Theater of the Mind: The Legacy of the Electrifying Mojo | Red Bull Music Academy Daily

feat_slider_elect_mojoA fantastic piece by Ashley Zlatopolsky on Charles Johnson aka The Electrifying Mojo … one of the most influential dj’s of Detroit Techno and far beyond …

Ask any Detroit techno artist about his or her influences and you’ll undoubtedly be regaled with stories about The Electrifying Mojo, a sci-fi visionary who ruled the Detroit airwaves while radio was still unrestricted. “He was an underground cult hero,” says Juan Atkins. “We would listen to him religiously every night.”

An enigma through and through, Mojo has rarely shown his face in public, refusing to be photographed and only granting a select number of interviews. Like the Wizard of Oz, Mojo was a voice behind a curtain or – in his case – a radio microphone. Although he mostly remains a mystery, his influence on Detroit techno is as clear as day. Mojo not only played the first techno records on air – A Number of Names’ “Sharevari” and Cybotron’s “Alleys of Your Mind” – but he also laid down a solid foundation of guitar funk and machine funk for techno’s development. “I think without The Electrifying Mojo, we wouldn’t have had Detroit techno the way that we know Detroit techno,” says Carl Craig .

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