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Biografie Derrick May

Derrick May was born in Detroit, Michigan, during a decade of extremes in the city's history: the 1960's. The riots of 1968 were the physical manifestation of the citizens' frustration from racial discrimination and inequality. On the other end of the spectrum the soulful sounds of Motown Records were the soundtrack for the city and the globe. In this diverse milieu Derrick developed an eclectic taste in music including such diverse artists as The B-52's, Funkadelic, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan and David Bowie.

Derrick's love for a wide variety of music eventually evolved into him dj-ing at age eighteen. Derrick immersed himself in the art of dj-ing by playing at such clubs as the Music Institute and The Majestic and the occasional underground party. In 1985 Derrick's hard work paid off and he got his own radio mix show, Street Beat on WJLB, the highest rated station in Detroit. Derrick alongside good friends and musical collaborators; Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins (a.k.a Model 500 and half of Cybotron) played early house records and early Detroit Records. The aforementioned Detroit records were the avant-garde, soulful, raw, esoteric soundscapes that Derrick and his pioneering peers produced themselves. This new innovative electronic music would soon be known to the rest of the world as Techno.

In 1986 Derrick May conceived the idea for an autonomous Techno music record label where artists could express their visionary musical thoughts without the red tape and bureaucracy of major record labels. His idea manifested in 1987 as Transmat Records . In 1987 Derrick released "Nude Photo" (Transmat), which was his first big hit. The surreal textures and electronic effects captured the attention of an unsuspecting European public, who were first to embrace Techno. "I want to make music that is unique and original no matter how long it takes, I want to make dance music for the emotional feel and dance music for the dance", says Derrick. "Strings of Life" (Transmat 1987) was released after "Nude Photo" is probably one of his biggest and best-known anthems.
In a recent issue of SPIN magazine, "Strings of Life" was named one of the 40 records that "shook the world." These two songs were pivotal in cementing Derrick's place as a founding force in Techno. Derrick, through Transmat, has introduced the world to some of Techno's most prominent and shining figureheads; Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin and Stacey Pullen just to name a few.

Derrick has worked with many recognized artists during his long career. Derrick has collaberated with New Wavers Depeche mode and remixed music for Nitzer Ebb. Derrick received a gold record for his "Deep House" mixes for the house music duo Inner City. In addition to producing Derrick has a hectic dj-ing schedule. Derrick continues to play on six continents and innumerable countries and cities around the world.

Derrick has recently re- released the double CD "Innovator"(Transmat/Proper) in the US. The album was originally released only in Asia on Sony Japan. The disc is a retrospective of his career. The newest song, "To Be or Not to Be," is the soundtrack for the Sony Playstation game "Ghost In The Shell. "Transmat's most recent project is the "Time:Space" compilation. It is a collection of music from Transmat's new roster of artists including Tony Drake, Aril Brikha and Indio as well as unreleased music by Derrick May himself. Derrick is now focusing on the new millennium multi media explosion. Derrick says" My vision is to keep music on the forefront, to always keep evolving, if that means making dance tracks or scoring films."

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