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Stateside Podcast: Jeff Mills, the Wizard

Christian Kadluba

There are many reasons why techno speaks to multi-media artist, DJ, and composer Jeff Mills.

“I like intensity and speed and momentum and surprise and mystery,” he said.

Last weekend was Detroit's legendary Movement Electronic Music Festival. Jeff Mills was among the long list of local and international performers

A staple at Movement, Mills is one of the techno originals. He went from gracing the airwaves of WJLB and WDET to co-founding and performing internationally with the prolific group Underground Resistance.

Mills’ journey into electronic music began in the 1980s, a time when technological innovations were more accessible. He said he could feel the acceleration towards the end of the century. It was an exciting time – a time where he said there was space for new ideas.

Four decades later, Mills and other techno musicians have paved the way for a newer generation of musicians.

“It lingered on this idea that maybe an artist from the mid '80s and the early '90s of techno would die out,” Mills reflected. “But I think we are 5-10 years past that point. And a lot of us are still working, still producing, still DJing, still being consistent. And I think it must start to kind of sit in with people that these artists are going to be here until the end.”


Looking for more conversations from Stateside? Right this way.

If you like what you hear on the pod, consider supporting our work.

Stateside’s theme music is by 14KT.

Additional music byBlue Dot Sessions.

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Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Public in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the summer of 2020.