Friday, April 3, 2009
- JUAN ATKINS
- WILL O’BRIEN
SUB-SCAPE proudly presents Juan Atkins, the originator of Detroit techno music, on Friday 3rd April at Café Capital in Antwerp’s Stadspark.
At the dawn of the 1980s, Juan Atkins began recording what stands as perhaps the most influential body of work in the field of techno. Exploring his vision of a futuristic music which welded the more cosmic side of Parliament funk with rigid computer synth-pop embodied by Kraftwerk and the techno-futurist possibilities described by sociologist Alvin Toffler, Atkins produced hi-tech dance music gems under aliases such as Cybotron, Model 500 and Infiniti. The track "Clear," recorded by Atkins and Rick Davis as Cybotron in 1982, is widely regarded as being the very first techno release.
Juan founded his own label, Metroplex Records, and recorded his first single as Model 500, "No UFO’s", in 1985. This seminal track, along with other groundbreaking Metroplex singles like "Night Drive", "Interference" and "The Chase", set the template for Detroit techno; moody and sublime machine music, inspired by the drone of automated factories and trips down the I-96 freeway late at night.
His output continued during the nineties through Belgian R&S Records and Berlin’s Tresor Records. Atkins visited Tresor’s studio in 1993 and worked with 3MB, the in-house production team of Thomas Fehlmann and Moritz Von Oswald. He returned to Berlin several years later to begin recording what was, surprisingly, his first album since the days of Cybotron. Finally, in mid-1995, R&S released the debut Model 500 album, "Deep Space". The label also released "Classics", a crucial compilation of Model 500′s best Metroplex singles output. Another retrospective, Tresor’s "Infiniti Collection", traced Atkins’ work as Infiniti, recorded from 1991 to 1994. The second full Model 500 album, "Mind and Body", was released in 1999 on R&S.
Since then Atkins has remained active, releasing an album of new productions entitled "The Berlin Sessions" and compiling the "20 Years Metroplex" double-disc, both released by Tresor.
More recently Juan has embarked on a Model 500 live project with a line-up of Detroit musicians including Mad Mike Banks of Underground Resistance.
"High Tech Soul", a documentary exploring the deep roots of techno music alongside the cultural history of Detroit, focuses on Atkins along with fellow techno innovators Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson and explains why techno, with its abrasive tones and resonating basslines, could not have come from anywhere but Detroit.
Those who appreciate true techno music will not want to miss this chance to hear Magic Juan Atkins play in the intimate setting that is SUB-SCAPE at Café Capital.
Support from resident Will O’Brien.
Presale tickets available at Fnac stores and online at www.fnac.be
Café Capital, Rubenslei 37, Stadspark, 2018 Antwerp