Just as Chuck Berry is to rock 'n' roll or Run-D.M.C. to hip-hop, Derrick May's intrinsic value to the sound known as techno simply cannot be overstated. Of the Belleville 3, the famed trio of Detroit high school friends who tested the limits of EDM and changed its form forever, Derrick is the undeniable originator. Juan Atkins may have started earlier, and Kevin Saunderson has certainly enjoyed more commercial success, but May's contributions, including the seminal classic "Nude Photo" and the masterpiece (and ode to Martin Luther King) "Strings of Life," established the Detroit sound globally and inspired a second wave of technocrats, including Ritchie Hawtin, Stacy Pullen and Kenny Larkin. It's all the more peculiar, then, that nary a 909 bleep has come from his studio in more than a decade. May cites disillusionment with the scene and a desire to devote time to managing his highly influential Transmat label, but don't buy the excuses. May undoubtedly has a keen awareness of the importance of his early works, and maybe May just knows when to leave well enough alone. Whatever his reasons for production silence, they haven't kept him from regularly touring as a DJ. The man once called "the Miles Davis of techno" will make a very rare Dallas appearance this Saturday at Minc. Local techno wunderkind Mariel Ito, aka Maetrik, opens. .
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