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25 Years of Detroit Techno

The year 2010 is an exciting time for the Detroit Electronic Music community as it marks the 25th anniversary of the birth of Techno in the city. To celebrate, a collective of artists from Detroit past and present will be coming together to perform under the banner
D25: Detroit Twenty Five. Included in this collective will be some of the most influential and respected artists to emerge from the city including Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Mike Banks, Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, Kenny Larkin and many others. Throughout 2010 and into 2011, these unique collaborative D25 events will be taking place worldwide celebrating this momentous occasion in Detroit music history and the lasting impact of both the music and the many artists associated with it.

It is hard to believe that it has been twenty-five years since 1985 when Juan Atkins founded his independent record label Metroplex in Detroit. Launching with the ground breaking hit single “No UFO’s” (recorded by Atkins under his alias – Model 500), the Metroplex imprint quickly set a new benchmark for music in the city. Atkins’ releases like “Night Drive,” “Interference” and “The Chase” helped the seeds of a new techno movement in the city propagate, promoting a new mode of creativity. We should not forget though that Atkins built Metroplex on the ground he’d already been exploring for five years along with his partner Richard “3070” Davis in the band Cybotron. Together in their home studio in Ypsilanti, the duo had quickly racked up some of the finest electronic records ever made including tough, otherworldly yet warm timeless cuts like “Clear,” “R-9”, and the song that launched the Detroit Techno style, 1984’s “Techno City”

Derrick May once famously described Detroit Techno as “Just like Detroit, a complete mistake. It’s like George Clinton and Kraftwerk stuck in an elevator.” But like Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, Derrick and almost all their successors took a lot of inspiration for their seminal work directly from a late night Detroit radio DJ The Electrifying Mojo. Mojo (real name Charles Johnson) ran a five-hour long radio show every night from 1977 through the 80s, taking in everything from new European New Wave imports from the likes of Kraftwerk to the funk / pop of Prince and the B-52’s. Mojo’s eclecticism and wide ranging tastes didn’t have boundaries – if anything, the only universal theme in his show was a feeling of funk (electronic, acoustic, white or black, it didn’t matter) – one segment of his show was even called “The Midnight Funk Association.”

Miami's annual Winter Music Conference is celebrating 25 Years of Detroit Techno with exclusive sets by Carl Craig, Kenny Dixon Jr., Kenny Larkin live, Kevin Saunderson, Kyle Hall, Monty Luke, Stacey Pullen, Theo Parrish + Juan Atkins.