by Steven Reaume
Home from work and sitting in front of the computer catching up on more work, a little overwhelmed by a million little things. It’s been a long day, following many more before that. I prefer it this way – full days, full nights, full weeks.
As I often do I opened my music library and pressed shuffle. Alton Miller’s ‘Can’t Hide It’ starts playing. Nice deep, heartwarming beats. The kind of track that soothes your mind, makes you want to close your eyes and get lost in the rhythm. When he repeats “Touch my soul I can’t hide it”, he speaks the truth. This sound, this music does just that. It almost immediately resets my mind to a balanced state. Cancels out the noise. Lifts my spirit.
It’s a Detroit sound – with a taste that can only come when grown from Detroit’s soil. Music touches our lives from many directions and in many ways. It is the soul of our city. It teaches us, inspires us, relaxes and connects us. We find refuge in the rhythm.
I’ve spent my life immersed in the electronic music scene in Detroit – promoted parties, managed clubs, created art – mostly off the dance floor. The part of the culture that surrounded the dance floor consumed me.
Then something changed.
I can’t pinpoint the moment, the DJ or the party. I moved off of the sidelines and on to the dance floor. In this city, with these artists, this music, you have no choice but to be moved. Eventually it draws you in. It touches your soul, takes control of your body.
D Wynn titled his mix release on KMS ‘Souls in Motion’. On the dance floor, our souls connect, dancing in rhythmic movements. No one does this like D Wynn. He preaches from the DJ booth. At times it is spiritual, uplifting, soul cleansing. Peoples lives can be changed by the experience. Music is the medicine for the soul and Detroit artists are inventors. We incubate genres in our rough, beautiful, inspiring city.
In the late 90’s I was freelancing full-time. Sitting for hours by myself I often turned to the radio for company and inspiration. DJ Minx hosted a radio show on WGPR called ‘Deep Space Radio’. “Welcome. My name is Minx. Let’s Take a trip. A trip not in body but in spirit. Where transmissions from deep space come from within.”, the show began. It presented mixes and interviews with DJs from Detroit and beyond. Some of my best work was inspired by what I heard, and felt, while listening.
Today I position myself on the dance floor in front of an amazing array of new artists, originators and established DJs. They spin a web of beats, dance with me, share the experience. Detroit is still fertile ground for talent. It’s a new breed but just as inspiring. Rooted in the history of all that came before.