Underground Resistance (UR) have released an album of selections from throughout their 30-year discography. Assembly Unite Resist Change is out now on CD, and it offers a cross section of the challenging and politically charged sound for which the seminal Detroit techno label and collective garnered worldwide renown.
Selections like “Riot” and “Sonic Destroyer” encapsulate the abrasive early ’90s techno sound largely championed by UR. Tracks such as “Kut,” “I Am UR” from their 2007 album Electronic Warfare 2.0 show the group’s sonic diversity, however, deriving influences from electro and hinting at minimal house. The 12 songs don’t appear to be listed in any particular order.
Underground Resistance Revisited
Perhaps no other group of artists was as instrumental to Detroit techno’s legacy in protest music as Underground Resistance. Founded by Jeff Mills, Robert Hood and “Mad” Mike Banks in 1990, the group pushed back on a perceived whitewashing of the genre as it grew popular in Europe by incorporating themes of uprising and disenfranchisement into their releases.
Mills remains one of techno’s most intellectual thought leaders; he’s spent the better part of 2020 reviving his 20-year-running electronic jazz alias, Millsart. November marked the release of Hood’s new album, Mirror Man, which saw him revisit the social commentary of UR’s repertoire. Banks spoke on a Black Lives Matter symposium organized by Michigan Electronic Music Collective in February and has offered guidance to fellow Detroiter Waajeed as he raises funds to open an electronic music institution called the Underground Music Academy.
Assembly Unite Resist Change was released via UR’s in-house distribution company, Submerge.