Fat Tire


September 11, 2012

Detropia Premier (Soundtrack) + Congress’ Maker

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Written by: Jeff Milo
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Two things this week:

Detropia is a surreal insight into the accelerated depletion of Detroit, in manufacturing, financing, and in population, directed by the Oscar-nominated creators of Jesus Camp, exploring what the Motor City’s stalling could mean for the rest of the country and what can be salvaged from its various overlooked shards, from its still dedicated community members –in culture –in business –in solidarity.

Detropia debuts Friday night at the Michigan Theatre and features a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack of original songs, ambient, trip-hop-tinged, atmospheric electronica movements, composed by Detroit producer/emcee/visual artist Dial81.

“…you know those movies when you feel like you’re in them after it’s over,” reflects Dial81 (a.k.a. Blair French), “yeah, that feeling ….plus the fact I actually am in the movie.”

Real surreal.

The album, available via 300-limited edition first run colored vinyl (with a digital download card) via new Royal Oak based label UHF Records, was recorded in Detroit (and Clawson and Hamtramck), mastered in Ferndale and pressed in Detroit – with artwork by Rod Jones—whose done work for the White Stripes). Very local!

Dial81 rose to the challenge of soundtracking his city, evoking a dark, dreamy but overall meditative opus suggesting a twilight-ish vibe, ambient light from orange-glared factory floodlights, the distant clangs of rusty steel trucks and the whir of rubber-wheels on craggy pavement. Having thrived in the hip/hop genre, Dial81 was able to explore the experimental/ambient penchants of his musical persona with this project.

The documentary has already won some awards (Best Editing at Sudance as well as the Special Jury Prize at Tel Aviv). Says Dial81: “It has the ability to pull heads out of asses and actually see where we are…a lot of politics, egos, but most importantly: love.”

“The directors did a good job of not exploiting the city, but also didn’t add a bunch of frosting on top.”

Come see where we are and where we might be going…as well as swoon to the mesmeric, synth-swirled, dream-drones of Dial81’s latest batch of music -in Detropia: Friday at the Michigan Theatre.

More info:



Listen: - Dial81 – “Metal Ideas Taste Circle” (from Detropia Soundtrack):



Congress coming out of the studio sounding crisp (as they can) and cleanly mastered, culling the swaggering chaossorock riffage of these 90’s-punk-tinged, keyed-up scruffians.

Somewhere between a subtly sludgy 70’s rock slam, soaring 90’s denim-flayed balladry, spindly-surf-toned guitar wizardry and rattled-up post-punk hallowed howls, Congress seem to have ignited –yes, a certain spark of the quartet’s chemistry- inside the studio at Worm Farm (with Brad Perkins), wobbling and wailing with a cool, confident, right up at you with a grip and yank of your collar kind of slice. Their songs can be cutting and sliding along with such a neo-indie-funk coolness, on such a fine groove under those raspy belts but suddenly explode into flat out stratospheric psychedelic firestorms. Ah, the reverb.

“Eric (Gallippo) is a magic-hat riff-maker,” said singer Jim Cherewick. “And Ed (Golembiewski) knows what to do with the magic. And (Aaron) Quillen puts this shit on a landscape. Pleasures and valleys and caves.”

Info: http://congressmusic.bandcamp.com/


Congress – Live @ Woodruff’s- performing “Kissing Upstairs”

Filmed by Alexander Thomas

…^bolstered by a proper/conceptual music video:

By Trevor Walters

About the Author

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff is another awesome member of the iSPY team.

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