Celebrating Black History in Electronic Music

February is Black History Month. Join us in celebrating the inextricable link between Black history, artistry and and electronic music. 

"(techno) is also Black because Black people made it. It’s this confusion of the Kraftwerk thing and the whole German thing, that was techno too. . . It was inspiration for us, and we fed off that. And we came up with our own style and called it [Detroit] techno.” - Marcellus Pitman 
 
Read: Timeline of Detroit Techno - Carnegie Hall 

“[the house scene at the Warehouse] - it was predominantly black, predominantly gay, age probably between 18 and maybe 35. Very soulful and very spiritual, which is amazing in the Midwest because you have those corn-fed Midwestern
folk that are very down-to-earth.” - Frankie Knuckles

Read:  Frankie Knuckles on the Birth of House Music  - Red Bull Music Academy

 

"[electronic music] allows a chance to be free, to be able to dance. That’s what electronic music is, you’ve probably been and seen different performers and you know people are just going crazy because they way it made them feel. And you know electronic music tends to do that, dance music, that is what it’s for. It’s not to sit back and relax to." - Stacey 'Hotwaxx' Hale 

Read: Meet Stacey 'Hotwaxx' Hale, 'The Godmother of Modern House' and one of Detroit's Preeminent DJ's  

 

 

“Most of the scene in Chicago was a black scene. The underground house was all black. I didn’t even see  a mixed scene until I went to London.” -  DJ Pierre 

Watch: Frankie Knuckles & The Origins of House - MixMag 

 

“The importance of the soundsystem is that it comes from the Windrush generation, from the West Indies, and we learned that culture and carried it on and it’s in jungle and drum ‘n’ bass today in the form how people produce music that is soundsystem ready –, it’s important to make that connection and keep the dialect and why we can’t call it anything other than Black music.” - Marc Mac 

Read: The Gentrification of Jungle - MixMag 

 

“…Black, Queer, Femme and non-binary people invented the modern day genre’s [electronic music]  arrangement, composition, production and distribution. They have and continue to undergird distressed communities sonic landscapes; enlivening social movements and seeding multi-million dollar markets. “ - George Aumoithe,  Professor of History and African American Studies, Harvard University 

Watch: A Black History of Electronic Dance Music - Harvard University 

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