Listeners 6.679, Plays: 21.053, Listening Time: 3.915 h
If one name crops up again and again in discussions of techno, it is that of Derrick "Mayday" May. Alongside Atkins, Juan, Craig, Carl and Saunderson, Kevin, May is regarded as one of the kings of the Detroit sound. Inspired by Yello and Kraftwerk, he began to make electronic music with Atkins and Saunderson while studying with them at Belleville High, Detroit. Recording either as Mayday or Rhythim Is Rhythim (occasionally in conjunction with Carl Craig) and generally on his own... Read more
If one name crops up again and again in discussions of techno, it is that of Derrick "Mayday" May. Alongside Atkins, Juan, Craig, Carl and Saunderson, Kevin, May is regarded as one of the kings of the Detroit sound. Inspired by Yello and Kraftwerk, he began to make electronic music with Atkins and Saunderson while studying with them at Belleville High, Detroit. Recording either as Mayday or Rhythim Is Rhythim (occasionally in conjunction with Carl Craig) and generally on his own Transmat Records label, he went on to carve out a new vein in dance music that synthesized the advances of the electro movement with the more challenging end of the House movement - a music that defined "techno". Early cuts such as "Nude Photo" (co-written by Thomas Barnett) and "The Dance", both on Transmat, were inspirational to many. However, it was the release of "Strings Of Life" in 1987, which, with its wide appeal to the house music fans of the late 80s, simultaneously brought May his deserved acclaim and Detroit techno to European club-goers.
May went on to cut three tracks on System 7's debut album, before Network released Innovator: Soundtrack For The Tenth Planet in 1991, a six-track EP that comprised some of May's definitive moments to date. In the same year, May was responsible for what Carl Craig has called the finest remix ever, Sueo Latino's "Sueo Latino", itself a reworking of Manuel Goettsching's epic "E2-E4". It was followed in 1992 by Relics, a double album of Transmat's finest moments, heavily featuring Rhythim Is Rhythim, which coincided with a re-release of "Strings Of Life" on the Belgium label Buzz, this time in a drumless version reminiscent of May's "Sueo Latino" remix. More recently, Transmat has been revived following its signing to Sony. This has resulted in the long-awaited release of Rhythim Is Rhythim's 1991 recordings, "Kao-tic Harmony" and "Icon", and the Japanese (and subsequent American) release of a comprehensive Derrick May retrospective, Innovator, which contains all May's work for the Transmat label including remixes and tracks released for the first time.
Detroit Techno landlord and head of the internationally respected Transmat Records, Derrick May continues to move dancefloors with his no-nonsense Techno grooves. One third of the Belleville Three, this electronic legend arranges classic Detroit tracks in a timeless fashion: frantically beat-heavy yet soulfully warm. Nervous beats and breaks pound away at curvy synths and digital melodies that stand in the background of these vibesome grooves like an electric scalloped fence surrounding a celebrity's home. Confident rhythms charge at your chest through an invisible spiderweb of string samples holding your consciousness captive on the dancefloor.
Derrick May is one of the founding fathers of Detroit techno, a precursor of its many variants and particularly of acid house. His eastethic, skeletal, melancholy style gained him the nickname of "the Miles Davis of techno". He introduced both a psychological element and a futuristic vision in dance music. Along with his high school mates Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, May began early in life to explore electronic music May sponsored the single Let's Go by X-Ray, that introduced the hypnotic, repetitive electronic figures of techno, and then recorded Nude Photo (co-written by Thomas Barnett) (Transmat, 1987), credited to Rhythim Is Rhythim, one of the records that started the techno revolution world-wide.
Inspired by the legendary Detroit disco DJ, Ken Collier, May, along with High School friend Juan Atkins, formed Deep Space, a DJ and party outfit in the early eighties. Playing what they termed as 'conceptual disco' to the high school party scene that was very much alive in Detroit at the time, the duo set themselves apart from the other DJ and party collectives at the time. Atkins had already been very influential in shaping the emerging techno sound with his recordings as Cybotron, but May's time was soon to come.
Whilst DJing with Atkins, May spent time visiting his mother in Chicago, where he was exposed to the emerging house music scene that was being championed by the likes of Frankie Knuckles and Farley Jackmaster Funk. His experiences in Chicago opened his eyes wider to the growing possibilities of electronic music and the euphoria and spiritualty it was capable of creating. Show less