May 25, 2016
Modern Cathedrals was founded in Detroit in 2015. While the stylistic attributes of the label could be described as deep, experimental, and drone-influenced techno, the core of the label lies much deeper than dance music. While interpretations are as varied as listeners, the label's founder Altstadt Echo regards Modern Cathedrals as a geographically contextualized exploration of the struggle to find meaning in a world that is fundamentally indifferent to this basic human desire. In older European cities that were once dominated by religious thought, cathedrals loom over the skyline and serve as a reminder of the ideas that used to give life meaning; ideas that many of us have implicitly left behind. Detroit, as a struggling post-industrial city, is involved in a constant dialogue between desperate hope and gradual decay. Excluding pockets of downtown commercialization, it is the scattered shells of empty manufacturing facilities that elicit the feeling that this city also placed its own worth in an idea that turned out to be a false promise. In this way, they serve as the city's true cathedrals. The artists releasing on Modern Cathedrals utilize experimental techno as a medium to explore the creation of meaning without reliance on the dogmatic pursuit of temporary ideals. The result is functional-but-challenging dance music crafted without the need for a saccharine reliance on tried-and-true techno tropes or the fabricated themes of peace and love that plagued rave music. Instead, it attempts to create an authentic interpretation of the imperfect human experience that we all live, both in Detroit and beyond.