Jenn Nkiru explores the origins of Detroit techno in Black To Techno



Tapping into the rhythm of the Motor City.

Artist and director Jenn Nkiru’s new work Black To Techno has debuted in full online.

Black To Techno delves into the origins of the genre in Detroit, drawing parallels between the machine-like production lines of the city’s manufacturing heritage and the roots of black music in drum patterns and percussive variation. It features contributions from pioneering spoken-word and hip-hop group The Last Poets and Detroit DJs Stacey Hotwaxx, DJ Minx and DJ Holographic.

Exploring how the music found kindred spirit in the post-reunification Berlin of the early ’90s, the film weaves together a multi-layered narrative, structured with a nod to public access television.

Black To Techno is one of four films commissioned by Frieze in their Second Summer Of Love Series, which includes Jeremy Deller’s acid house documentary Everybody in The Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992. All four films were premiered at The Store X in Berlin for Gallery Weekend 2019.

Premiered at The Store X, 180 the Strand in London earlier this week, the film screening was appended with a Q&A, and a DJ set from UK producer and 2000Black label owner Dego. You can check out photos from the night below and watch the film in full above.