Roland’s new Mini-Doc gives a rare glimpse into the founding of Detroit Techno

 Roland Corporation announces the world premiere of Somewhere in Detroit, a new short film about Detroit’s greatest musical collective since Motown, the cooperative and record label dubbed Submerge and UR (Underground Resistance). The mini-documentary reveals intimate conversations, providing unique insights into the tight-knit co-op at the centre of Detroit techno—the creators, pioneers, and futurists who embody the spirit of the genre.

Today marked the worldwide debut of Somewhere in Detroit on the @RolandGlobal YouTube channel (watch here). Roland Articles has also published an in-depth story, Underground Resistance, Submerge, and the Detroit Wayfeaturing voices from the documentary expanding on its themes with exclusive anecdotes. Roland and Submerge celebrated the release with private previews of the film at the Detroit Public Library on February 28 and the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week on February 2.

In this compelling short film, Roland, Submerge, and Underground Resistance deliver personable insights into the inception of the Detroit techno collective. Along the way, the documentary examines the waves of Detroit’s creative community, pulling up a chair to sit with individual members as they speak candidly and reflect on their unique roles. Somewhere in Detroit provides meaningful points of view, illuminating the visionary artists driving the movement and spotlighting techno’s African American roots—an often-overlooked narrative. 

Founded in 1989, Underground Resistance provides a crucial platform to amplify the voices of historically marginalized artists and help them explore new creative frontiers. Submerge, born in UR’s wake, globalized techno, helping to propel the sound into the influential genre it is today by distributing records to fans all over the world. Founding members featured in the short film include:

■    “Mad” Mike Banks: Musician, Record Producer, UR and Submerge Co-Founder 

■    Cornelius Harris: UR Label Manager, Cultural Advocate

■    Bridgette Banks: Head of Submerge Shipping and Distribution 

■    Waajeed: Music Producer, Educator, UMA Founder

■    Crystal Mioner: DJ, Submerge Artist Management

■    Kamau BaaqiMusic Producer 

■    Maritza Figueroa-Garibay: Musician, Educator 

■    Saylem Celeste: Music Producer, Quilter 

■    De’Sean Jones: Musician, Educator 

Over the years, Submerge has evolved into a dynamic collective, housing Exhibit 3000—the world’s first and only techno museum—alongside recording studios and a record store, all dedicated to supporting local artists.

Roland has played a critical role in techno’s progression throughout this journey. Iconic Roland instruments like the TR-909 Rhythm Composer, TB-303 Bass Line, and TR-808 Rhythm Composer appear on many early Underground Resistance recordings and remain widely used today. In addition, Roland is currently working with emerging musicians in a pilot program at the Detroit School of Arts to teach electronic music using modern instruments like its Roland AIRA Compact Series.



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