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Taylor Project "Detroit"

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Published on Jun 28, 2016

Low-fi clip for Taylor Project song “Detroit”, from “Doreen, Doreen” (2015). Download song from bandcamp here (http://taylorproject.com.au/track/det...).
“We will all be unemployed / we are all Detroit”
The lyrics refer to Robert Kuttner’s 2013 article, “We are all Detroit”, which noted that “Detroit is partly the victim of economic trends far beyond its control”. As are we all…

The song comprises a slow soundscape built around a washing machine sample (Simpson top loader), with a 1974 Hammond Sounder from the Brunswick Road Brotherhood of St Laurence, an MPC 500 sequencer, a trumpet, and some cassette tapes from the early 1990s giving advice to immigrants on how to apply for jobs in massively downsizing industries (“That’s it! Tomorrow I’m going down to the CES...”, “everyone seems to be talking about employment these days! one of the biggest problems is that there are more people looking for work, than there are positions available...”)

As with many Taylor Project songs, geography is a central character. “Detroit” is about rust belt Detroit, and post-industrial Manchester, and Elizabeth South Australia, and everywhere in-between. It’s about the car industry, and the everything industry - money moves on, while we stay stuck. Plants in more ways than one.

“We will all foreclose, a mix of fading-fast instinct /
And the roots and leaves of incorrigible pheromones /
On the prairie lawn we reap what we have sown /
We click our heels and grow familiar with the mould /”

The clip features our own long-serving 1980 VC Commodore station wagon (the “Bommodore”) and its sometimes-I-open-sometimes-I-don't-and-sometimes-I-slam-really-dangerously-on-your-head doors. The Bommodore is sort of like a pet to us now. Old Yeller, or Black Beauty, complete with in-built ashtrays for all passengers. The 2016 Bommodore is interspersed with footage of the same model Bommodore/Commodore as it rolled off the Australian (!) production line 36 years ago into a shiny brown and silver car advertisement, occasionally zooming through flames and pedestrian plazas as women (possibly including Deborah Conway) smiled conspiratorially or screamed. Because it was the early 80s and that's what cars were for.

Also featured in the clip are another VC doing elegant paddock burnouts, 1960s footage advertising homes and jobs in Elizabeth South Australia (home of General Motors Holden), and more recent footage from that place. The basic message is every shiny thing you’re sold ends up a shitbox one day. But maybe a lovable shitbox. Alternatively the clip is about the Bommodore driving magically back into its past.

Vocals: Sarah Taylor
Piano: Liz Taylor
Synth: Andrew Bonnici
Bass: Jason Emilionowicz
Trumpet: Jen Pearson
Recorded and produced by: Andrew Bonnici
Mastered by: Andrew Dempsey

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