Pulp | Art around Ann Arbor

The Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO) began as a small community of techno-loving college students and has grown and expanded over the years into a cultural force and community within the Ann Arbor and Detroit music scenes.

And I’m not just saying this because I’m the current president of the organization.

Started in 2013 as the Michigan Electronic Dance Association or MEDMA, today’s MEMCO enables students at the University of Michigan and the local community to learn about the origins of techno in Detroit, creating safe spaces to listen to and dance to, and bring that music to life Members on how to hang up.

Even when MEMCO members leave Ann Arbor, there is a bond that ties them forever to the city, and these alumni bring their collective experience and knowledge to their own new endeavors. Over the past year, former MEMCO members have started labels, continued music projects, and got involved in their new communities while always remembering where they came from.

On November 20, the current MEMCO crew will host their annual Triple Threat Party with Maize Collective and WCBN-FM with Shigeto, Paul Simpson, Miguel Cisne and Kilala in the DJ booth at Club Above in Ann Arbor.

But first, here’s another type of triple threat: an update on a trio of post-MEMCO projects:

Moods
Moods is a community-curated mixtape series by techno fans, DJs, producers and bookers that show their roots and origins outside the genre. It’s a space to show where these artists came from and why it’s so important.

Moods is one of the most famous ways the MEDMA / MEMCO community stays connected. In 2017, Daniel Sharp, former MEMCO president founded Moods, and the first season kicked off with MEMCO alums Lorelei and Fabiola. Moods asks each person who does a mix, “Where are you geographically from?” Often times, the person has a connection with Ann Arbor. Whether they started here or ended up here, the Detroit and Ann Arbor influence is present in every mix. The fourth year of mixes began with a selection of tunes by former MEMCO President Miguel Cisneros.

Finjams on the 8-ball radio
8-Ball Radio encompasses a variety of musical subgenres and talk radio, offering a unique hour-to-hour, seven-day-a-week experience. 8-Ball Radio also engages with the community through live broadcasts such as music shows, festivals, lectures and political gatherings, art exhibitions and neighborhood get-togethers.

Former MEMCO President Jordan Stanton returned to New York after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2020 and it wasn’t long before he found a music community on 8-Ball Radio. In the middle of the quarantine, Stanton asked former MEMCO member and producer Gilad Granot to start a radio show together: Finjams – named after the finjan, a Turkish coffee cup. The two had experience as a DJ together at MEMCO and on WCBN’s Crush Collision Show, where they bonded through music and their love of coffee culture and Middle Eastern cuisine. Stanton, who has a more electronic music background, and Granot, a classically trained musician, love to share different genres of music and the stories behind the songs. They hung out with friends and listeners in the 8-ball chat room during their radio show, but more recently the two have invited friends and family to the show every Sunday, accompanied by a spread and coffee. Their goal is to eliminate the idea that watching a radio show is a private and exhilarating endeavor by involving friends and community members on the program while also creating a cozy space to hang out.

none / such:
none / such is an independent and dynamic label and collective based in Frankfurt, DE, and Ann Arbor, MI, USA. The label’s creative output consists mainly of underground electronic dance music, experimental music and visual arts.

MEMCO alumni Leo Zabudkin and Sam Franz did not take any time off from DJing and producing and shortly after graduating they founded none / such, an interdisciplinary and international label and collective that was founded in Ann Arbor. The label is on the rise, keeping its roots both in Ann Arbor and abroad, to Germany, where Leo is from and currently lives. none / such has published compilations for nonprofits such as the Detroit Justice Center and the Detroit Defense Committee, and has released albums, singles, and EPs from producers No Author, Bielefeld Murder Boys, and Jack Withers.

Although they have all left MEMCO, the people behind Moods, Finjams and None / Such continue to work together. Recently, Moods and Finjams in NYC teamed up to host a community event with DJs, free coffee, and a pop-up record store. Finjams Radio has hosted None / Such and MEMCO, and the label continues to feature MEMCO members and alumni on their tape series.

Time and again, MEMCO proves to be not just a student organization throwing parties, but building a lifelong connection with Ann Arbor.

Katy Trame is a student, poet, and music writer for Pulp and The Michigan Daily.

MEMCO, Maize Collective and WCBN-FM present Triple Threat at Club Above, 215 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, on Saturday, November 21st, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. with Shigeto, Paul Simpson, Miguel Cisne and Kilala in the DJ booth.

Related:
➥ “ANGELI and Scary Steve team up with Jordan Stanton for ‘They Take IV’ music video” [Pulp, September 2, 2020]
➥ The documentary “Impulse Ann Arbor” explores the present and history of the city’s techno music scene ” [Pulp, December 4, 2019]

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