Derrick May is one of the founding fathers of Detroit techno, a precursor of its many variants and particularly of acid house. Far more creative and passionate than the other founders of the genre, May's aestethic, skeletal, melancholy style gained him the nickname of "the Miles Davis of techno". He introduced both a psychological element and a futuristic vision in dance music.
Along with his high-school mates Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, May began early in life to explore electronic music May sponsored the single Let's Go by X-Ray, that introduced the hypnotic, repetitive electronic figures of techno, and then recorded Nude Photo (Transmat, 1987), credited to Rhythim Is Rhythim, one of the records that started the techno revolution world-wide. An affecting melody, subaquatic basslines, jazzy hi-hats, liquid synthesisers made it an instant underground classic. May followed it with Strings Of Life (Transmat, 1987), his masterpiece. May's label soon became a reference point for an embryonic but rapidly expanding Detroit scene. R-Tyme's R-Theme and Rhythim Is Rhythim's Beyond The Dance also ranked very high in the techno Valhalla.

In 1990, right after Beginning, May sank into a self-imposed exile from the musical scene. He returned three years later with the evocative Icon (Transmat, 1993), the transcendent Kaotic Harmony (Transmat, 1993) and the compilation of unreleased tracks Relics.

The double CD Innovator (Transmat, 1997) contains all the music that May has ever released.

Derrick May
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Performances