If there is one thing I like more than old school electro shows, it’s Classic Detroit electro shows-in an art gallery! The MOCAD in downtown Detroit would be the destination for the night, and this is where the journey began. An opening of a few new exhibits would be the reason for the event. The gallery was debuting work by Edgar Arceneaux: Miracles and Jokes, Circle Disk Rotation and 22 Lost Signs of the Zodiac, as well as LifeStories- A group exhibition featuring Pina Bausch, Patricia Esquivias, Simryn Gill, Peter Lemmens, Jàn Mančuška and Rachel Mason. This wonderful art gallery on Woodward would have the place buzzing with the avant garde, and to close the night they would invite some legendary musical acts to perform their craft. Truthfully, for me, Aux 88 is all you had to say, but let it be known that it was not the first time I had been to the MOCAD, and it certainly won’t be the last … Wonderfully ran place over there, with some type of thought provoking art for every kind of enthusiast. I strongly recommend a stroll through their hallways whether or not you hear spaceship techno in the connected performance hall… When I entered into the music area Aux 88 was about halfway through their set. If you know about these guys, then I am doing a disservice over-explaining, if not here is a place to educate oneself . Real quick for those in the dark… Basically they are a classic Detroit electro duo formed originally in 1985 under the name RX-7, producing a string of singles and finally settling on the name Aux 88 in 1993.
when I walked in, they were already in full swing with the crowd absolutely loving it, and the sound was on point. Speaking of the sound… Aux 88 actually took the time out to thank the sound-guys for doing what they do, over the mic, and that is something you almost never see … shout to AVG sound for doing a great job! Getting back to Aux 88, I managed to get some decent video of a few classics from their top notch set, which you can check out below. Although it only lasted an hour, it was a hard worked and energetic hour of classic Detroit music. You could tell some old school heads were in the house, and for a minute or two, it actually felt like, dare i say… “back in the day”. Rocking full suits, Tommy Hamilton and Keith Tucker of Aux 88 made the dance floor sweat right along with them, and everyone was happy to feel that warm Detroit heat. Thanks, Aux 88. Thanks.
Next up, to close the night was DJ Spooky. I had to do a lot of digging, but I remember some stuff from this guy from the mid 90s off of his first album “songs of a dead dreamer”. Spooky is one of those rare artists that blur the lines of classification, although he has been credited with helping to birth the genre “illbient”. A huge artistic influence, this guy has always been way out there as far as his audience, and this would certainly be the place one would expect to find him … an art gallery. I watched him set up his pioneer mixer with effects, and his CDJ’S … It wasn’t too long before the first song dropped and he got things going right away. His initial energy was impressive and his turntablist skill was on full display. He was going every way you could think, he started out with hip hop, took it to dubstep, and found a way to get back to old school funk… It was all very mesmerizing, and the constant barrage of effects mixed with record scratching and spin backs seemed to add to the energy. He really had these folks in a frenzy at this place… a set as unique as the venue holding it. My hat is off to you DJ Spooky, well done! Overall the night was great, if anything I just wish it would have started a bit later. 9pm for Detroit electro is a bit early for some of us night owls, but given the location, I completely understand. Thank you creators of art. Thank you!