After someone brought up the Eddie Fowlkes track “Move To Detroit” on the 313 mailing list, I found that it was on a Tresor release, and started looking at all the Detroit music that was released on Tresor in the 90s. This got me
thinking — while the primary vector of international dissemination for Detroit techno came from the UK, the Tresor label was crucial, particularly for popularizing the harder side of Detroit Techno. Even in the United States, Tresor releases were an important source of new Detroit music, as Tresor often had wider US distribution than Detroit labels.
The tracks here aren’t all Tresor original releases — many Detroit tracks were licensed from Detroit labels — but I’ve given the Tresor catalog number and date. Two of the tracks are actually by German artists, but that can be misleading as some of Juan Atkins releases were produced in Berlin in collaboration with Mauritz Von Oswald, and Thomas Fehlmann. The influences were by no means unidirectional — just as Detroit artists were hugely influential in Europe, Detroit artists often found new sounds through exposure to European music and culture.
With the rise of the modern ‘minimal’ style centered on Berlin and Richie Hawtin, it’s important to remember the way Berlin and Detroit first formed an artistic affinity, and the way that Tresor in particular helped make the careers and reputations of Detroit artists on the world stage.