A photographic journey through Detroit electronic dance music history

By Google Arts & Culture

Marie Staggat

CITY5 PANORAMA by Marie Staggat

I am often asked, “Why Detroit?”

CITY4 PANORAMA by Marie Staggat

In 2010, I flew to the Motor City for the first time, my first ever flight all the way to the USA. 

MIKE BANKS by Marie Staggat

I was a newly graduated photographer from Berlin.  

CITY3 PANORAMA by Marie Staggat

I cannot remember if I had high expectations, but what I do remember is that I was filled with great anticipation, more than just excitement.  

TIMELINE by Marie Staggat

It was that butterfly kind of feeling in my stomach, that feeling that makes you just slightly queasy.

Craig Huckaby by Marie Staggat

At that time, I only knew Detroit through the media and through stories.


It was my job at the Tresor Club that introduced me to the Berlin Detroit Connection.

MIKE ARCHER by Marie Staggat

There was a lot of media hype that Detroit was dangerous, dead, and poor. 

CITY19 by Marie Staggat

When I arrived, I couldn’t seem to find any of these attributes portrayed by the media. 

4 HOURS OF LOVE by Marie Staggat

I saw a different side of Detroit. 

CITY01 by Marie Staggat

From the beginning and evermore, it was love at first sight. Unconditional love.

RAUL DJ ROACH ROCHA by Marie Staggat

Tom Linder along with Bill Stacey were my first contacts with Detroit. 


We met at Tresor in the beginning of 2010. 

Generation Next und Big Strick by Marie Staggat

I met the rest of the Detroit Techno Militia crew during a photoshoot on the roof. 


From the beginning, Angie and Tom Linder were like a family to me. 

MODEL 500 2 by Marie Staggat

They always had a bed for me, introduced me to the artists, and Tom accompanied me to almost all the shooting. 

INNER CITY by Marie Staggat

Initially they made all of this possible. Without the two of them, I would have needed another six years to finish this book. 

City11 by Marie Staggat

At the beginning of this project, Cornelius Harris also was a huge supporter. 

Dj Art Payne by Marie Staggat

He connected me with the very first artists I photographed, and he was practically my tour manager on my very first Detroit trip. 

Charivari Group by Marie Staggat

My initial focus was on the artists’ hands and ears. 

DIVINITI by Marie Staggat

Yes, I know it sounds odd, but if you think about it, hands and ears are their tools — in addition to their creative minds and hearts. 


But I am not a doctor who can freeze images of a mind and a heart in time. 


Hands are special to me, not just that we use them every day to get through life: they are more than everyday tools for me. 


They exude life, almost like wrinkles. 

Blake Baxter by Marie Staggat

I am very fascinated by them, and I still find the combination of hands and ears to be fantastic. 

MILTON BALDWIN by Marie Staggat

Upon my return to Berlin, I was completely overwhelmed by my first overseas adventure in the Motor City. 

Davina Bussey by Marie Staggat

I had many gigabytes of pictures and film in my luggage, but how would I continue? 

Amp Fiddler by Marie Staggat

When an artist starts a project, there is often an end goal, perhaps an exhibit. 

Norm Talley by Marie Staggat

No, I wanted to do something special. 

CITY16 by Marie Staggat

Create something, something that would last and continue on, something one can hold in their hands, something to show their children one day, a piece of history to hang on to, and something that could not just be deleted in this digital world. 

CITY18 by Marie Staggat

For these reasons, I decided on a book. 

CITY17 by Marie Staggat

A book that is not just about a period of time in the history of electronic music described in the form of pictures, but a book that will give back to the community that made it possible. 

Kelli Hand by Marie Staggat

The proceeds from this book were used to support music projects for children and teens in Detroit. 

STACEY HALE by Marie Staggat

Today, I am still wildly fascinated by the city of Detroit. 

CITY13 by Marie Staggat

For me, it has a special aura -- an aura that continues to enchant me and hopefully will enchant you. 


A city that is wild, creative, strong and protective of its own, aspiring, sanguine, and authentic, just like the people of this incredible city! 

EDDIE FOWLKES by Marie Staggat

I had the privilege and the honor to meet many special people, people who have changed my life. 

ERIC JOHNSON by Marie Staggat

I am thankful for every encounter, every conversation, every feeling … 

SCAN 7 by Marie Staggat

There were so many unforgettable moments: Ann Saunderson dedicated “Blackwater” to me at the Inner City Concert.

FATHER ABRAHAM by Marie Staggat

I was part of different jam sessions deep in the heart of Detroit ...

Daniel Bell by Marie Staggat

… and I, along with Felton Howard and Pirahnahead, escaped to the Urban Bean Co. restroom when we could not find a quiet place to make a phone call with the Electrifying Mojo. 

JUAN ATKINS 1 by Marie Staggat

From the very beginning, Detroit opened its arms to me with support for my project and a welcoming spirit that was there every time I returned.

JUAN ATKINS 2 by Marie Staggat

I hope you get a sense of Detroit from it. 

MIKE HUCKABY by Marie Staggat

I hope you see the beauty in the city as I do. 

SUGA SHONUFF & FLO REAL 1 by Marie Staggat

And, I hope that the pictures spark your curiosity and that you decide to see the Motor City with your own eyes.

SETH TROXLER by Marie Staggat

To uncover the history and roots of electronic music, to engage the people, to talk to them, and to feel the spirit of Detroit while drinking a Mexican Hot Chocolate at the Urban Bean Café. 

MODEL 500 1 by Marie Staggat

Look at what this project is and what it has become. 

ROBERT HOOD by Marie Staggat

Perhaps you know someone with talent who could be supported by this book project.

DJ BONE by Marie Staggat

It is a love affair with electronic music.

SUGA SHONUFF & FLO REAL 2 by Marie Staggat

A love affair with Detroit. 

Love and respect –

Credits: Story

Text and Photography: Marie Staggat

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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