Detroit, of course, is the home of techno. It’s also where the term Techno Soul first cropped up, courtesy of Detroit techno originator, Eddie Fowlkes.
Eddie Fowlkes is the history of Detroit Techno and not just because his handprints are cemented on the Detroit Historical Museum’s “Legends Plaza.” His 30+ years of moving a dancefloor and his 150+ deep catalog of soulful classics speak for themselves. After attending a 1978 Charivari party with his older sisters where he saw DJ Darryl Shannon mixing records, Eddie requested a mixer for Christmas. From that time on he mastered the art of DJing leading to his first release in 1986. That release on Metroplex Records, “Goodbye Kiss,” helped establish what would come to be known as Detroit Techno. In the 1980s, he performed with three turntables, a mixer, wah-wah pedal and the 808 & 909 drum machines and this revolutionary style of DJing pushed the boundaries of what a disc jockey could be.
In 1993, Eddie Fowlkes found a name for his distinct sound: Techno Soul. Techno Soul is Detroit techno, 70s funk, the Motown sound, Parliament, and Chicago house. Eddie’s DJ sets reflect his productions that are an evolution in one track, from house to techno and back again. Eddie has many recordings and remixes on major labels and independents dating back to 1989 (Elektra Records, Sony, BMG, Warner Brothers, Azuli, Tresor, P.I.A.S). Of the Detroit originators, Eddie is not simply just a great DJ or just a great producer – he is equally strong in both avenues. Eddie never rested on his laurels but has always worked hard. He continues to create, to push boundaries, to release music on his two imprints (City Boy Records and Detroit Wax Records), to charm dancefloors worldwide, and to represent Detroit musical talent at its best.
Late this 2018 Eddie will have three 12 inches coming out on his label, Detroit Wax. In 2019, he has upcoming projects with Jeff Mills and Loco Dice, proving the man is as busy and versatile as ever.
Some people think Detroit is just grime and grit, but it’s more than that. So, what does the DJ of Techno Soul do for fun and relaxation? We have asked him to take us to his favorite hangouts:
Doing the backstroke at the neighborhood pool, Windmill Pointe in Grosse Pointe Park. It feels so good to just jump in during the sweltering heat, after a hard day’s work in the studio, and especially coming off tour. This is also the place to go fishing and boating. Oh and they have the best sweet potato fries here!
This is the go-to spot for some good sushi, and seaweed salad—Maru. Good happy hour and great atmosphere also!!! Ask for the Federal Reserve Bank booth for contract negotiations and big pow-wows.
TV Lounge…what can be said about this place? The outdoor patio in the summer is banging and my place when it’s really humid at night!!! Great for people-watching also. The VIP area is the spot to be, especially when good, top, across-the-world DJs are playing.
Beacon Park, a great place for not just individuals, but families also. So many activities here, year-round. It just opened last summer and they have everything from light-up see-saws, food trucks, silent disco parties, live bands, heated tents in the winter, and Detroit-centric vendors. They just opened up a nice restaurant/bar here called Lumen that has a great rooftop garden/bar area.
Campus Martius is a great place to chill and hang out at, complete with a nice fountain, a “beach”, a bar, restaurants and a nice bandshell. People like George Clinton and Steel Pulse have played here and they also show movies at night. The biggest event here, however, is the annual Thanksgiving Tree Lighting, which is also the night that the ice rink opens for the urban kids to enjoy for the winter.