Red Planet Records

As sub-label to Underground Resistance, Red Planet has been perhaps one of the most classic Detroit labels ever to come out of the city's wide range of musical talent. While Mike Banks, founder of UR, has always denied any involvement in the label or its nearly-exclusive releases as "The Martian", it's not hard to see the influence at the least, or even perhaps the desire of the artist to embark on a journey all of its own. Something even if his, so far removed artistically from the ego or persona, that it truly has a life of its own. It is said that whenever Banks is praised for his releases as The Martian, the only thing he will ever say about it is "Thanks, I'll tell The Martian."

While urban legends suggest that perhaps it is some of the other members of Underground Resistance aside from Banks who recorded under "The Martian" and the few other related off-shoots of this concept, the mystery deepens a bit more when Discogs itself credits "Will Thomas" for the majority of the records, as well as Gerald Mitchell (Hardlife, 430 West, Los Hermanos) who recorded as "Martian 044". While we may never know the true identity of the artist, the particular essence of the label and its releases are not just an important part of Detroit history, but of Electronic Music as a whole; as the unique vibe that one gets from this music is something truly out of this world.

Kicking things off in 1992 with "Meet The Red Planet" by "A Martian From Detroit", Red Planet began lift-off to a far-away place we are just now beginning to understand; a place perhaps where we originated from. For The Martian, this is not a question, but everyday life as "he" would begin to bring us some of the most obscure of Detroit releases. Followed by "Cosmic Movement/Star Dancer", Red Planet continued with its almost "Tribal" form of Detroit Techno, very much geared towards the Electro Bass sound, while often retaining that classic Techno vibe the city is so adored for.

Throughout the rest of 90's, Red Planet consistently released a plethora of Techno and Electro Bass releases, punctuated in its near-exclusivity to "The Martian" with the release of "Prayer Stick", by "The Martian 044" in 1998. There would also be the release of the "Pipecarrier EP" by "The Martians"; which have helped to further add to the intrique that there has always been a collective of UR artists working behind the scenes. But maybe all along it's Banks toying with our minds.

In the 2000's, Red Planet continued its output of vinyl releases beginning with "The Wolf" by The Martian, and culminating thus so far with a release by The Martians in collaboration with G. Mitchell's Martian 044, called "The Last Stand/Sunchaser"; released both in 7" vinyl (2004), and subsequently followed by the 12" in 2005. It is unknown if the label's parent company Underground Resistance, plans on continuing with Red Planet in the future, so in the meantime, hunt down any available vinyl releases, because you won't be dissapointed. The mysterious, profound feel of the label's music is something you have to hear, it is truly a trip to our neighboring planet on the back of soundwaves created with class and ingenuity.


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