Movement Electronic Music Festival 2015

Movement-2015_Phase-2-Announce_final

The Phase 2 line-up includes:

! ! !

313 The Hard Way (DJ Seoul b2b DJ Psycho b2b T.Linder)

ADMN

Al Ester

Andy Garcia

Annix

Anthony Jimenez

Ben Christensen

Brodinski

Bruce Bailey

Calico

Carl Craig featuring Mad Mike Banks – live

Charles Trees

Classixx

D.Wynn

Darkcube – live

Dilemma

Dink & TK

DJ Godfather featuring Good Money

DJ Head

DJ Minx

Earl “Mixxin” McKinney

Eddie Fowlkes

Gaiser – live

Galaktis

Greg Gow

Heathered Pearls

Hudson Mohawke

Jay Daniel

JETS (Jimmy Edgar + Machinedrum) – live

Josh Wink

Joy Orbison

Keith Kemp

Kenny Larkin – live

Kerri Chandler

Kevin Saunderson b2b Derrick May

Kimyon

Korrupt Data

Lee Foss

Loner.9 – live

Maceo Plex

Marissa Guzman – live

Mark 8EN Moss

Marshall Applewhite

MCs Bombscare & Flow

Method Man

Milan Atkins

Model 500 – live

Neil V.

Nick Speed

Octave One – live

Oliver Dollar

Paul Woolford

PHUTURE – live

RayBone Jones

Rick Wilhite

Shawn Rudiman – live

Sian

Sinistarr

Squarepusher – live

Steve Dronez

Terrence Parker

The Saunderson Brothers

The Valley and The Mountain

Thread

Urban Tribe

Waajeed

movement-phase1

Monty Luke and Black Catalogue

Monty Luke and Black Catalogue

Recently we got together with Monty Luke, owner and curator of Detroit-based electronic music label Black Catalogue. Originally from San Francisco, Monty moved here several years ago to work with Carl Craig and Planet E Communications.

We talked weather for a minute, winter’s like this can easily make someone think about goin’ back to Cali’. As I asked Monty if this was the most eff’d up winter he’s seen out here, he laughingly asked me (Michigander my whole life) the same question.
Yes. Yes it is.

Let’s get to the music.


How do you try to get your sound and message to the people? Does the music curation and artistic duties take up most of your time, or is it the marketing and everyday responsibilities of a running business?

“It could be a general music industry thing, it’s tough man. The whole game of PR and trying to get that publicity and awareness. There are so many other labels, and so many people making music, you got to get above the fold. It can be really tough, especially when so much of your day is trying to run the label, doing day-to-day stuff and talking to artists, especially when you’re an artist yourself, it’s a grind…”

“I have to set time aside for each aspect, otherwise it’ll never get done. If I have a remix that’s due, I have to focus on that. If I have a deadline for a release, I have to schedule studio time and finish that track. I have to set separate office hours aside to meet with designers, and production related stuff. If I don’t do that, something is going to fall by the wayside. It’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done but also some of the most gratifying.”

Monty Luke

What’s going to be happening for you and Black Catalogue in the next couple years?

“As an artist myself, I want to push myself beyond my current boundaries. I want to help push the boundaries of Detroit electronic music. I’m really happy with what I’m doing with the label right now, but I want to focus on finding underground artists, not only from Detroit, but from all over the place. Finding someone really dope that you’ve never heard of before and makes you say “Damn! Who the fuck is this?” is something I want to continue to do. But in general, I really want to push myself to get better at music production, push what is known as Detroit techno, and house, further.

To me it’s all about progress. I think the history is amazing and great, and really rich, but it’s time to push this to the next level. I think the time to rely on the history of Detroit techno is over, it’s time to push this shit forward.

That’s what I like to focus on. If you come to my house, I have all the Detroit classics, all the hot shit, and I love all that stuff to death. But, it’s time to make some new classics.”


You recently released some tracks vinyl only, and digital releases weren’t released for several months. Was that by design?

“Yes. I believe in that format really strongly. From a practical standpoint it’s more expensive, so I have to focus more on selling that more. The bottom line is I’m dedicated to that format, it’s a labor of love. They’re both beneficial; I’m not one of these people that don’t believe in the digital realm. Tangible art to me is real important.”


By the sound of your music, I can tell your heavily inspired by science-fiction. Just how deep does that run?

“This is gonna sound crazy. There is this Dutch organization called Mars 1. They want to send 4 people to Mars in 2022. Last year they had an open application process, you had to submit a 70 second video. I entered this, and out of 200,000 applicants I made it to the second cut of about 1,058 people. At the end of this year they select the next round, then it’s a seven-year training process. “I want to be the first brother to go to another planet” I actually put that in the video haha. It’s not a trip, it’s like a one way ticket, which is kinda wild. I haven’t told my mom yet, I don’t know how that conversation is going to go.”

Yea, Detroit was probably hard enough…


Stay up on Black Catalogue
Facebook
Soundcloud


Having Big Fun on the Dance Floor with Inner City

Inner+City

Throwback Thursday on our site honors the originators and innovators who paved the way for other contemporary Detroit artists to explore their sound and vision, and thanks to true visionaries like Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, Detroit has a signature techno sound that has reverberated throughout the music world.  Kevin Saunderson met his best friend Derrick May in Belleville, MI after an altercation that left May unconscious and ultimately led to a relationship that would pave a new path for electronic music.  Saunderson observed the months-long process that Juan Atkins and Derrick May were going through to create “Let’s Go” under the pseudonym X-Ray, inspiring Saunderson to produce his own work.  Inner City developed as a collaboration between Kevin Saunderson and Chicago native and vocalist Paris Grey.  Grey and Saunderson produced the single “Big Fun” in 1988, and the single quickly became a hit in the U.S. as well as the U.K.  With the positive buzz that began surrounding “Big Fun” and other subsequent Inner City releases, Saunderson soon became a commercial and critical success, helping to pioneer the sound of Detroit techno on dance floors around the world.

Enjoy the 1988 music video below for Kevin Saunderson & Paris Grey’s hit, “Big Fun.”


DSLT: Best of 2013

top25

Since we are new in town, we decided not to do a traditional list, that being #1 is the best and #25 being the bottom.  Instead we have compiled a list of 20 Artists/Bands that really made their mark in 2013, within in the city and our ears.

Our list will include electronic artists, indie bands, punk music, jazz, psycho billy and many other artists you may recognize and others you may have never heard of before.

Lets begin:

1. KYLE HALL – 2013 Release: The Boat Party

In electronic music, this was the year of Kyle Hall.  I recently had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with him and our Media Director, Roger Castillo.  Kyle Hall is a well spoken, intelligent, down to earth guy who shared with us stories about his travels, his influences, and even had a laugh as Roger and I attempted to guess samples he used in “Crushed.”  The Boat Party was definitely a favorite among many in 2013, with Kyle Halls dirty r&b samples with a blend of Detroit style electronic, this LP was unstoppable.  You can find this LP among many lists such as NPR, Resident Advisor, and XLR8R.  At the start of 2014, please check back for an exclusive Detroit Sounds Like This interview with Kyle Hall.

2. THE GUTTER GHOULS – 2013 Release: Motor City Murderbilly 

The Gutter Ghouls had a wonderful year in 2013, playing shows throughout Metro-Detroit, even being the highlight of the Motor City Nightmares horror movie convention.  I have never met a band that works as hard as these guys do, even with a lineup change mid year, they still show that they are capable of giving you a great show.  These psychobilly maniacs even released a brand new video for their track “Corpse Bride,” in early 2013.  Recently being signed the Splatterhouse Wreckords in Washington, we at Detroit Sounds Like This cannot wait to hear what is in store for The Gutter Ghouls in 2014.

3. MEXICAN KNIVES – 2013 Release: Other Tramps & Nightmare b/w Down To Hell

Mexican Knives were without a doubt becoming one of Detroits most looked at and talked about band.  Mexican Knives achieved so much this year not only at shows but gaining a wider audience.  Just by attending other shows around the Detroit area, we always hear the name Mexican Knives being talked about and how they opened for touring indie bands such as Best Coast, and The Fresh and Onlys.  Mexican Knives not only wowed us with killer unforgettable performances but they released not one but two amazing EP’s in 2013.  With Nightmares/Down To Hell and Other Tramps being released in 2013, Mexican Knives are definitely a serious Detroit band.  Lead vocalist Ruth the Truth, lead by lead guitarist Zach Weedon are a duo on stage not to be toyed with.  Lets not forget their amazing bass player John Salvage, and their amazing drummer Blair, who are the perfect additions to Zach and Ruth.  Enjoy their new music video for “Killer Snake,” from their 2013 release “Other Tramps.”

Mexican Knives-Killer Snake from Mexican Knives on Vimeo.

4. ROGUE SATELLITES – 2013 Release: Other Angels

Rogue Satellites never disappoint.  Their style, rhythm, and production is something so elegant, most ears are probably not even ready for it.   Rogue satellites provide you with dark synths, electric guitars and beautiful lyrics with support from soft yet deep driven vocals.  Playing a daytime show at this years Dally in the Alley, Rogue Satellites really stood out with their hour long set and amazing sound.  Enjoy and purchase their album “Other Angels” below, and make sure to follow their facebook page and check out one of their shows!

5. OMAR S – 2013 Release: Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself

A release that went almost under the radar unless you are a huge Omar S fan is one to have for your library.  This is a MUST listen to if you have any respect for Detroit Electronic Music.  Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself is a deep house master piece which displays influences of early Detroit electronic music.  This album also made many lists across many blogs and news outlets around the country.

6. BRANDON WILLIAMS – 2013 Release: Stronger & Godsend

If you have been to MotorCity Wine more then once, then you have definitely seen Brandon Williams or the B.Williams Experiment.  Brandon Williams is one guy who definitely loves his fans, he is one to always thank and give the love back to his fans.  You can see him at various spots around downtown, and make sure to check out his upcoming album XII (coming soon).  In addition to his playing he has worked with many major recording artists and he has a 2009 Grammy nomination under his belt, this is one jazz cat not to be messed with.

7. SAXAPPEAL – 2013 Release: Singles: It’s You, Time Flies, Catch the Rhythm & I Can Be

Detroit Sounds Like This had the honor of sitting with SaxAppeal (LaDarrel Johnson) to really get to know how he creates, and how much Jazz music means to him.  Johnson handles his alto saxophone in the same fashion in which he plays his music — with attention, pride, and a graceful passion.

8. Dustin Alexander (Dayda, Sexual Tension Detroit)  – 2013 Release: Bootlegs V.1

The name Dustin Alexander can be heard in two realms of electronic and house music in Detroit.  Dustin is a man with two hats, one being that of Bass heavy ghetto tech playing loudly and unmistakably from The Works.   He is also 1/2 of Sexual Tension Detroit with friend Jerry Downey Jr..  With the Bootlegs V.1 release, Dustin clearly showed the city what he is capable of and how knowledgeable he is in the bass scene and with his disco grooves.  Dustin Alexander was a name to watch in 2013, look out 2014, I’m sure this DJ/Producer has way more in store for Detroit as he is making a name for himself.

9. COSMIC HANDSHAKES – 2013 Release: 2 Delicate Details

One part Todd Modes, one part Blair French (Dial.81) and you have Cosmic Handshakes.  Maybe house and most forms of electronic don’t fit your style.  Cosmic Handshakes have elements of electronic, but infuse parts of jazz, skilled drums, and very high end production.  The very chill EP release 2 Delicate Details really takes the listener on a journey on the joyous parts of life, the album makes you want to hang out, see old friends, and of course makes you hope for Detroit.  Cosmic Handshakes have never performed together, but maybe if were lucky in 2014 we can see something amazing happen at a local venue.

10. MONTY LUKE – 2013 Release: Lonely is the Night

Lonely is the Night is probably one of the strongest deep house releases of 2013.  Monty Luke and his label Black Catalogue are putting out some of the heaviest and hard hitting grooves that are getting around the world.  Seeing him this year on my birthday at MotorCity Wine was definitely a treat, he is a vinyl only professional, dont expect to see a laptop at his show.  Monty Luke will spin the night with the rarest grooves and get everyone dancing.  Make sure to check him out for NYE at MotorCity Wine for only five bucks!

11. NIGHTMERICA – 2013 Release: The Waiting Room

Those seeking hip hop refuge from the current ramblings and nonsense of the current trend of hip hop, Nightmerica is the answer.  In addition to these 6 amazing artists, they each display a very strong solo presense with their solo projects all over soundcloud, as a group though…perfection.  This is definitely one of the best Detroit hip hop albums to be released in a long time, and they definitely need the love.

12. CLEAR SOUL FORCES – 2013 Release: Gold PP7’s

Finally a group to fill my void of A Tribe Called Quest era style hip hop with an additional 2013 production.  These guys have an unmatched flow and unreal production.  Clear Soul Forces have definitely made a dent in the hip hop circuit having recently toured Europe and getting their name out there.  With the release of Gold PP7’s, put your copy of Yeezus down and listen to hip hop the way it was supposed to be listened to.  Make sure to check them at their Ugly Christmas Sweater Concert at The Shelter.

13. JERRY DOWNEY JR. (Sexual Tension Detroit) – 2013 Release: Bad Motor Folk (Jerry Downeys Motor City Dub)

Having interviewed Jerry Downey Jr. earlier this year was a great experience not only getting to know him, but he shared his knowledge of anything disco in Detroit.  2013 was a big year for Jerry Downey as he played many Sexual Tension parties, including his North End Studios Two Year Party, with Secrets and Dr. Disko Dust.  He has slowly been releasing his own edits and they are definitely being noticed.

14. SECRETS (Gary Springs Hunting Club) – 2013 Release: Real Life – Send Me An Angel (Super Trance Edit)

Matt Abbott aka Secrets is one man who is always playing at every sleezy bar and wharehouse in the city.  His fans/party goers know him for his wild parties with Gary Springs Hunting Club and as one of the best disco edit DJ’s in our city.  He performs many live edits during his sets and always awes the crowd or gets them singing.  While his edits range from disco, to soul, and some 80’s new wave you can always find a way to get sleezy when you hear a Secrets Edit.

15. SHIGETO – 2013 Release: No Better Time Than Now

Our first Shigeto show was at the Laneway Music Festival this past September.  Shigeto did nothing but awe his crowd and played a show which showed his precision and how he treats electronic music like a craft.  His album No Better Time Than Now became a hit across the world after its release on Ghostly.  Listen below on his track “Detroit Part 1,” for his mind blowing drum sequences, eerie sounds while it takes a walk with an unimposing bass.

16. JAMES LINCK – 2013 Release: Fortress of Solitude

The first time we encountered James Linck was when the office staff and I went to check out Mexican Knives at St. Andrews, and James Linck was one of the opening acts, our ears were blown away.  James Linck and Doc Waffles took over the stage and made sure they were heard.  James Linck has worked with many other Detroit musicians such as Dial.81, Doc Waffles, Eddie Logix, and Christopher Jarvis (Phantasmagoria).   With his 2013 release Fortress of Solitude, James Linck pop vocal skills really add to the production of his tracks, whether it be electronic, hip hop or any other sub genre.

17. PASSALACQUA – 2013 Release: Eagles Fly

I really hope in 2014 Detroit Sounds Like This can sit down with them and really get to know them.  We have extensively listened to their albums and they leave us wanting more.  Their beats are beautifully done, their style reminds us of Brother Ali, and early Dilated Peoples.  A lot of their tracks are just great to sit and relax to, by relax I mean light up of course.

18. ZOOS OF BERLIN – 2013 Release: Lucifer in the Rain

Zoos of Berlin had a quiet yet tremendous release with Lucifer in the Rain.  If you enjoy the styles of bands like Beach House and Wild Nothing, we would definitely recommend this album.  With beautiful melodies, soft vocals echoing throughout the album you couldn’t ask for a more relaxing and engaging album.

19. THE VONNEGUTS – 2013 Release: Automobile
The Vonneguts lured us in pretty early on this year with their funkadelic rock ‘n roll. From snatching sets at nearly every musical event to just rocking on the street in Eastern Market, this group stole our attention and vowed not to return it. They have a very promising future ahead of them in 2014, but don’t take your eyes off of them even for a second, because these men move quickly!

20. EDDIE LOGIX – 2013 Release: Eddie Logix Plays Lykke Li

Who hasnt Eddie Logix been working with these days?  It seems that I havent heard a remix without Eddie Logixs name attached to it, whether its for Dial.81, James Linck, Doc Waffles, Phantasmagoria, and many more, hip hop and indie musicians of Detroit want Eddie Logix on their projects.

In addition to our top 25, we included a “KEEP ON YOUR RADAR 2014” List

Feral Ground
SIAS
Dutch Pink
Jay Daniel
Golf Clap
Phantasmagoria
Codine

 


Mike Huckaby Teaching Detroit’s Youth Beats

Mike Huckaby

Thump continues its excellent series on Detroit’s music and underground scene. It’s important to note the importance of youth programs in the city. With all the cuts that have happened, situations like this are more valuable than ever. This video specifically hones in on Youthville in Detroit’s New Center.

Some notable quotables from Mike Huckaby, remixer, producer, sound designer and educator:

“In Detroit, The Music Found You, Rather Than You Found It.”

You couldn’t walk down the street without being influenced by something.. you can hear the climate of Detroit in the music.

“I find myself in a fortunate position around a lot of chaos. The economy isn’t doing so well in Detroit, but the underground is taking us around the world.”

“It’s not always about reinventing the wheel. It’s about doing what you do very well to begin with.”

“Detroit Techno was the way out, and continues to be the way out.”

From Thump:

Mainstream media always makes it seem like only bad things come from Detroit: urban decay, crime, bankruptcy, D12. But as any electronic music fan knows, Detroit is also a hotbed of creativity, passion, and promise. From the 1980s—when fellows like Juan Atkins and Derrick May ingested New Wave and Kraftwerk and spit out a template for what we know today as techno—to the present day, with new blood producers like Kyle Hall, Mark Flash, and Monty Luke creating forward-thinking tracks, Detroit continues to be a source of inspiration and power in the worldwide dance arena.


STAYING IN THE D: “IN DETROIT, WE’RE KEEPING IT GOING” SAYS DJ RICK WILHITE

STAYING IN THE D: “IN DETROIT, WE’RE KEEPING IT GOING” SAYS DJ RICK WILHITE

Rick Wilhite, talented House DJ/Producer and native Detroiter, has the world to choose from as far as where to be based but decided to stay in Detroit.

And, it’s always good to see the D get a little respect in regional ink, especially one based in Chicago.

Detroit’s music scene is one of the reasons he has stayed.

“There was one, Soul Night on a Tuesday once a month, that got between 2,000 and 3,000 people,” said Wilhite (also known as “The Godson”) in the interview which ranges across topics like the difference between vinyl and digital DJs, his warm reception in Japan, and how things have changed over the years.

In Detroit, we’re keeping it going. I know I’ve put my own time, effort and money into doing something and doing it consistently. I’m not talking about setting up one speaker in a room and charging $20 for people to dance around it. You can do that anywhere. We’re talking about good sound, good music, and something worth your time. Rick Wilhite: ‘There’s Too Much In Detroit For Me’ on 5Chicago.com

It’s amazing the amount of music that still comes from Detroit, even to this day. A recent Crain’s Detroit Business study by the Anderson Economic Group showed that music was a billion-dollar industry in Metro Detroit. We (and they) are pretty sure they’re undercounting.

Here’s a link to the full piece in 5Magazine and below you’ll find a Soundcloud player of a recent remix Wilhite did. If you like the beats, support the artist.


Juan Atkins/Model 500 “No UFOs,” Original Detroit Techno

juan-atkins-4

To say that Juan Atkins is an innovator in electronic music is like saying Beethoven wrote epic symphonies — it’s a hackneyed statement that becomes clearly obvious once you listen. Juan Atkins was the pioneer in an influential group of like-minded musicians (including also Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May) who dealt with the surrounding artifacts of industrial culture in their neighborhood of Detroit by embracing the influence and spearheading the urban techno movement. Atkins had learned to play bass, drums, and guitar when he was young, but after hearing electronic music for the first time around the age of sixteen, the alien sounds of the synthesizers had worked their mystique on Atkins and he dedicated himself to it from then on. In the early 1980s, Juan Atkins collaborated with Rik Davis on Cybotron, releasing the groundbreaking single “Techno City” in 1984. Creative direction drove a wedge between the two, and Atkins developed the Model 500 alias on his own and founded the Metroplex techno label in 1985. “No UFOs” was the first single released by Juan Atkins under the Model 500 name and on the Metroplex label. The song proved to be a smash around the Detroit area and Chicago as well, inciting Atkins to produce a string of monumentally influential techno tracks which earned Atkins the title “Godfather of Techno.”

Listen to “No UFOs” below and check out a video interview at the Submerge Techno Museum from 2012 where Atkins discusses the roots of his music.


Detroit Input at Brooklyn’s Output

Output is a new dance club in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood that fortunately focuses more on the “Dance” than “Club”. The exterior is nothing to look at, it reminds me of many unused buildings in Detroit, and which is probably why I love it. Set in the old industrial neighborhood, new signs of life, social-gatherings and business are sprouting up every where. As Output proudly states:

Output is open to anyone, but is not for everyone. Output welcomes individuals who value the communal experience of music over cameras and bottle service.

Is very true. Impeccable attention was giving to the sound. The audio was bright, crisp, bass heavy and creamy and left just the right amount of space to hold a quick conversation. Lights? Yea, they got em. Luckily Output was asked to keep them toned down a bit, so when the club started flexing, it actually complemented the music. On Thursday, August 15th, 3 DJ’s from Detroit we’re flown out to headline the Input monthly at Output. Fit, Big Strick and Omar S. performed after the night was opened up by Brooklyn local Turtle Bugg. The night maneuvered like any promoter or DJ would gladly pay for. Music started about 10pm, Fit started playing around 11pm for a few dozen patrons, scattered throughout the two floor space. By 11:30pm, the dance floor was pretty much packed by a sea of house and techno lovers who were getting down and embracing the gritty, yet soulful music we bring to the party.

In actuality, Detroit artists play here frequently. Peeps hanging at Output this past weekend just got turned on to Stacey Pullen.

 


Tony Ollivierra

Tony Ollivierra

Tony Ollivierra is a Detroit area electronic musician and dj who got started in the late eighties. He was influenced by the Detroit club scene in the 80’s and 90’s in venues like The Shelter with Richie Hawtin, The Music Institute with Derrick May and Alton Miller, and The Majestic with Blake Baxter. He’s currently producing music under his label “Northside District”. We recently asked him a few questions:

I usually start with choosing the right kick drum. If I choose the wrong kick or eq it wrong it seems the track is destined to fail miserably.

  • You’ve been making music for quite some time. How has your style changed throughout your career? What about production and tools, has the way you start and compose tracks undergone any changes?
  • I started producing in the late 80’s with Alesis and Yamaha drum machines, an Akai s-900 sampler and a Yamaha DX-100 keyboard. I continued using hardware until 2006 when I went fully in the box with Propellerhead Reason which I used until last year. Since then I’ve been a Logic user recently upgrading to version X. I usually start with choosing the right kick drum. If I choose the wrong kick or eq it wrong it seems the track is destined to fail miserably. It many times can be the driving force in techno and house.
  • You have been on a roll lately and seem to have a new EP every month, what’s your inspirational secret?
  • My inspiration comes from God through Jesus Christ. I owe it all to him.
  • Recently you kicked off your record label Northside District. What were some hurdles you overcame and what was learned in this process?
  • I had to start a new label when others started using the Ibex name. It took months of pondering a label name as pretty much everything is being used. One day someone came into my job wearing a company shirt with Northside something or other on it and something clicked. It seemed marketable so I went with it. I think I learned that branding is crucial in this business.
  • What was your main reason and focus on starting the label?
  • I needed a platform to release my music pretty much. It started off with two vinyl releases which didn’t do well at all. So it was disappointing realizing vinyl may no longer be conducive to getting the material out there. I had to figure out how to market digital releases which is even more challenging.
  • What’s on the horizon for you and what can we expect musically?
  • I’m currently at work on the next release with one track finished. The track is called Good vs Evil and it really summarizes the theme. It starts out like a Detroit techno track and then gets full on angry progressive about three minutes in. You can really hear that there is a battle taking place which is just what I wanted to exemplify. I’m excited to get working on the other tracks, I think this ep will make some noise for sure. It will be called The Regeneration.
  • How would you describe your sound?
  • My sound is constantly changing based on what I’m feeling. I try to keep it as real as possible by only releasing what truly sounds good and provocative to my ears. It’s not easy because your ears can fool you! The tracks that stand the test of time, when you can come back three weeks later and still appreciate the track you know you have something.

http://www.tonyollivierra.com/


Kevin Reynolds

Kevin Reynolds

Born to two Irish-American Detroit autoworkers/civil rights activists, Kevin Reynolds’ musical ear was trained by the soundtrack to the late night drives decidedly put on the car stereo by his parents: none other than the urbane and otherworldly voice of celebrated Detroit radio dj, Electrifyin’ Mojo…

While his mother attended medical school at Michigan State University, Kevin and his family lived in student housing that housed families from around the globe, with neighbors blaring insistent sounds of such diverse backgrounds as Afropop, music from China’s urban centers, Tejano music, and spaced melodic sounds from the Middle East. Kevin was self taught when it came to making music with machines; obsessed with being able to create the music he was being exposed to on a daily basis, he approached and helped design the first Music Technology class in his high school…

Reynolds’ first foray into a professional music career was a call to work at Derrick May’s seminal classic label Transmat Records. Initially signed on as an audio engineer fresh out of college in the dry deserts of Arizona, Derrick saw other plans for Reynolds and pushed him to develop knowledge in all aspects of music. While at Transmat, Reynolds was given the opportunity to manage all the audio production functions of the pioneering label. Working as an engineer and tour manager of Derrick May’s Hi Tech Soul band Time: Space including Aril Brikha, John Beltran, Neil Olliverra, Tony Drake, Jeremy Ellis he travelled throughout North America, Europe and Japan. Among the many projects executed during his tenure at Transmat, he also curated the official music compilation for “Movement,” Detroit’s 2004 electronic music festival.

Kevin’s music draws hints from a wide spectrum of artists. In his music you can hear the steely mechanics of Kraftwerk, the powerful blasts of John Coltrane, the emotive synths of Carl Craig, the social commentary of A Tribe Called Quest, the rawness of Jeff Mills, and lush waves of Sergio Mendes. On record, balance is key to his music: “You must have the light with the dark, day with night, and it’s a natural balance of opposites. ”

Since his initial steps at Transmat, Kevin also had the opportunity to be the US tour manager for Neo Soul artist Amp Fiddler. Founding his own label, Todhchai (which translates to “future, or things to come” in Gaelic), he has composed music for Lexus of America , Blue Cross Blue Shield, Red Bull and the Mayor of Detroit. This lead to the privilege of remixing The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Stravinsky’s riotous “Rite of Spring”. In 2006, Reynolds released his first record “Afrik” to critical acclaim and championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Osunlade, Jazzanova, DJ Karizma and Masters At Work. The UK’s BBC Radio One dubbed Reynolds the “new sound of Detroit Techno.” His live performances have been showcased at Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2001 and 2004. Most recently his live sets where noted in Resident Advisor as highlight of the Movement 2009 Detroit Festival and called “fresh, evocative deep house tunes that never stopped evolving” by littlewhiteearbuds.com Most recently, Kevin composed an original song for Microsoft Ford Sync web launch called “playit4ward.msn.com