You are one of the pioneers of the Detroit Techno music birth movement. In 1985 you were already producing music. How was music produced in those years?
If you had the money then you would go into a studio and record your ideals. There where lots of professional studios back then But you had to know what you where doing so you would not waste time and money. I was not a train musician its safe to say most of us where not. when I first started to record I used to work the whole song out with a two tack sequencer then record to a cassette tape then I purchased a tascam porta one four track cassette tape recorder then latter I bought a two track reel to reel tape recorder with the reel to reel I could do long mixes and edit them together that was before the
computers came into music production.
Which machines do you remember to handle?
Roland TR-909, Juno 60, Memory Moog was my favorite combination to create a track with.
In those days, who inspired you, who were your references?
The music was my main inspiration I grew up listing to all the Motown Soul music I love it. In my teenage years George Moroder, Kraftwerk, New Order, Depeche Mode, Visage, George Clinton. Back then I was a post punk.
How do you get to adopt the nickname of Prince of Techno? What explanation does it have?
Cliff Thomas owned the best DJ record store in Detroit called Buy-Rite records and he also had a few record labels like Express records and incognito records, He started that. Because of my sexy lyric style and I had a crazy style back then. I did not like the name but somehow the tag stuck to me. Mike Banks and Jeff Mills put it on a record release on the Underground Resistance label. I had ask them before the record was made not to use the Prince of Techno name but they did away.
Detroit has been considered the birthplace of Techno. Which producer artists do you think did the most for Detroit Techno?
Group wise I would say Cybotron, Inner City, Underground Resistance. I could not say one person because it was a city wide movement with many artist creative contributions. It was not one two or thee it was many.
After 34 years in the scene and having been a resident of big clubs, to be one of the precursors of techno. What do you think you still have something to do in your long professional career?
Once an artist, always an artist it will always be the next DJ set the Next release. Yes, I have a few more projects that I want to do. For myself I still want to do some bigger and better then what I did personally in the past. Music is a love, a hobby, a passion and a profession. I feel blessed and grateful too still be around and doing what i love.
What would you say was your best year? What happened?
1991 I started to travel, tour Germany. Underground Resistance and Tresor a great year.
And the worst? That year that maybe is to forget…
1989 was a hard year mentally. 2009 was the worst year of my life on so many levels it hurts to think about it.
Did you ever think about leave the music industry? Why would you have done that?
Yes, I thought about it at one point, all the traveling it’s hard to maintain a stable family and a relationship if you’re on the road every week I had a good job but I could not take working with corporate people their mentality. I was good at my job just not into it. Music is in the blood and I love to travel.
What would you change if you had to go back to the past knowing everything you know today.
I would change who I worked with and made better decisions with my contacts
Let’s talk about two other important cities for electronic music, Berlin and Ibiza. From what you know, what is the best and worst of each of them?
Well, both are great cities for music and completely different weather wise and music wise both places have loads of tourist. Berlin is more so Techno and darker clubs are open all year around and creative people have a bit more control. Ibiza is more so House and a more commercially driven it’s a vacation getaway.
By the way, we don’t want to finish without knowing who is your technical rider at the moment.
Roland TR-09, SE-02, Korg Electrotribe 2, Akai MPC-500, Doepfer MS-404 , Alesis Sample Drum pad.
• Best club ever?
• Your best session was on?
They keep getting better all the time
• The best Dj you’ve ever seen?
I still love Louie Vega
• If you were not dj, what would you be?
A hit man
• Your specialty in the kitchen?
Spicy ramen noddles with seitan
• What equipment is missing in your study?
• A track to define Detroit?
for the techno and house heads, Inner City / Good Life
for me as a Detroiter, One Nation Under A Groove
THANK YOU BLAKE!!