Underground Resistance (band)

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Underground Resistance
Underground Resistance Logo.svg
Background information
OriginDetroit, Michigan, United States
GenresDetroit techno, electro, acid house, techno, ghettotech, acid jazz
Years active1989–present
LabelsUnderground Resistance, Somewhere In Detroit (SID)
Associated actsDrexciya, Marc Floyd, DJ Rolando, James Pennington, Blake Baxter, Chuck Gibson (Perception/Hi-techfunk) and Gerald Mitchell, DJ 3000, DJ Skurge, DJ Dex, DJ S2, The Vision, Buzz Goree, Suburban Knight, The Unknown Soldier, DJ Di'jital and Claude Young, Galaxy 2 Galaxy
MembersMike Banks, Agent Chaos, DJ Roach, Andre Holland, Billebob, Chuck Gibson, Cornelius Harris, Dan Caballero, DJ Buxx Goree, Frankie Gults, Galaxy 2 Galaxy, Gerald Mitchell, Ghetto Tech, ISH, James Pennington, Marc Floyd, Mark Flash, Mark Taylor, Mike Clark, Milton Baldwin, Raphael Merriweathers Jr., Santiago Salazar, Timeline
Past membersJeff Mills, Claude Young, Robert Hood, DJ Rolando, Gerald Donald, James Stinson

Underground Resistance (commonly abbreviated to UR) is a musical collective from Detroit, Michigan, in the United States of America. They are the most militantly political outcropping of modern Detroit techno, with a grungy, four-track musical aesthetic and a strictly anti-mainstream business strategy. They have exerted their portion of Detroit techno's cultural influence towards promoting political activism.


Begun in the late 1980s by Robert Hood, 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. In contrast to techno that preceded UR, UR tried to appeal to lower class African Americans in Detroit. UR’s songs created a sense of self-exploration, experimentation and the ability to change yourself and circumstances. Additionally, UR wanted to establish a means of identification beyond traditional lines of race and ethnicity. By targeting lower class African Americans, UR intended to inspire black men to get out of the poverty cycle in the city. It was about providing new ways for lower class African Americans to form their identities. The Underground Resistance's politics extended to providing alternative identities to inner city African American youth, other than the hyper-masculine, hard and violent identities existing within the city. This was a gendered group, however, and the UR focused their attention on young black men. Another form of UR’s rebellion concerns the rejection of the commercialization of techno. This is evident in the messages scratched in UR’s vinyls, lyrics and sounds expressing economic independence from major record labels.[1] Later Robert "Noise" Hood joined the collective.

As with Public Enemy, there have been intimations that UR's subversively 'militant' approach to music was related to the activities of the Black Panthers in the 1970s, something not entirely accurate as Mills explains in an interview.[2]

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-1990s 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.

UR tracks have occasionally been released on other labels (usually in what UR metaphorically describe as "reconnaissance" or "infiltration"). Many UR member's started their own labels throughout their careers, where they released more of their music.

1998's "Interstellar Fugitives", the first full album credited to Underground Resistance, 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 2000, Kraftwerk released a remix single of their theme composed for the Expo 2000 in Hanover, featuring contributions from the UR artists. Their real names were not mentioned in the credits, but were hidden behind the numbers - 035, 038, 039 & 044, referring to the UR catalogue:

035 – DJ Rolando 038 – Mike Banks 039 – Andre Holland 044 – Gerald Mitchel

From 2002 onwards, Kraftwerk's live shows featured the group performing UR's remixes compiled in the song now called "Planet of Visions".



  • Revolution For Change (1991)
  • Electronic Warfare (1996)
  • Interstellar Fugitives (1998)
  • A Hitech Jazz Compilation (2005)


  • Sonic EP (1990)
  • Your Time Is Up (1990 - With Yolanda)
  • Punisher (1991)
  • Riot EP (1991)
  • Waveform E.P. (1991)
  • The Final Frontier (1991)
  • Living For The Nite (1991 - With Yolanda)
  • Elimination/Gamma-Ray (1991)
  • Nation 2 Nation (1991)
  • Fuel For The Fire - Attend The Riot (1991)
  • The Seawolf (1992)
  • Fury (1992)
  • World 2 World (1992)
  • Message To The Majors (1992)
  • Belgian Resistance (1992)
  • Acid Rain EP (1992)
  • Panic EP (1992)
  • Piranha (1992)
  • Kamikaze (1992)
  • The Return Of Acid Rain - The Storm Continues (1993)
  • Acid Rain III - Meteor Shower (1993)
  • Dark Energy (1994)
  • Electronic Warfare (1995)
  • Soundpictures EP (1995)
  • Ambush (1997)
  • The Turning Point (1997)
  • The Infiltraitor (1997)
  • Codebreaker (1997)
  • Radioactive Rhythms (1997)
  • Hardlife (2001)
  • Millennium To Millennium (2001)
  • Illuminator (2002)
  • The Analog Assassin (2002)
  • Inspiration/Transition (2002)
  • Actuator (2003)
  • Transition/Windchime (2003)
  • Ma Ya Ya (2004)
  • The Theory/Free As You Wanna Be (2004)
  • Knights Of The Jaguar EP (1998)[3]
  • Interstellar Fugitives 2 - The Destruction Of Order (2006)
  • Footwars (2007)
  • Electronic Warfare 2.0 (2007)
  • Electronic Warfare 2.1 (2007)
  • This Is What Happens (2009)
  • Somewhere In Japan EP (2010)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christopher Schaub, "Beyond the Hood? Detroit Techno, Underground Resistance, and African American Metropolitan Identity Politics", "Journal of International Association of Inter-American Studies", October 2009
  2. ^ "All the black men you see in America today are the direct result of those actions: all the freedoms we have, as well as the restrictions, refer back to the government and the Black Panthers in the '70s," he said in that interview. "So we make music. We make music about who we are and where we’re from. Of course there are going to be links – that's why we had songs with titles like Riot. Because that's indicative of the era we were born in, and the things we remember. As time goes on, naturally I think the messages will get further away from that. It's not a coincidence. There is a reason behind UR and Public Enemy and these people.” - Jeff Mills Does Solo Flight, Andrez Bergen. Daily Yomiuri, September 2006.
  3. ^ This track was at the heart of a conflict between UR and Sony/BMG; see Tobias van Veen “Underground Resistance vs. SONY/BMG,” Discorder, c. 10 April 2000.

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