Detroit Techno Pioneer Jeff Mills, From the Underground Resistance to Scoring Silent Films

In Episode 27 of Essential Conversations, electronic music pioneer and co-founder of Underground Resistance, Jeff Mills, discusses starting the collective and the challenges of working with classical musicians.

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Jeff Mills is one of the pioneers of electronic music. In 1989, he co-founded the Detroit electronic music collective Underground Resistance. Known for both their sound and their attitude, the impact of the Underground Resistance spread well beyond Detroit. Over the next 30 years, Mills would produce and perform music for international audiences.

As of late, he has been scoring classic silent films like Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis.”

In this episode of Essential Conversations, Mills talked with Ann Delisi about the Detroit collective he helped start, the early days of radio, and the challenges of working with Classical musicians. 

“It was euphoric. The kids at the time all felt that something new was happening.”  — Jeff Mills, on playing for European audiences in the 1990s

In this episode

  • Co-founding Detroit electronic music collective Underground Resistance
  • Playing electronic music for European audiences in the early 1990s
  • Working with classical musicians
  • Writing scores for silent films like Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”

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  • Ann Delisi

    Ann Delisi hosts Essential Music, the Essential Conversations podcast series and the Essential Cooking broadcast and podcast. Born and raised in the Motor City, Ann is a broadcaster, interviewer, producer, music host, storyteller and proud Detroiter.