Saturday, May 19, 2012

infiniti: "game one", cybotron: "clear", model 500: "the passage", "universal techno part 1" excerpt

Juan Atkins, the pioneering electronic music producer out of Detroit, is one of the original three, along with school pals Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, to create the first original techno tracks, after being heavily influenced by local DJ "Electrifying Mojo's" late night radio shows. Juan would first record under the collaborative alias Cybotron, releasing the record "Enter" in 1983, setting the foundation for hip-hop's more futuristic-funk-laden sub genre, electro, along with Afrika Bambaataa from NYC, as well as The Egyptian Lover from the West Coast, to name a few. Standout track "Clear" leaned heavily in the direction Atkins wanted to take his sound, and soon he would explore deeper, more instrumental sounds as Model 500. Included here is a personal favorite from the Model 500 catalogue, "The Passage", from 1992 - a clear precursor to the Artificial Intelligence sound of early Warp Records artists from England, and a noted influence on many of those producers of "electronic listening music", better known under the IDM (intelligent dance music) genre, and what Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) tagged as "Braindance" for his Rephlex Records label. Another one of Atkin's more well-known aliases is Infiniti, who aimed to create a more "pure" form of techno, including a track that many consider a classic of the genre, "Game One" from 1994.  Game One is still as sublime, futuristic and fierce as it was when it first dropped nearly twenty years ago, a deep, hungry, driving spine-tingler of a track. For a more thorough understanding of the genre and its origins, check out a clip below from one of the best documentaries covering Detroit (and other) techno,  "Universal Techno" from 1996. Here we get some fantastic insight from both Juan Atkins and Derrick May, among others.