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April 07, 1994 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-07

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, April 7. 1994 - 7

. Reusing it, not
abusing it


Out of the rave, onto the stage
Music of Juno Reactor pushes techno's evolution

Over 160 million tons, my friend.
That's how much refuse the United
States alone creates every year. Take
a moment and imagine: we generate
almost 400 billion pounds of solid
waste annually. If that were laid out a
pound per foot, it would reach from
here to the moon and back almost
twice! Each and every year! And we
are the greatest producer of refuse; that
figure doesn't even count the rest of the
So, where does all that "garbage"
go ? What do we do with such rnon-
strous quantities, anyway ? Well, de-
spite widespread public approval for
recycling, most of it still ends up in
landfills that are overfilled, and incin-
erators that instead pollute the air as
opposed to the ground. Why is it, that
albeit this raised consciousness re-
garding our trash, we remain a throw-
away society of waste and disposal?
Some studies indicate that knowl-
edge about recycling and reduction
increases such behaviors. However,
only 20-30 percent of antilitter flyer
recipients complied with a specific re-
quest to dispose of the flyers properly.
The flyers that spoke out against waste
became exactly that! Furthermore, it
seems to takeconstant reminders-by
mailtelephone and even local news-
to rein force a strong start of reduction
mentality. Attempts at using incen-
tives such as prizes and raffles worked
only as long as they were offered. and
had no lasting effect on the
commun it y's behavior. In fact, it has
been found that just because a method
'.1 'rks in one area, that doesn't neces-
sarily mean that the same results will
be achieved.
Also. the actual reason we recycle
and reduce appears to be a sign ificant
factor. For example. the motivation
may be purely economic. Positive re-
inforcements(i.e.a buy-back arrange-
ment or cost reduction for regular
sanitary service) tend to be more ef-
fecti'e than negative ones (i.e. fines
for not rccvcling). However. recy-
cling for altruistic reasons may also
play a role. Those who are ecologi-
callv concerned don't need as much (or
somletimies any) Incentiv e to recycle
and reduce waste. On a personal level,
a decision is made. and that becomes
the social norm for them. And when
enough people in a communit'y act in a
similar manner. then even social pres-
I Because you can't fit
|it all in your backpack...

sure becomes a
powerful motiva-
tion. Some people
find it embarrass-
ing if they don't
recycle. In Seattle,
block captains
'friendly visits' to
households to
urge theircooperation.
Nevertheless, an important reason
for not recycling is the time and trouble
involved in preparing, sorting, and
sometimes even transporting materi-
als. In the early 1970s. there was no
curbside pickup, and those who had
items to recycle had to haul them to a
centralized drop-off point. Despite the
growth of such curbside programs there
are still many communities that don't
have alternatives. As far back as 1976,
the Environmental Protection Agency
ranked source reduction as its top waste
management method. However, mu-
nicipalities have been slow to adopt
this alternative either because current
waste management policies dispose of'
waste, but don't deal with avoiding it.
or source reduction requires new pat-
ternsofthinkingandconsumption be-
havior un faiiliar to people. Are we so
stuck in our ways? We weren't always
a disposable society. Must we remain
In Ann Arbor. we have been lucky
that there has been a long-standinr
concern fortheenvironment. The Ecol-

E c
ogy Center of Ann Arbor, founded in
1970, is a prime example of such
grassroots awareness. We have an ef-
fectivecurbside recyclingprogram.We
even offer a class at the university on
Source Reduction Behavior through
Associate Professor of Conservation
Behavior Raymond DeYoung, who has
done years of research and work into
Basically. though, as far as behav-
ior and waste-reduction and recycling
are concerned, it comes down to suffi-
cient motivation. knowledge and the
ability to overcome inconveniences in
regards to participation.In fact. the one
common thread between all recvclinc,
and reduction programs is public par-
ticipation. However, since each com-
munity is different, with its own indi-
vidual styles. economics and politics.
programs mustbe adapted to work for
the particularcommunity. Its resources.
needs, capabilities and even concerns
mustbe addressed. This is the only way
that we can change our old habits. to
become a reducing and reusin ig soci-
cty. and not a disposable one

Techno music is undergoing a coup d'eiat, and Juno
Reactor is leading the charge. The days of the sample-
driven, 180 beats-per-minute, industrial cacophony that was
only palatable in club settings are on the out. Techno has
moved from the electronic sideshow to the center ring of'
cutting edge music. Juno Reactor's album "Transmis-
sions" is an example of what techno is meant to be. Juno
Reactor creates music that is its own landscape, its own
country, itsown reality.
"Transmissions" is revolutionary because it can be
listened to in a non-club setting without losing any of its
appeal. People plugging into this album can createtheirown
At the helm of Juno Reactor is Ben
Watkins (who) is not some over-
acided gear head, but an insightful
musician who ... cares about his
audience and the techno scene in
altered reality within the privacy of the own home without
having the huge speaker system of a club.
At the helm of'Juno Reactor is Ben Watkins. Watkins is
not some over-acided gear head. but an insightf ul musician
who not only cares about his music, but also his audieince
and the techno scene in general. Listening to Watkins'
insights into techno music and the techno scene is like
listening to Michelangelo talk about sculpture.
Watkins became interested in techno basically as a
result ofhoredom. "I started ol'fwith a rock band in theearly
'8Osthen i got real lxvboredwi itthe structure of rock band.
Once I got Imv machines I real i/ed I could get rid of the hass
player and the dirummer. which was to me a really health'.
One of the greatest criticisms levied against techno
music is that techno is supposedly synthetic. cold music.
Juno Reactor has been challenging this notion by having

more "live" shows. "Generally we have the two Juno
Reactor DJs next to one another. Then we'll start adding
things, crossing away from the DJs and flow into our full
live set. We will then go out the way we came in. We are
still at the stage where everyone is learning how to do the
whole 'live' thing. At the moment, everyone is just kind
of sitting behind their machinesjust knob twiddling. We
try to change that: our music lends itself more to being a
performance, incorporating live musicians."
Watkins does not view the new breed of techno as
being revolutionary, but simply as "better because it takes
you higher.""The new music is no longer:.omeone pound-
ing on their drum machine. Hearing that type of stuff
drives me bonkers. The new music is creating its own
landscape. Wearereally interested in creating records that
take people on journeys and generally we add a lot more
structure and emotion to our music now.
Perhaps to best understand the thought process ofJuno
Reactor is to listen to an anecdote Watkins related about
the band's second show.
"The artists got this 30-foot Blood Hound, surface-to-air
missile from the Ministry of Defense. It was beautiful: it
looked like a missile really should. We then drove two
armored personnel carriers. one in front and one in back.
through central London. past Parliament and around
Piccadilly square. Then we took it to an art gallery that is
shaped like a silo."
"So, this rocket was installed in this silo, and then Juno
Reactor played for about two weeks. Some people found
it too much. The person who booked the time, had by
mistake put a wedding during the niddle of the two weeks.
The people had to have a wedding with this enormous
missile in the middle ofthem! They draped the missile with
flowers and things like that. I think someone was con-
ceived underthat missile."
Juno Reactor is starting a Iull-moon tourwhererbv they
do a show in a different country every full moon. Durca.
a local music production organization. is trving to bring
Juno Reactor to Michigan. So. if you see a giant cruise
missile driving through the Diac. you will know that Juno
Reactor has finally arrived.



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I4 M

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