City Paper is not for tourists
Juan Atkins is the Godfather of Detroit techno, the launching pad for everything from acid house to drum ‘n’ bass. But for the most part, Atkins’ music, as well as that of his Motor City contemporary Derrick May (Rhythim Is Rhythim), is championed far more by European DJs and audiences than by his fellow countrymen. Atkins’ future-funk incarnations as Cybotron, Model 500, and Infiniti sound like Kraftwerk covering Parliament, and his music, as well as his Metroplex label, has inspired everyone from the lush jazz ‘n’ bass of LTJ Bukem to the ‘ardkore sounds of Joey Beltram. Wax Trax! MasterMix Volume 1 contextualizes the underground sounds of Atkins and those he inspired by letting him do seamless master mixes of 19 tracks from his record collection (pops and static, included). He begins with robotic classics by Model 500 (“No UFOs”) and Rhythim Is Rhythim (“Nude Photo”), shifts eventually to Rob Hood’s hard trancer “The Pace” and Convextion’s wobbly “Convextion (AA),” moves to Infiniti’s alien disco cuts “Game One” and “Skyway,” and stops right where he began with Model 500’s “Starlight” and Mr. Oizo’s “Klum,” taking you on a trip through Detroit and beyond. For once, Motown is a beautiful city.