Originators of Techno :: BFW notes

Notes on talk given at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on Saturday May 28 2016 by:
Derrick May (Transmat)
Kevin Sanderson
Juan Atkins (Metroplex)

All three grew up in bellview
Detroit was marked as an experimental FM market, and initially only had 3 stations
They "could do whatever they wanted because no one was listening" during the nighttime hours
This was influential, to grow up in a world without a mental model of expected music due to the raw nature of the radio

Around 1977, these guys are approx age 13

Electric mojo was key for them, early detroit dj, first guy they heard beatmatch live
Mojo would go through big phases of a specific genre of music
At 16, Atkins had a vision to start a record label called Metroplex

Talking about initial playing:
"We realized that if we did this that a lot of people wouldnt be dancing"
because they were not playing disco or rb

talking about them bounding at an early age over music:
"All of techno happened while our mothers were away or sleeping" - "we didnt go to school, we would skip, make pancakes and listen to his stepdad's records"

This exposure made him think that he looked at world differently, made him political, he was angry tiwards teachers (reading the third wave was part of this)
Techno speak dictionary
Made a book of definition of techno speak!!! 40-50 words

For how djs played: there were no superstar djs, no time slots, roughhousing in line was part if playing records

"Had a lot of pre inspirations," it didn’t come from nowhere.
Rick ? Was the first synth they saw

Kevin: "If juan can do it, if derrick could do it, i would be damned if i couldnt do it too"
2/3 were football athletes in high school

Funkadelic sound was key and came up a bunch, as did electric mojo
Gregorian rhythems, chord progressions - afro futurism grew from that

References / Songs:
Tom Barnet
Cameo (sp?) - waiting by the radio "for two days" to hear it
FM radio DJ (electric?) who mixed cameo with d deep - juan: "best mix i have ever heard in my life"
Mr x - ultrafox
Juan made alleys of the mind, which started an era
New photo - tom barnetts trackf

Record store missed because of all the good music that is missed (gatekeeper effect)
Transmat uses MS as its letters on its vinyl, it stands for Metroplex Subsidiary

Whats your favorite song?
Juan - clear,
Kevin - workd of deep
derrick - be on the dance

When you created the techno language, what ideas were you truing to express, and what sort of influence did allen toffler have?

"Without chicago, techno would not have happened in detroit"
Controlling the copyright, unlike the guys in chicago

"I dint think about my dj sets, im going to kill you"
"Im playing competitively, im here to kill… My job is to make the crowd rock, give then excitement, be able to elevate the crowd"
"Watching the crowd, and what i do is an exact reaction to my audience"

Software is progress
Rejecting the 808 for the drum machine
"We found the [909] when we were not suppose to find it" because it had been rejected in the music industry

"Making paaaancakes"

[movement] goes back more than 10 uears, and its part of the atists of detroit
Movement is homigonized, it should be more organic, we are glad it brings people though.

"I hated detroit, i made my record to escape it" and then comes to terms with it later

Income sources:
Juan atkinsMetroplex 30th anniversary glasses
Transmit on facebook for shoes derrick

tags: notes,techno,detroit,art,toffler,pancakes