I had always planned on taking a more behind the scenes role, inevitably making room for young generations to propagate the music industry of Detroit. What I didn’t plan was the way in which this would manifest itself. Here’s what happened…
Not sure if it’s insomnia, or the fact that I’ve been working in bars, nightclubs & concert venues most of my adult life, but I have a difficult time sleeping normal hours of the evening. I feel like I’m on top of my game during the middle of the night. I’d rather go to work at 9 PM versus ending my work day at 5 PM. Waking up at five feels natural to me, actually. What really did it IMO was those black & white Kung Fu movies they used to show on Channel 20 during the middle of the night (way-way) back when I was a child, keeping me up all night.
Now, I usually have some form of static or ambient tone (like a fan) in the background to help me sleep. I started noticing a pattern after visiting a few beaches, whenever I would lay down, the heat of the sun and the hypnotic sound of the waves crashing into the shore would knock me out as though I didn’t have a say in the matter.
I used to travel to the Upper Peninsula once or twice a year and stay at cabins in Paradise, Michigan. They are located on the coast of Lake Superior, and the property had stairs you could walk down to a dock, if the sky was clear enough, you could see across the great lake to Canada, where a string of windmills stretched, blinking red lights randomly across the Canadian coast for miles. It was the spot to sit and chill in the middle of the night while everyone else was sleeping.
One evening was super clear and peaceful, I got the big idea to put my Mini DV camera on a tripod and simply record a tape’s worth of blinking lights and waves crashing into the shore. I figured I could use the footage somehow to help me sleep when I needed something to drown out my thoughts. The video quality is horrible, but you can see the blinking lights if you want to put up with it..doesn’t do the setting and scenery justice, but here is the original video file on youtube:
Something ignited a spark in my stupid brains and I got the big idea to release the recording to the public as an experiment. Would people buy this if I created a product and targeted it towards those needing something to listen to while meditating, daydreaming & trying to sleep? There was only one way to find out…
I exported the audio from the video to a .wav file & did a Google query for something along the lines of “blinking lights Canada windmill farm”, which conveniently lead me to the website of a super talented photographer, Mark Cassino, who coincidentally went on a camping trip in the same area, saw what was so intriguing to me and captured exactly what I was fascinated by so creatively. I immediately contacted him via email explaining what I was trying to do, and asked what was required to have permission to acquire rights to use his work for the cover of the project. He quickly responded.
CreateSpace by Amazon was something I was always interested in exploring, and I now felt like I had a reason to test it out. I figured, if I could sell this simple product on Amazon, it would be worthwhile to put effort into more recordings in other categories with larger audiences. I had no idea Field Recordings was a thing.
I no longer visit Paradise like I used to and the stairs leading down to the dock have all been destroyed, but surely the windmills are generating electricity as intended. If you have an opportunity to visit the area…do it.
Within a matter of weeks after designing the product & uploading the files, the first copy sold. A record label was born…visit =QUAL for more…
20 years ago I left my job as Head of Security of St Andrews Hall to pursue another career. My time at “The Hall” introduced me to DJ culture, and I learned how to beat-match for the first time in the basement in The Shelter one evening before doors opened…thank you Tony Ollivierra.
I moved a mile north of Detroit to the City of Ferndale, and discovered a comic book store called Comics Cafe. In the basement was a tiny, record shop called Mo’ Tunes. I got a job at Mo’ Tunes where I worked eight hours a day surrounded by Detroit and Chicago House Music in the form of vinyl records. There were two belt-drive Technic turntables and a crappy mixer…and not many customers due to its awkward location. So, I spent hours upon hours practicing beat-matching and learning from others that worked there, people like Al Ester, Reggie “Hotmix” Harrell and Darryl Harvey.
Charivari 2016 is happening this weekend. One of the main organizers, curators and promoters of the three day festival is Todd Johnson. Todd is also an author of comic books and traditional novels. Mr. Johnson is also the guy who opened Comics Cafe back in the day, and without it, there would have been no Mo’ Tunes. Funny how things seem to come around fun circle.
Electronic music festivals are nothing new these days, but Charivari 2016 will be the first proper festival I’ve ever played. A festival proudly featuring nothing but talent from Detroit. And, I will be proudly playing nothing but new music by upcoming EqualRecordings.com artists and other local heroes from Detroit. I perform Saturday, Noon – 1:00 PM, on the Park Avenue stage. Children and high school students get in free. We hope to see you at Belle Isle this weekend!
Outdoor patio is open with the kitchen serving until midnight! 21+ with ID, Doors @ 9:00 PM, $7!
↓↓↓ MORE INFO BELOW ↓↓↓
A Blaktony Horton
One of underground music’s most enigmatic characters since the mid-80’s, Anthony ‘Blaktony’ Horton first appeared as a member of the house group « Sight Beyond Sight » (Submerge / Soul City / 430 West records). Further discovery in Detroit’s underground presented him memberships within various groups and collectives (Optic Nerve / early Aux 88 / Aux Men / Alien FM / Scan7), recording on labels like Direct Beat, Elypsia, Puzzlebox, Trans Atlantic, Minimal Soul, Night Vision and numerous guest features. Mostly known for his vocals, writings and concepts, DEMF vet-Blaktony places his producers hat on to release on Dockside Records his new house project, « The Caddy Soul EP »…
Raphael joined Underground Resistance in 1998. As M.I.A. he released “Schoolcraft Bump” and began performing with Underground Resistance’s Chaos band. Raphael now records as Ray 7 and splits his time working on productions for UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE, session work on and his new imprint R.P.D. Radio Play Detroit and Nuestro Futuro Records.
John Bileebob Williams
Bileebob creates sexy electronic music featuring vocals, soft & hard synths, hand-made instruments, and life sounds. He has been involved with the Detroit and Midwest electronic music scene since the mid 90’s. He has performed internationally in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Scotland and Nova Scotia as a member of the Detroit Grand Pubahs and Underground Resistance. As a DJ, he blends a seamless mix of all genres, including techno and house, electro and new wave, twisting knobs and tweaking the EQ to the crowd’s anticipated delight.
In the mid-90′s he sang lead for a local ska band, The Exceptions, and released 2 CDs and various comps with them. He has released tracks on UR, SubBass SoundSystem, Plan B Recordings, JiveElectro, THROW and +8.
Black Echo Zone
Black Echo Zone is a creation by Scott McEntyre. Meant to be an effort to meld old classic Detroit Techno sound with new unfamiliar rhythms and beats. When listening to any BEZ collaborations the listener should clearly hear deep bass along with beautiful melodies and driving drums. So escape to a new world of sound and imagination and darkness.
DJ Eric Hinchman
The founder & label manager of EqualRecordings.com, co-founder of the Detroit Bachelor DJS, executive producer & host of the DBDJS & STEP podcasts. Hinchman has worked for record labels Interdimensional Transmissions & Intuit-Solar, and has taught the craft of beat matching at Axis Music Academy. You may have heard his sets at his past residencies at venues like: Velvet Lounge, Magic Bag, Labyrinth, Lush Lounge, 5th Avenue Royal Oak, Groove Room, Buddha Bar or one of many underground dance parties around the mid-west over the past 20+ years. Eric is currently performing & promoting JUST the TIP which takes place the third Friday of each month, at Northern Lights Lounge in Detroit. https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/erichinchman