As we all know the 1980s were a landmark era in the history of electronic music. It was at the end of the decade that techno began to take form, soon becoming the popular genre that we know today.
All of this would not be possible if not for the pioneering efforts of artists that founded and produced techno in Detroit during those formative years. Detroit artists the likes of Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, Santonio Echols, and Will Thomas shaped the sound of techno as we know it, pretty much writing the manual for techno music.
While Atkins and May are known as the originator and innovator of Detroit techno, respectively, Saunderson is often called the elevator for his role in bringing it to the mainstream.
In the late ’80s, his group Inner City, which he formed with vocalist Paris Grey, topped UK charts with singles like “Big Fun” and “Good Life.” A stark departure from the more industrial work of Atkins and May, the pop-minded songs from Inner City’s platinum-selling Paradise (titled Big Fun in the U.S.) and subsequent albums like Fire (1992) soundtracked clubs and raves around the world and inspired countless imitations.
In his 30 plus years as a solo artist, Saunderson has recorded hard-hitting techno under several aliases, including Reese, Tronik House, and E-Dancer, releasing many on his record label KMS, which has also released work from artists like R-Tyme, Blake Baxter, and Chez Damier. Of late, Saunderson has passed on his love of electronic music to his children Dantiez and DaMarii, both of whom have become producers and DJs.
The ‘Reese bassline’, with its famous ‘hoover’ sound named after Saunderson’s moniker of the same name has featured in various iterations in countless techno tracks right up to this day.
The E-Dancer project Saunderson creates music that is “more underground.” The first E-Dancer album, ‘Heavenly,’ was released in 1998 to critical acclaim; Spin named it “one of the ten best albums you’ve never heard.
E-Dancer has presented a euphoric recall from 30 years ago to the atmosphere where people first hear ‘Velocity Funk’ in a field at 7am at an illegal rave. This was his Re:Generate set from Printworks London. Thanks for your gift of techno with a soul!