Thursday, September 17, 2009

juan atkins does q&a in l.a.

In today's LA Weekly online I do a Q&A with techno innovator Juan Atkins, who's been in town playing playing a few gigs (including headlining Convention Saturday) and possibly setting up a seasonal studio. We asked him about his own role in the development of electro, pre-Afrika Bambaataa, and about his own feelings about the "electro" resurgence:

Cybotron was making electro-like music before the likes of Afrika Bambaataa. Did you consider what you were doing at the time electro?

I've heard people throw that term around. It doesn't have a connection to the old Cybotron. It was techno to me. It wasn't in that genre, but it kind of helped kick-start that genre. "Cosmic Cars" came out at the same time "Planet Rock" came out. The only thing was that "Planet Rock" was made in New York. They had the advantage of having the media behind them. Coming out of Detroit we were like number one on the local charts. It was all techno music basically.

What do you think of the electro resurgence and the rise of acts like Justice that don't have much to do with the original sound?

It's interesting. When you have something that was built to last, it has a way of recycling like that. Like, Missy Elliott sampled "Clear."

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