
247 S. State Street, Daley Building
5:30-6:15 A Presentation on the making of the film
6:15-7:00 Work-in-progress screening
7:00-8:00 On-Stage Conversation.
All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. Doors will open a half hour before the event begins and the RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status. If there are additional seats, and you have not RSVPed, we will admit on a first-come, first-served basis after all rsvps have been seated.
247 S. State Street