“Detroit’s sonic story is not over,” and the Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC) will see to the longevity of that “sonic story” via the restoration of one of Detroit’s most iconic techno sound systems, that of the now closed Club Heaven.
A non-profit group that supports Detroit’s “sonic heritage through outreach, preservation, education, storytelling, curation, and innovation,” the DSC looks to not only recover, but preserve Club Heaven’s sound system via a newly launched Kickstarter campaign that will fund the system’s renovation.
Seminal artists in Detroit’s techno movement, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson gifted the sound system to the DSC in 2017. The system previously occupied a Detroit basement for approximately 20 years before May and Saunderson transferred ownership of the sound system to the DSC. Now, the group aims to rebuild the system via “electronic archaeology,” which entails replacement of the system’s cables, drivers, amplifiers, horns, and speaker cabinets.
“Since our founding in 2012, Detroit Sound Conservancy has preserved and celebrated Detroit music history from below,” the DSC said. “This means we spend our time telling stories that have rarely been heard outside of our own neighborhoods and local communities and have yet to be included in standard depictions of Detroit’s musical history. This includes stories of Detroit’s queer dance ecosystem from the late 1960s to the present day in which Club Heaven is a key moment.”
A prominent nightclub that doubled as a “safe space” for the queer population in its hey day, Club Heaven served as a sonic sanctuary for black LGBTQ youth, while simultaneously offering an outlet to DJs, club promoters, dancers, and other frequenters of the Detroit club circuit.
Donate to the Kickstarter, here.
Photo Credit: Mixmag