Over the past week, protests surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin have spilled over into every U.S. state as well as countries like the U.K., Germany, Mexico, Syria and Brazil. Minneapolis techno figureheads DVS1 and Dustin Zahn have weighed in on the matter.
DVS1 (real name Zak Khutoretsky) voiced his support for those demonstrating. “I can’t condone all the behavior surrounding the protests, riots, looting, and violence, but I 100% stand by the reasons this is all happening and I can understand why it’s happening,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “When peaceful protest goes unheard, riots happen, uproar happens. When you don’t hear the voice of someone speaking quietly, they speak LOUDLY.”
Zahn made more pointed commentary, criticizing electronic music influencers for inaction. “I must admit the lack of support from the underground dance community regarding the week’s past events is pretty disappointing considering our culture is entirely indebted to black roots,” his Facebook post began. “The biggest voices in the industry are doing nothing and saying nothing. Your top-tier DJs have made nothing more than whispers and Resident Advisor has barely acknowledged the situation. They should all be ashamed of themselves.”
Compared to the outpouring around the 2018 Tbilisi raids, Zahn asserted that key industry personalities have remained absent from the conversation. “Most popular acts have said NOTHING while others posted an MLK quote, hashtagged George Floyd, and called it a day,” he wrote. “Today’s use of excessive force is 1,000 times the cause everyone fought for two years ago but nobody is doing anything to raise awareness.”
As Selector has recently explored, techno is not only rooted in African American culture but protest as well. Often called “the Public Enemy of techno,” Underground Resistance incorporated themes of uprising into their brand to make social commentary on the whitewashing of black music.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday that Chauvin’s charge would be upgraded from third to second-degree murder. The other three officers present during the incident have been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting.