Mad Mike



Mike Banks aka "Mad Mike" is an American musician, responsible for the founding of the iconic Detroit Techno imprint "Underground Resistance" along with partner Jeff Mills, and the writing and production of most of the label's early releases. Getting his starts as a studio musician in the 1980's, Banks would season himself as a dedicated member of the industry by playing Bass guitar for bands like the legendary Parliament Funkadelic, later joining the collective "Members of the House", where they would release several 12" singles, EP's and LP's; eventually becoming one of the leaders of what is commonly termed the "Second Wave" of Detroit Techno.

Though he continued work on the side with Members of the House for some time, Banks' first release as we know him came in 1990 with the founding of Underground Resistance-the label and the collective-and releasing the 12" "Your Time Is Up" as Underground Resistance with Jeff Mills. Banks and Mills returned that year once again as Underground Resistance, assisting in the production of the song "Direct Me" by "Reese Project" (Kevin "Master Reese" Saunderson ), on Warner Bros. Records (via indie imprint Giant). Banks also remixed "Woman's Heart" by "Le Gent" on Reprise Records before the year came to a closing, continuing to build up steam as the UR militia went back underground and prepared the next wave of sonic attacks on the masses.

In 1992, Banks would go on to found the sub-label "Happy Records", producing the record "Happy Trax #1". He would soon return for the first "Mad Mike" release on UR with the classic "Death Star", a great example of the wild and deranged works that had begun to proliferate around the planet from the unique mind of one of the greatest politically active musicians of all time. By 1993, Mad Mike was beginning to appear on countless Detroit compilations, especially through his own Submerge which had just begun operations the year before, giving not just a platform of distribution for the artist himself, but for almost every other prolific Detroit Techno artist around....still to this day! Some of the most notable releases for that year included the compilation "Escape Into The Void", which included Banks' "Death Star", "Planet X", and "Acid Fog" as Underground Resistance.

Throughout the rest of the 90's, Mad Mike continued work on most of the early UR catalog, being left to his own devices after Jeff Mills decided to pursue his own solo career. Banks also continued work with his sub-label "Happy Records" which would come to an end in 1994, not to mention his involvement with Members of the House until the group disbanded in 1995. While Techno Bass music-which made up a great deal of Underground Resistance's catalog, as well as what was considered Techno's Second Wave-came to another slowdown period, the artist and label began to reap the benefits of its consistency and integrity, as a resurgence for the music, and demand for the label in fact began to grow, as followers from all around the world showed their support online as it became the medium of choice for fans, musicians and labels alike to further promote the music.

Since the 2000's began, Mad Mike and UR have continued their output, never showing any signs of slowing down as the label continues to grow; even opening a Detroit Techno Museum within the Submerge building, and loft apartments where UR artists can live together, and work on furthering their skills.

Releases since then have included "Windchime" with Perception (Chuck Gibson), "Attack Of The Samurai" with The Deacon (Gerald Mitchell), and the incredible "Hi-Tech Dreams/Lo-Tech Reality" as Mad Mike to name a few. Stay tuned, as more is planned for the future, and the ideals of the label have never been more important to embrace. In an age of mediocrity and complacency, being dedicated to a cause, and promoting awareness is revolutionary to say the least....but that's just every day living at the UR headquarters, and for their leader Mr. Mad Mike himself. Rise up!!!


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