For all of those that don't know, the person in the image above is Juan Atkins - the Godfather of Techno. Now I'm sure over the years you've heard "Godfather of this, Godfather of that" and thought "Yeah sure...whatever...nice..." but in this case the name is genuinely justified.
He's a nice guy (and really humble for someone who basically invented an entirely new genre way back in the 80s!) While everyone else was listening to the likes of Depeche Mode, Blondie, Madonna and Duran Duran, Juan Atkins was quietly doing his thing. While everyone was listening to mainstream Synthpop back in the 1980s this guy was using those same synths to create an entirely NEW and INNOVATIVE style of music. In his hands the TR-808 (used extensively in Hip hop) and later the TR-909, would become the backbone upon which his futuristic vision of music would be built. 4/4 rhythms inherited from House and Disco music melded with syncopated percussion and high tech synth and basslines conjured images of music from another planet. In fact, references to science fiction and space can be found in many of the early song titles. Another prominent Techno artist and friend of Atkins, Derrick May, has come to call the sound "High Tech Soul".
"Detroit" Techno was born.*
Thank you for all the fantastic music Juan. We love you and wish you the best for the year! :)
His output under the Infiniti
and Model 500
monikers is highly recommended. If you really want to get into it also check out his earlier collaborations with Rick Davis as Cybotron
. It has a feel more akin to Electro but the blueprint for the Techno sound is definitely present in the music.
*The term Detroit Techno is often used when making a distinction between the original Techno "sound" as developed in Detroit and the later European offshoots.