The Dirty Dozen with Mick Collins: Part 3



Here's Micks latest pick, and a seminal piece of techno it is too:

"I had just come back home after a few weeks of visiting relatives, and I was hanging out with my friends. Jerome's brother Kenny came up and started talking about this record he'd heard the night before that sounded like a black version of Kraftwerk. Their sister Stephanie wandered over and started talking about how she'd heard it in a club over the weekend. That was sunday afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon, as I was walking to the local supermarket, I passed a record shop that specialised in Reggae, the only shop of its kind in the state. Today, in place of the usual heavy rocking Yard grooves, he was playing a record that sounded like...well yes, like a black version of Kraftwerk. I walked in and said 'That record you're playing? I'd like a copy, please.' It was one dollar fifty. I had two dollars. The proprietor said 'Mi only 'ave t'ree copies, mon.' I plunked down the money and took one home.

By wednesday afternoon, word was out about this record by 'the black Kraftwerk'. By friday, every copy in town had been bought.

This record barely made a ripple on local radio upon its initial release, but the effects are still reverberating across the years, around the world. 'Alleys Of Your Mind' by Cybotron is the first Detroit Techno record.

It never gets old to me. Playing it now, I still get the goosepimply feeling I got standing in the hot sun in front of that reggae shop, listening to it and realising that somehow, the world was never going to be the same. I remember walking home with the record and thinking 'Something is happening here...Brothers have taken over the machines; we got it now...'

Equal parts Teutonic space rock and Detroit ghetto buttslam, 'Alleys Of Your Mind' heralded a New Day, and one that began right here in my Hometown. This planet ain't been the same since. We Rock: Hell Yeah we do.

It's unclear how many original 7-inch copies were pressed: estimates vary from 750 to as few as 150. I once had a guy in London offer me the record's weight in gold for my copy. He was deadly serious: "You weigh it when you get home," he told me, "and I'll give you that many ounces of pure South African gold, mate". Most people who own a copy tend to not say so too loud; this is Detroit, after all. House producer Moodymann, who keeps his copy framed and hanging on his living room wall, once told me "Man, they could take every piece of gear in this HOUSE and I wouldn't cry too much, but if they touch THIS record? I will shoot every motherfucker IN TOWN if that's what it takes to get it back." I couldn't agree more."

MP3 Cybotron - Alleys of your mind

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