In honor of the Movement festival, where techno heads converge on Detroit over Memorial Day weekend, we spend Episode 144 diving in to the Belleville Three: Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May.
Here, we listen to clips of interviews and some of the iconic tracks that put “Detroit Techno” on the map. This is a bit of a misnomer, in that these pioneers actually developed their sound from living in Belleville, a rural town about 30 miles away from Detroit. But, regardless of that technicality, there’s no denying that their contribution to music history became a worldwide phenomenon.
They heavily cite influences form radio DJs in Detroit, which was often used as a test market, which gave them exposure to lots of experimental types of music. That, along with the lack of subscription to the concept “we should like black music”, allowed them to consume and experiment with music in a way that felt right, to them. The three also discuss in some of these clips, about the influences they had on each other, as they each have their own sound.
In some other interviews, Kevin and Derrick explain an early lesson in crowd reading, playing the right tracks, and getting past amateur status, that the three learned when playing a gig. Kevin also explains his musical connection bridging between his original home in New York, and Detroit, and how Mojo (radio DJ) opened Kevin’s eyes to all kinds of music.
In another clip, Richie Hawtin is doing a recap of the CNTRL tour, where he discusses Detroit, the Bellville Three, and the Midwest of the US (including Dayton!). There’s so many interviews, full of so much great information, and we hope you enjoy learning more about the Belleville Three. Dig in!
Also, in honor of Memorial Day, the Passionate DJ Podcast would like to remember our military members who gave the ultimate price, those who served and are no longer with us, and thank the families who have lost their loved ones in service to these United States. Thank you for your sacrifices, so that the rest of us have the freedoms we enjoy.
MOCAD Interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt4aQEXqMRw
DJ Mag Interview w/Juan Atkins: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqhPVPZ_3c
Derrick May discusses Strings of Life: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt3QvoF8eK4
Signed Media Interview w/Kevin Saunderson: www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_6huw5Y6MI
Richie Hawtin discussing Detroit, the Belleville 3, and Dayton: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9qrbT_Nb0