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Image of Dominic Arellano

© Gilles Perrin http://www.gilles-perrin.com/

Dominic Arellano
Founder and Executive Director, Forward Arts

It was amazing twenty years ago. Detroit had a brand and people didn’t know it, people here didn’t understand that. People from Europe had been coming to explore Detroit and techno since the ’90s. There’s a Detroit techno market in Europe, a Detroit hip-hop market in Europe. When my old boss Derek May would go to London, he’d get mobbed. Here he’s just an average Joe on the street. People have no idea that he’s one of the Elvis Presleys of techno music. And people don’t understand that Juan Atkins has these master tapes and he really is the Elvis Presley of Detroit techno. His master tapes are sitting in someone’s basement right now; if a flood happens in the summer, they could waste away. That’s a real shame. People don’t understand they have these really national and historic treasures in the city. They’re living legends and people don’t understand that. You’re starting to see that tipping point, but before that, at least on a major scale, that wasn’t happening. Now people from Europe understood that. People maybe at a small scale like myself and the underground people understood that. Now Detroit is a totally different animal than it was ten years ago. It’s so different in so many ways.

From June 11, 2012, interview