Various – ‘In The Dark: Detroit Is Back’ 3LP [Still Music]

Still catching up on last year’s releases for whatever reason, and proper surprised by how many bits passed us by until now, or, as is this case here, were purchased and sat in the “to-listen-to” pile for way too long. While January slowly gets back to the normal record schedules expect a few of these posts to surface as we rediscover bits that we didn’t give our proper attention to the first time around.

Back in November the Chicago-based Still Music label followed up their 2005 compilation In The Dark (The Soul Of Detroit) (which you can read a bit about here along with the accompanying documentary) with a triple LP compilation titled In The Dark: Detroit Is Back.

With this follow-up released eight years after the original, it will never live up to the watershed moment that many experienced listening to the 2005 release. Back then the artists were breaking out, trying to get some spotlight on the second or third-wave of Motor City producers who were coming through at the time. These guys (some of whom appeared on both releases) are now at their peak for worldwide interest, thanks to a recent resurgence of interest in their arts.

That’s not to say that this isn’t an essential purchase or that the record doesn’t say anything new; in fact it’s quite the opposite. With ‘Detroit‘ becoming a staple for press-release and music blogging 101, the concept of showcasing this wave of artists has a slightly more generic affect. What’s striking about …Detroit Is Back is the unification in sound and spirit of the tracks, that actually smacks away any thoughts that this is a novel cash in.

Stunningly curated, the wax set features Terrence Dixon, DJ 3000, Marcellus Pittman, Alex Israel and Raybone Jones among others are a step in a unique direction, away from ‘Detroit’ as a way to sell records and something to put on and get lost in. You can feel the vibe of the city’s history in some strange way. There is an identifiable sound here, that perhaps we as the market have trivialised through comparisons over the last 24 months.

We’re not going to break it down track-by-track, you’ll have to trust us that everything on this is worth listening to, however a personal highlight which did catch us by surprise came from Mike Huckaby’s brother, Craig Huckaby. Can’t say I’m acquainted with anything more of his work, thought he seems to have been a part of Theo Parrish’s Rotating Assembly Project, and appeared with Pirahnahead and Theo P on a Sound Signature plate in 2012.

Here he is featuring Kelly Hayes on a track titled ‘The Answer’, which opens the A-side and sets a pretty high-bar. Check it below.

Out to the folks who looked after mastering and pressing. I’ve been tearing my hair out at increasingly dodgy pressings (marked, static, or just varying levels) as of late, but this entire collection of tracks came through beautifully.

Apparently there’s also a double CD kicking around, but who can afford to buy on dual-formats?

via Still Music
Back in 2005, Still Music made history by releasing one of the most acclaimed and legendary compilation about Detroit Beatdown music, somewhere between Detroit techno, house and soul. Featuring Rick Wilhite, Delano Smith, Marcellus Pittman, Mike Huckaby, Amp Fiddler and a few more, In The Dark: The Soul Of Detroit showcased a pool of talents that is now established worldwide. Highly sought after, In The Dark was repressed in 2012 and was an immediate success.

This October, Still Music is proud to present the follow up to this great compilation: In The Dark: Detroit Is Back.

Diving again in Detroit’s most talented pool of underground artists, In The Dark: Detroit Is Back brings to the foreground 24 tracks (DCD) produced by the who’s who of Detroit’s thriving electronic music scene. Marcellus Pittman, Delano Smith, Rick Wilhite, Amp Fiddler and Keith Worthy are back along with a few newcomers and familiar names: Terrence Dixon, Dj 3000, Gerald Mitchell, Alex Israel, Craig Huckaby (Mike’s brother), Patrice Scott, Reggie Dokes and a lot more.

Like its predecessor, In The Dark: Detroit Is Back, focuses on techno, soul and house, it is a journey through Detroit’s basement clubs, studios and warehouses, an uncompromising view of one of the most progressive music city in the world.

Detroit Is Back.