M. Aker
The Elders of New Detroit [CS; Retrograde]

In the world of blaxplotation, there is no film rifer with folly than Detroit 9000. And yet, for all its mistakes, it still captures a city crumbling despite one beastly history of success and homogeneous pride. Nearly 40 years on and Detroit continues to shrink into the abyss, known largely for automobile fuck-ups and an aging rock scene that still spits out relevant (along with many irrelevant) acts from its dried-up womb. However, Matthew Aker is lending Detroit a bit of silver-bullet power with his 80s soundtrack homage, The Elders of New Detroit. Speaking in the same jive as the marks in Detroit 9000, Aker speaks to a Detroit still riddled with rotten enamel but strong in root. For all the obstacles that stand in Detroit’s way back to prominence, the power surging through Aker’s work — harkening to the machismo of Commando, Robocop, and its action-flick ilk — also speaks to an idea of a brighter future. There’s always going to be something to darken our doors, and it stands to reason Detroit will always have its detractors and antagonists. But may the synthesized soul and confident strut of The Elders of New Detroit lend the citizens of Detroit the confidence to wrestle itself out of corrupt hands and to remake itself as the steely city it was once proud to be.

Links: Retrograde


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