There aren’t many people who can claim to have transformed dance music, and who have changed the way we move and the way we hear. You could probably count the real revolutionaries — Kraftwerk, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, a drum & bass pioneer or two, etc. — on your fingers and toes, but be sure to save a digit for Kevin Saunderson, one of the artists credited with muscling Detroit techno into existence in the mid- and late-’80s. Along
with Juan Atkins and Derrick May, Saunderson created a sound that was heavily indebted to the house that was coming out of Chicago around the same time —by some magical mixture of time, place, luck and intent, though, Saunderson and the others managed to free their music from the past and create something truly new.
Saunderson’s gone by a slew of pseudonyms over the years, but there are two that tower above the others: Inner City and E-Dancer. The former, of course, is the populist face of techno, serving up radio-friendly techno-pop classics like ‘Big Fun’ and ‘Pennies from Heaven’; the latter is a different beast altogether, a hard-charging exploration of techno’s darker, deeper corners. Since E-Dancer’s glory days, which roughly coincide with the ’90s, the project has been relatively quiet — but, step by step, Saunderson’s been bringing it back to life, and this month sees the release of ‘Re:Generate,’ a remix compilation of classic tracks boasting contributions from an array of producers who span the techno universe. DJ Mag was fortunate enough to catch up with Saunderson for an interview, in which he holds forth about the release, his past and his future, and his hopes for clubland unity.
As usual, there’s plenty more to peruse as well. There’s a look at dancehall’s top 100 figures, Lauren Flax and her important work regarding drug safety, the continuing evolution of bass whiz CloZee, selections from house music idealist LadyMonix and more, along with tech news, reviews, and a look at our favorite up-and-coming artists. It’s a packed issue, delivered with love for the music and for everything that surrounds it.