Named after the high school they all attended, these three producers are credited with creating the sound and style of techno that would go on to influence electronic dance music for decades to come.
Derrick May’s contributions to the techno scene cannot be overstated. As a producer, he was known for his innovative use of technology and his ability to craft complex, layered tracks that were both danceable and emotionally resonant. His signature sound combined elements of funk, electro, and Chicago house, resulting in a futuristic and distinctive style that set him apart from his peers.
One of May’s most notable tracks is Strings of Life, which was released in 1987 and quickly became a hit in the clubs of Detroit. The track, which features a memorable string sample and a driving beat, is widely considered a classic of the genre and has been sampled and remixed by countless other artists.
In addition to his production work, May was also an influential DJ, known for his energetic and dynamic performances. He would often play marathon sets that could last for hours, taking the audience on a journey through the various sub-genres of techno. His DJ sets were known for their technical proficiency and attention to detail, and he was considered one of the best DJs of his time.
May’s influence on the techno scene can also be seen in his mentorship of other aspiring producers. He was known for his willingness to help up-and-coming artists, and many of the producers who emerged from the Detroit techno scene in the 1990s credit May with providing them with guidance and support.
Juan Atkins began his career in the early 1980s, producing music under the pseudonym Model 500, as well as in the group Cybotron. His early tracks, which blended elements of electro, funk, and Chicago house, were instrumental in defining the sound of techno.
In 1985, he released No UFOs, a track that would become one of the genre’s most enduring classics.
One of the key reasons for Atkins’ influence on the techno scene is his ability to constantly innovate and push the boundaries of the genre. He has always been a forward-thinking producer, unafraid to experiment with new technologies and sounds. This willingness to embrace the future has allowed Atkins to remain relevant and influential even as the electronic music landscape has evolved over the years.
In addition to his production work, Atkins has also been an important figure in the world of electronic music as a whole. He has been a mentor to countless aspiring producers, and has always been willing to share his knowledge and experience with the next generation of electronic musicians.
His influence can be seen in the work of many contemporary artists, making him an enduring figure in the world of electronic music.
Kevin Saunderson Saunderson began his career in the mid-1980s, producing music under the pseudonym Reese. His early tracks were instrumental in defining the sound of techno, and many of his productions remain classics of the genre to this day.
In 1987, he released The Sound, a track that would become one of the most influential and enduring tracks in the history of techno.
One of the reasons for Saunderson’s influence on the techno scene is his ability to combine technical proficiency with emotional depth. His tracks are known for their complex and intricate arrangements, but they also possess a soulful quality that sets them apart from the work of many other producers. This unique combination of technical skill and emotional resonance has made Saunderson one of the most respected and admired producers in the world of electronic music.
In addition to his production work, Saunderson has also been an important figure in the world of electronic music as a whole. He has been a mentor to countless aspiring producers, and has always been willing to share his knowledge and experience with the next generation of electronic musicians.
All three members of the Belleville Three are hugely influential figures in the world of techno music. Their innovative production style, technical proficiency, and emotional depth have helped to shape the sound of electronic dance music and inspire countless other artists.
Their influence continues to be felt today, making them important and enduring figures in the world of electronic music.