Über Underground Resistance
Defining Detroit's Underground Resistance is like trying to handcuff a shadow. Part production team, part guerilla art collective and part record label, UR has been operating under a cloak of secrecy since the late '80s, with its rotating membership using myriad aliases. Here's what we do know: UR was essentially the brainchild of Jeff Mills, Mike Banks (aka Mad Mike) and Robert Hood. Right from the get-go, the trio revolutionized techno with a pulverizing aesthetic that reflected their interests in black militancy, Marxist politics and post-industrial sci-fi. Early releases like Riot and Waveform boiled Kraftwerk and Public Enemy down to their rhythmic essences and integrated them into Detroit techno. Mills and Hood departed in 1992, but Banks carried on, pushing UR into electro, avant-technoid boogie, breakbeats, drum 'n' bass and "hi-tech funk." Some of techno's most vital producers have crossed paths with UR's orbit, including Claude Young, Drexciya, James Pennington (aka the Suburban Knight) and others. Despite UR's dystopian critique of modern society, few techno labels have been so committed to digitizing its back catalog of uber-rare singles.