Possibly the most frustrating part of Detroit Techno is that it exists almost as an enigma. Beginning in the 80’s Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson released hundreds of singles that pushed a completely new sound into the international music consciousness. But these artists didn’t release traditional albums – they made limited-release 12″ singles on vinyl. In the mid-nineties, as the European techno scene had reached its critical mass, May, Atkins and Saunderson began to release mix albums documenting the history of the genre they had created, but there still was no definitive artist album Detroit could call its own.

Enter Carl Craig in 1997 with his landmark More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art. Craig was an artist who had grown up listening to the boys from Belleville, and his work illustrates not only his influence but also his intense drive to push the artistic and sonic boundaries of the techno genre. More Songs pushes the edges of IDM, yet retains the subtleties of the Detroit vision. Tracks like “Dreamland” and “Butterfly” hint at Craig’s Detroit roots. Yet other songs break completely new ground. “At Les” is a gentle, yet haunting, melody that slides along your spine and creeps into your unconscious. In a way it’s a feeling similar to the history of Detroit Techno – a sound deeply ingrained in Detroit music and culture but largely hidden from plain view.

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