KEVIN SAUNDERSON by Marie Staggat
The title of Marie Staggat’s photographic journey through Detroit electronic dance music history — that is, the techno and house artistry that helped change the world of sound as we know it — says it all.
CITY2 by Marie Staggat
313ONELOVE represents what this journey is about.
City21 by Marie Staggat
The 313 refers to the phone code that precedes all proper Detroit numbers.
PAUL HILL by Marie Staggat
And “one love,” well, that needs no further explanation, does it?
FELTON HOWARD by Marie Staggat
But how did this story begin in the 313?
De‘Sean Jones by Marie Staggat
And why did it inspire the kind of passion and desire in a Berlin photographer to make her come to this city seven times on her own dime to shoot artists and supporters, do landscape and architectural detail shots of city locations and collect paintings, poems, song texts and other Detroit ephemera — for a self-published book, no less?
ECTOMORPH by Marie Staggat
Answers to those questions are not easy.
Dez Andres 2 by Marie Staggat
I was here, in Detroit, writing about music as it happened then, my ear pressed to every cool local scene.
Chez Damier by Marie Staggat
Or so I thought. I’ve confessed often this one critical, salient point: techno was a new sound language that few of us, including me, understood then.
JAY DANIEL by Marie Staggat
It appeared to come from no place, made by no people.
Carl Craig by Marie Staggat
It had no handles, no hooks, no pretty words.
MIKE GRANT by Marie Staggat
Perhaps it was, to paraphrase Mike Banks of Underground Resistance, a siren call from the future.
ROD MODELL by Marie Staggat
But first, a tiny bit of history: what happened in Detroit beginning in the early 1980s started with little prior warning.
DJ Godfather by Marie Staggat
As happens with movements that are later regarded as revolutionary, only a handful of people were involved in techno’s birth and nurturing.
Carol Marvin by Marie Staggat
The stories are well documented, I won’t repeat them all here.
Dez Andres 1 by Marie Staggat
Suffice it to say a radio tastemaker (the Electrifying Mojo) inspired some kids (the Belleville Three — Juan Atkins, Kevin Sanderson and Derrick May — plus another kid from Detroit, Eddie Fowlkes) with innovative programming that brought white artists like the B-52s, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk into a sophisticated, urban dance party context.
CITY12 by Marie Staggat
Glammy, gender-bending and mind-expanding funk by Prince and George Clinton were also part of the blend that make up techno pre-history.
DJ PSYCHO by Marie Staggat
Tap back further into the mid-1970s, when disco ruled the dance underground in New York, Chicago and Detroit, and there you have the origins of house music.
A Blaktony Horton by Marie Staggat
The first techno records were strangely out of sync with much of the musical output of the 1980s.
ZANA SMITH | SPECTACLES by Marie Staggat
They were dark, cold, futuristic, with scant information, often anonymous, largely wordless.
CITY6 by Marie Staggat
They reflected where they were made, in Detroit, an industrial goliath in decline, also increasingly out of sync with the world.
DJ MINX by Marie Staggat
But if the stripped-down architecture of the sound was mostly chill, the community that developed around it was not.
GERALD MITCHELL AKA LOS HERMANOS by Marie Staggat
Techno might be the first kind of music that was not meant to be heard so much as experienced in a union of mind, heart, body and soul.
KAI ALCE by Marie Staggat
First, artists created the sonic energy to build a new kind of community dance floor ...
Detroit Techno Militia by Marie Staggat
... then the dancers helped it evolve and multiply into an unstoppable global cultural force.
A Number Of Names by Marie Staggat
To be sure, every day there is someone, somewhere in the world dancing to this music that has its roots firmly planted in Detroit.
Gregory Collier by Marie Staggat
Look at Marie Staggat’s photos.
RAY7 by Marie Staggat
The hands, the ears, the faces of artists, the built environment of the city that is a partner in the creation of this music: what you’re seeing is love for the people and love of the place they come from.
Octave One by Marie Staggat
There are over 180 pictures in all.
MARK FLASH by Marie Staggat
Make yourself comfortable and dig in.
Kenny Larkin by Marie Staggat
There is a lot of history to catch up on, but it’s history that lives on: most of these artists are still in their prime, coming to a club or festival or a community dance floor near you.
NICK SPEED 1 by Marie Staggat
See and feel what the photographer has put onto every page, then get out and participate in it for yourself.
NICK SPEED 2 by Marie Staggat
That’s what this revolution is all about: begun in the 313, a party that continues to spread around the world, all welcome to join together as one love.
Text: Walter Wasacz, Hamtramck/Detroit, November 2015
Photography: Marie Staggat