Today, 6 April, marks Derrick May‘s 55th birthday, and it’s a sign of an unyielding devotion to quality techno that May, one third of the famed ‘Belleville Three’, is still as relevant today as he was 30 years ago.
Back in 1992, May released Relics – A Transmat Compilation, a mix that includes all time classics such as Suburban Knight’s The Art Of Stalking, Model 500’s Info World and May’s own Strings Of Life, recorded under his Rhythim Is Rhythim moniker.
Some 26 years on, it’s a SERIOUS mix of tracks, that could well be considered a ‘story so far’ snapshot of Detroit techno in the early 90s.
As a Melody Maker review of Relics from May 1992, by future MUZIK editor Push, put it, “Derrick May will not just be remembered as the guy who called Factory Records supremo Tony Wilson “a flat-arsed muthafucker” during a heated exchange at last year’s New Music Seminar. Way back in 1986, you see, when Detroit oddball May released his first record, he also released one of the first techno records. Respect.
“Six years on and techno has become a constantly changing soundtrack for the drive towards the 21st Century, an experiment to locate the perfect groove. And then to rip it up and start again.
“Which is why the formula rave acts queueing up to get on “Top Of The Pops” have about as much to do with techno as Ozzy Osbourne.”
Describing Relics as “27 musical probes beyond the ultraworld”, the reviewer is effusive in his praise of May’s work, as evidenced by his description of Strings of Life, “Take Strings Of Life, a track Altern 8 unashamedly ripped off on their last single and one of several familiar tunes to be given a fresh dimension on this LP. Without the thumping beats, the synthesised violins circle and soar ever upwards. The result is more emotional than physical.”
Read the full review here. Happy birthday Derrick!
[Kudos to RCRD for the YouTube upload]