Techno is a worldwide phenomenon, but its roots are 100 percent in black Detroit. Anyone in the business who doesn’t give props to originators Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson should go back to school, but there isn’t too much out there to tell techno’s true story.
Toward that goal, a team of filmmakers have been hard at work for seven years, gathering old pictures and videos, collecting interviews with key players of the scene’s early days and diving headfirst into the uncomfortable bits as well as the glory days. It’s all in service of a documentary titled God Said Give’em Drum Machines: The Story of Detroit Techno. It’s almost finished, and it looks amazing, but it needs a little help from techno fans to get past the last hurdle.
A Kickstarter campaign has launched in support of the documentary. Organizers are seeking $30,000 for graphics, sound mixing, color, animation and music clearance, among other finishing touches. The all-or-nothing fundraiser ends Wednesday. More than $24,000 has been raised as of press time.
“It has been our personal mission to set the record straight by producing a documentary feature film to bring this important but overlooked part of black history to mainstream audiences,” the Kickstarter states. “Today, Detroit is largely unrecognized for the creation of Techno which was the beginning for what is now known as the $7.1 billion dollar business of EDM. As of 2018, there are no African-Americans listed as top earning artists.”
The film looks to be a landmark in the techno tale. Watch the trailer for God Said Give’em Drum Machines: The Story of Detroit Techno below.