Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May were high school pals with Juan Atkins in Belleville, just outside of Detroit. It was Juan who started making other-worldly proto-techno music first in the early ‘80s, mainly under the names Cybotron and, later, Model 500. He taught Derrick May to mix, and the two of them would put on Deep Space parties and produce mixes for the radio show of influential spinner The Electrifying Mojo on WGPR.
There’s something about Detroit that gets under your skin.
A mystery wrapped inside an enigma, to borrow a saying, it’s both what you expect, and also the opposite. For a first visit you’re primed for streets of boarded-up houses, but come back a second or third time and the thriving farmers markets, art galleries and restaurants tell a parallel story. Detroit, many people on the ground say, is a city reinventing itself from within.
Disclosure’s travelling festival series Wild Life stops in Michigan’s metro Detroit area, and in just a matter of seven hours, the event manages to encompass the timeline and history of dance — seemingly unintentionally. On one end of the spectrum is Kevin Saunderson, one-third of the Belleville Three and a pioneer of Detroit techno. However, on the other end is the English DJ duo, arguably today’s fastest rising electronic music act.
When thinking of Siberia you're imagination is more likely to turn to endless tundra than techno clubs, the Russian region, which covers 10 percent of the Earth's surface more attuned to the Trans-Siberian Railway than the electronic offspring of Trans-Europe Express. Yet the latest edition to DJ Kicks' ever-excellent mix series, put together by Nina Kraviz (who originally hails from the Siberian city of Irkutsk), shines with a deep knowledge of Detroit techno, Chicago house and beyond.