Drexicya -> Re: [rumori] Black to the Future: Afro-Futurism 1.0

From: DJ WeirdKnobNow (djbrokenwindowATyahoo.com)
Date: Tue Nov 05 2002 - 00:00:26 PST

Highest-Order Current Afro-Futurism --> DREXCIYA:

... and the rest of detroit techno's first thru third

> the
> Other --
> the stranger in a strange land -- would seem
> uniquely suited
Drexciyans! 'suited' is a good pun as well!

> in a very real sense, the descendants of alien
> abductees
Drexciyans! They became an 'alien' race as
descendants of Africans, whose being thrown overboard
from slave ships led to an underwater race of 'gill
men' living like Atlanteans...

> Afrofuturism, it must be sought in unlikely places,
> constellated from far-flung points. We catch a
> glimpse of it
> in the opening pages of Ralph Ellison's Invisible
> Man, where
The Drexicyans are 'invisible men' in that they emerge
from the water-drainage system and infiltrate the US
and are never seen due to their advanced stealth

> and Bernie Worrell's Blacktronic Science, whose

Drexicyan track titles are clearly influenced by
mid-70's P-Funk albums and art that was...

> records steeped in "imagery drawn from
> computer
> games, video, cartoons, sci-fi and hip-hop
Also all those Parliament-Funkadelic recs in the 70's!

> Techno, whose name was purportedly inspired by a
> reference
> to "techno rebels" in Alvin Toffler's Third Wave, is
> a
> quintessential example of Afrofuturism. The genre
> was
> jump-started in the Orwellian year of 1984 in
> Detroit,
> appropriately enough, a city equally famous for
> Motown and
> the mechanical ballets of its spot-welding robots.
> The
> Ur-tune,

UR is the label and lineage of the Drexicya duo.

> "Techno City," was hacked together by Juan
> Atkins,
> Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May, a band of
> button-pushers
> who went by the name Cybotron. Matthew Collin notes

Incorrect. Cybotron was a duo with a synthesist
(whose name escapes me) who was not part of the first
wave aka May/Atkins/Saunderson nor was Afro-American
May/Saunderson were never in Cybotron, in fact
Cybotron was a pre-techno project closer to the
electro of Kraftwerk and a mix of P-Funk, disco and
new wave sound.

"Techno City" is written after Atkins left Cybotron
and is rather late in the 'techno' word references.
Man Parrish's "Techno Trax" 1982, Techno-Hop 'electro'
label in '84. 'Techno' as a popular descriptive word
for all-things-embracing technology may have been
brought back into use with Toffler's stirring _Future
Shock_ in the 70's, but the musical reference to that
first wave was clearly stepping of 'electrofunk'
already using the word quite a bit. It was the
removal of certain elements and the focus on pulsing
synthetics (less electrofunk backbeat, more disco)
that made the more 'techno'ey electro tracks spawn a
new genre. But, yes, Atkins/May/Saunderson's first
tracks were exactly that stepping out...

Sorry to get all detailed; I've just been following
this exact area of music obsessively since '82. ;)

> 'Berry Gordy
> built
> the Motown sound on the same principles as the
> conveyor belt

...heck, even more obviously, he owned some very large
modular synthesizers! He loved weird technology,
acquired early gear from Raymond Scott and Moog, I do

I just had to mention Drexciya, as this mysterious
project is like quintessential current Afrofuturism
that you can see direct connections to techno,
toffler, p-funk, sun ra, ellison.. when you become
really familiar with their music. These guys are
geniuses... heroes, imo. I only just learned this
word "afrofuturism" from this thread, and it makes Oh
So Much Sense! Thanks! Still, while there seems to
be Hispanic Futurism / sci-fi also, I'm inclined to
just call all of it "Futurism" with it just different
social issues being addressed/incorporated.

I would say that Drexciya is *more* quintessentially
"Afrofuturism" than the first wave techno guys because
they actually mask their real identities behind an
entire science fiction story about
the "Drexciyan" race. The early techno Detroit 3 were
not so hardcore about it. Again, look at that



(btw, Drexciya's James Stinson died recently
unfortunately... his identity as part of Drexciya only
significantly becoming public knowledge after he has
passed away, that is how mysterious Drexciya's
anonymity has been all these years!)

dj brokenwindow

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