Underground Resistance  

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Underground Resistance (commonly abbreviated to UR) are a musical collective from Detroit, Michigan, in the United States of America. They are the most militantly political example of modern Detroit Techno, with a grungy, four-track musical aesthetic and a strictly anti-mainstream business strategy. Trading mainstream popularity and financial success for independence and self-determination, for a long time, the members would refuse to be photographed without bandanas obscuring their identities. They espouse a radical, militaristic ethos similar to Public Enemy and have exerted their portion of Detroit Techno's cultural influence towards promoting political activism.

Begun in the late 1980's by Jeff Mills and "Mad" Mike Banks, UR related the aesthetics of early Detroit Techno to the complex social, political, and economic circumstances which followed on from Reagan-era inner-city economic recession, producing uncompromising music geared toward promoting awareness and facilitating political change. Later Robert "Noise" Hood joined the collective.

The early UR catalogue is defined by a typically Detroit combination of Motown and Chicago soul, and ruthless, at times caustic lo-fi Techno, Acid, and Electro (Mills's background is in, among other things, Chicago Industrial and EBM-style Electro-Techno, with Banks and Hood both coming from a solid House and Techno background).

Many of Underground Resistance's labelmate's early releases were the product of various experiments by Banks, Mills, and Hood, both solo and in collaboration, before Mills and Hood left the collective in 1992 to achieve international success as solo artists and DJs. Mike Banks continued to lead UR in the wake of the split, releasing EPs during the mid-1990's such as "Return of Acid Rain," "Message to the Majors," and "Galaxy to Galaxy" under the UR name, as well as 12-inches by increasingly renowned artists such as Drexciya.

Although UR remains largely aloof of the more high-profile American and European scenes, UR tracks have occasionally been released on other labels (usually in what UR metaphorically describe as "reconnaissance" or "infiltration"). The prominent German Techno label Tresor reissued 12-inches from the early UR catalog and a React label compilation featured exclusive tracks from Banks and other UR artists.

The first full-length album credited to Underground Resistance was 1998's "Interstellar Fugitives", which saw Mike Banks redefining the collective's sound as "High-Tech Funk", reflecting a shift in emphasis from hard, minimal club Techno to breakbeats, Electro and even occasionally Drum and Bass and down-tempo Hip-Hop. In 1999, newcomer DJ Rolando released UR's most commercially successful EP, "The Knights of The Jaguar".

In 2002, Kraftwerk released a remix EP of their soundtrack to the Hannover Expo 2000, featuring contributions from Rolando and Banks, making them two of only a handful of producers ever to be given the privilege of remixing Kraftwerk. From 2002 Kraftwerk's live shows featured the group performing UR's remixes compiled in the song now called "Planet of Visions".

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Underground Resistance" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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