Detroit Techno Gets All Dirty
As my lovely and charming wife Val and I were getting all fancied up for dinner with friends a few Saturday nights ago, I was excitedly playing the new elpee from The Dirtbombs called Party Store. The track I was so wound up about was “Cosmic Cars,” which opens up with a brutal drumbeat and an open/closed hi-hat being beaten bashed into scrap. Swarf-blasted guitars and bass follow, and before long vocalist Andre Williams is doing his thing, a sore-throated, half-man- half-machine croak: “Sitting in my car, driving very far…”
Out come the Iphones, and the race to search YouTube to find the techno version of “Cosmic Cars” is on. I won, but only because her nails were still wet, I’m guessing. She’s a quick draw on an Iphone. “Cybotron”, I said, hitting play. A tinny robot beat bopped out of my phone and she said “Yeeeaah, that’s the one! How cool!”
This spontaneous and unexpected discovery led to a little YouTube research of Detroit Techno the following day. Turns out, The Dirtbombs (from Detroit) do nothing but Detroit Techno covers on Party Store. Cybotron is represented in that killer “Cosmic Cars” track and in the less filthy, more strummy Dirtbomb version of “Alleys Of Your Mind.” “Good Life” (originally by Inner City) has dance-punk energy enough to sound like a lost B-side of an alternate universe version of The Rapture’s excellent “House Of Jealous Lovers.”
Through the majority of “Party Store”, the dirty techno works as fun rock and roll party tracks. It also might function as a gateway back to the techno you dug (or missed) as a kid.