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Carl Craig, native of Detroit, is a citizen of the universe. Through his uncountable aliases and projects, the producer and DJ has taught millions what Detroit techno is about, and how much farther it can go. Still, amid all that bridge-building, he also burned a couple. Planet E, his 20-year-old label, is hinged on Craig’s own bullheaded mantra: “Fuck the focus groups.” He founded Planet E when his old imprint, RetroActive, dissolved after a feud with co-founder Damon Booker. He also beefed with a Warner Brothers subsidiary; the former producers of Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, where he was artistic director; and techno heavy Derrick May (they later reconciled). But drama notwithstanding, Craig’s batting average is irreproachable. There’s a Carl Craig record for every kind: Innerzone Orchestra’s “Bug in the Bass Bin” is the first day of school for any budding drum and bass freak; More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art is what you play for your European friends who don’t get American techno; and 69’s discography—excellent, most!—is strictly for the freaks (and geeks). It’s remarkably catholic music from an artist whose ideology has, at times, approached isolationism.
Carl Craig DJs with Jubilee and Mike Fisher at 10 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10. ustreetmusichall.com. (202) 588-1880.