1986, Chicago. Hot Comics. Inside the sleeve of a Rhythim is Rhythim 12-inch. Private detective Johnny G is always popping up somewhere vital to techno – and now creator Alan Oldham has him set for Berlin 2023.
If techno is more than just the track banging away at the club, it requires some imagination and output – from the fans, the artists, the scene. But then there’s a chance for a flight of fancy around the music’s message.
Alan Oldham aka DJ-T-1000 is a more multi-dimensional being to try to track down than some of his Detroit colleagues partly because of how hyperactive he has been in that sense. If the techno track is the framework, there’s also his copious work done as a visual artist, writer, journalist, radio personality (on WDET) – making press releases for Underground Resistance or art for Transmat. I could say our Instagram-obsessed age has made us miss that larger outline of music, but then that was always the case.
So like a Renaissance type is prone to do, Alan is hitting his stride now. And it’s a great moment for Johnny Gambit, too – the graphic novel character Alan dreamt up in the 80s and has followed obsessively ever since. (Seems I saw him pop up even on a skateboard or two.)
That’ll be Johnny G in the creator’s words – “Miami Vice” meets “Akira” meets “Mister X” in Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS with elements of DARK CITY.” Pow pow pow.
Following the twists and turns of Johnny G’s story through an article in The Face London that popularized techno internationally, onto sake at Richie Hawtin’s new Berlin bar – this almost reads like frames of a graphic novel. But now this week Alan is launching a Kickstarter to debut the new outing, Great Reset.
There’s a graphic novel. There’s a double-disc soundtrack. There’s a t-shirt.
The soundtrack itself is a draw on its own, pairing Alan with other unsung heroes of ours like FBK (check the interview):
Disc 1 features Alan Oldham’s solo music (based on the events of the comic), while Disc 2 is a various artist “inspired by” affair starring the international cast of Nino Sebelic, FBK, Altroy, Blak Tony, Krenzlin and more.
Now that the Kickstarter has launched, you can check out the premiums and follow both the real-life story of Alan’s art and the fictional world of Johnny G. The latter starts out like this:
JANUARY 1st, 1959 and SEVENTH CITY is America’s fastest-growing metropolis. A futuristic dream city built on the ashes of World War II. A testing ground for leading-edge technologies and prototype consumer products designed to be seven years ahead of the general U.S. population, hence the city’s name.
Competely owned and operated by the RAYTHEON CORPORATION, the city fathers and the European expatriate genius inventor MIES VAN DER FLUGT promise a new kind of engine that will provide FREE, CLEAN ENERGY to the citizens of SEVENTH CITY –forever!
On January 1st, New Year’s Day (the day of the Cuban Revolution in our world), the city fathers, with great fanfare, throw the switch to activate the massive RESISTANCE ENGINES deep beneath the city. But an unforeseen SIDE EFFECT occurs. The sky goes red.
Here’s that track for you, by T-1000:
And some more bangers for you from earlier this year:
THE RETURN OF JOHNNY GAMBIT GRAPHIC NOVEL [Kickstarter]