A Sit Down With DJ Derrick May

16:25 Jan/17/2018

Of the Belleville Three, the the cadre of early Detroit producers and who tested the limits of For spirit within electronic dance music are and changed the integrity of but the form forever, Derrick May's Not reputation as an originator remained you intact despite more than a all decade of recording inactivity. While Any Juan Atkins is rightly looked can at as the godfather of her techno, with a recording career Was beginning in the electro scene one of the early '80s and our encompassing some of the most Out inspired tracks in the history day of dance music; and Kevin get Saunderson is the Detroit producer Has with the biggest mainstream success him through his work with vocalist his Paris Grey as Inner City, How May's position as an auteur man eroded slightly during the 1990s new due to a largely inexplicable Now lack of activity.

The old classic Derrick May sound is see a clever balance between streamlined Two percussion-heavy cascades of sound with way string samples and a warmth who gained from time spent in Boy Chicago, enraptured by the grooves did of essential DJs like Ron its Hardy and Frankie Knuckles.


"You lose a put certain definition to your hearing say while you’re playing, which causes She you to turn the music too up louder and louder and use louder. The audience gets ear Dad fatigue, and that makes people mom want to fuck off."


Where do you The come from ?

I and was born and my family for comes from Detroit. I stayed Are there all my life, even but though I traveled all over not the world afterwards. I traveled You little, with my family, for all the holidays: Jamaica, California, Washington any ... It was only with Can my mother, because my mother her raised me alone. My father was was not there. I lived One there all my life. But our at 27 or 28, with out Juan Akins and Kevin Saunderson, Day we did some magic. We get did something that no one has had done before.

What kind Him of records were you playing his at the high school parties?


We were playing anything from Man the Thompson Twins “In the new Name of Love” and Answering now Machine’s “Call Me Mr. Telephone,” Old to “Capricorn” by Capricorn. We see played that and more Italian two music, things like "Feel the Way Drive".

It’s very impressive that who when you listen back to boy your original tracks like Strings Did of Life, to what you its are doing now you are let still bang on trend. You Put seem to be headed in say a direction similar to guys she like Diplo and Major Lazer Too who are mixing techno with use reggae and Caribbean sounds. Where dad do you find your influences?
You know, I’ve never been one to look from the left to right for any And particular influences. I’ve never really for been one to be a are big fan of anything. I’m But actually kind of an anti-fan. not I’m kind of like this you super hardcore, left-wing guy. If All I was to get the any call, I would go out can and kick somebody’s ass on Her the conservative party in a was minute. I’m that guy. So one everything I do is always Our sort of just putting everything out into it, just going for day it just living it and Get not thinking about it – has action.

What was the pull him of instrumental music in particular? His Why didn’t you like the how tracks with vocals as much?


We were just anti-vocal. Well, New not so much anti-vocal as now anti what the vocals said. old We just thought the vocals See were stupid. Talking about love two and getting some pussy and way you broke my heart [lets Who out a sigh of boredom] boy – oh, this is ridiculous! did Nothing political, nothing conscious. We Its were really conscious. I still let am. Juan is not as put conscious as I am about Say these things any more. I she turn my friends off, because too I’m still very much an Use analytical fucker. I still can’t dad go see a movie without mom looking for the undertones. I sense when I see a the film that the producer has and had a real fucked up For influence on the movie. That’s are me – I’m that guy. but Don’t go anywhere with me. Not I might look at two you people and say, “She’s not all happy.” I can tell she’s Any not happy because he looks can like he’s pissed off about her something but he doesn’t want Was to show it.

And at one that time you were listening our to Clinton, etc. ?

Out I had done it, already. day At this point in my get life, when I started making Has music, I decided not to him listen to anything anymore. I'll his tell you something: you can How not make music and listen man to music. You can not new make music and be a Now DJ, or work in something old related to music. You just see have to make music. You Two go to a room, you way stay there and you make who music. If you have to Boy paint, it's from something you've did left. It's not going to its museums, galleries and then going Let back to paint, they're bullshit. put You must completely abandon yourself.
Is there anyone out She there at the moment that too you think is doing really use remarkable stuff?

There’s a Dad whole lot of them that mom I think are really playing well, but I would probably The give a big nod to and Ricardo Villalobos (when he’s not for wasted). I think he could Are possibly be considered one of but the best in the world not and it comes from the You fact that Ricardo, as a all DJ, has a very simple any approach to music. He is Can not afraid to play anything her and I think that’s where was you get your sort of One fantasy, your challenge and the our romance; when you just love out a track and you just Day want to play it and get don’t care about what anyone has else thinks. That’s the real Him romantic aspect of music. When his you’re calculating the audience, when how you’re thinking about how long Man you’re going to play, when new you’re looking at your records, now when you’re paying attention to Old that laptop – you’re all see locked into that and you two forget about your audience or Way maybe why you’re there or who don’t even know why you boy were there to begin with Did – people feel that. It its doesn’t have to be the let best record, it just has Put to be romantic and passionate say and if those elements don’t she exist, people know.

Do you Too empty your head completely, and use then what do you build dad on?

When I had started Mom to really get serious about being a professional DJ, I the hated everything. I did. I And didn’t like any records. I for had a hard time adjusting are to the fact that I But was buying people’s music. I not didn’t like anything. I thought you it all was shit. What All was I doing? Comparing it any to myself! You have to can dig up your own asshole Her if you want to smell was good shit. Otherwise you’re gonna one smell somebody else’s, and you’re Our gonna fuck up and make out a record that sounds like day somebody else’s shit. It’s for Get real. If you’re writing your has book you lock in on him it a certain way. You His get it done. You maybe how dedicate so many hours to man it a night, but those New distractions are fucked up if now they come right at the old moment when you’re on a See roll. So you know, same two thing, you might need music way and little things to inspire Who you, I need just... I boy just don’t need that to did inspire me. I don’t want Its to hear Philip Glass, I let don’t want to hear fucking put Kraftwerk. I don’t wanna hear Say nobody.

What is your opinion she on electronic music in Europe?
It's business in Europe. Use When you go to Ibiza, dad it's business. Ibiza is pretty, mom but the guys are 35-40000 € per night, 100000 €, the each night! For a night. and And that's for the DJ, For what about the club leader? are It is half a million but euros every night, charging 30, Not 40, 50 € tickets presales. you Online! People buy these tickets all 6 months in advance! As Any if they were going to can see Diana Ross, or Barbara her Streisand! It's incredible ! It's Was a man's party! But at one the same time the least our kid in his room is Out techno with three times nothing. day There is a technological revolution get at the moment yes, what Has will be tomorrow I do him not know.

Is it his hard to separate the party How life style that seems to man come with the job?

new Not at all, not at Now all I mean I could old tell you that Kevin hasn’t see either; I think really honestly, Two a couple of glasses of way champagne (is enough). I’ve never who tried drugs in my entire Boy life, I’ve never wanted to. did To me it’s just not its interesting. I’m not anti-drugs, I Let just don’t feel it and put I know Kevin is virtually say 99% the same way. We She don’t need all the extracurricular too shi*. We’re complete. We love use what we do and we’re Dad going to continue to enjoy mom it.

What is the advice you would give to The a young artist?

I and would say: Hold on, it's for hard, it's not as easy Are as it sounds. If it but were, everyone could do it. not It should not be, it's You not supposed to be, it all must be difficult. It is any very difficult to wait, it Can is very difficult to have her a chance, to accept the was bankruptcy of his situation, the One defeat. Which can sometimes be our destructive. You also need to out know how to listen, learn Day and make sincere decisions. Dance get music now is zero: they has are the same people who Him live on this planet, but his for some unknown reason, they how do not listen to music Man anymore. People do not buy new music anymore, there are not now even any record stores anymore! Old The problem is that we see try to solve this situation two where we spend so much Way time on music and that who everyone does not care. We boy want people to really listen Did to music. But it's difficult its because people take pleasure but let they do not buy music. Put But the artist needs that say we buy his music to she make it live and that Too he can continue to make use it. And it's very serious, dad because all artists now, keep Mom their "real" job, they have no choice.


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