Juan Atkins is an American record producer and DJ from Detroit, Michigan. He was described by Mixmag as “the original pioneer of Detroit techno”. Juan’s father was a concert promoter which could have contributed to his passion for music, especially techno music. In 1980, Juan formed Cybotron with Richard Davis. Cybotron was an American electro music group and they have a number of singles with are now considered classics of the electro genre. In 1985, Juan founded the record label Metroplex. That same year, he started making solo records under the alias, Model 500. As Model 500, he released Deep Space, Mind and Body and most recently, Digital Solutions in 2015. To explain how Juan Atkins is the father of Techno, I will first begin explaining what the techno genre is, then talk about Atkin’s style and influences and finally his discography.
What is Techno?
Techno is a genre of electronic dance music (EDM) characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat which is generally produced for use in the continuous DJ set. The central rhythm is on 4/4 time or common time and the tempo typically varies between 120 and 150 beats per minute. Instruments used are mainly electronic such as drum machines, sequencers, synthesizers and digital audio workstations. Techno originated in the Mid 1980s in Detroit and is stylistically similar to house music.
Juan Atkins’ Style and Influence
Juan Atkins has said that Parliament and Funkadelic were important to his musical awakening. He grew up listening to The Electrifying Mojo’s radio shows.This radio show showcased musical and social development in Detroit and was important to the development of Detroit techno. Atkins has also acknowledged Kraftwerk, a German band considered the pioneers of electronic music as one of the influences on his music.
Juan Atkins' Discography
Juan Atkins has nine studio albums. His most recent is titled Mind Merge LP and was released in 2017. Atkins has three Compilation albums. One under his alias Model 500 and another under his alias Infiniti. With numerous singles, Juan Atkins has definitely left his mark in the world of Techno and is continuing to do so today.
Juan Atkins' Interviews
Juan Atkins- The History of Techno