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Kevin Saunderson - Detroit's In The House

Author: Justin Levy
Monday, 26 November 2007
Kevin Saunderson is the pioneer of DetroitTech-House and has been in the bizz for 20-odd years.  3D’s Justin Levy helpstake a tune out of his tome in celebration of his next trip down under.          Versatility,man. This is how the dance legend the Elevator stayed on top of his game forthe many years of dance revolutions and fickle music tastes. The Motor City resident doesn’t like to play onesound. It’s all about the feel, he says. It’s all about playing what comesnaturally to him, and if it’s cool with the public – that’s a bonus. Who betterto offer advice on dropping the funky beats than someone who has hit it bigwith the mainstream and the underground-For Big Kev –also known as E-Dancer, Reese, Tronichouse and one half of Inner City – variouspseudonyms play an important role in boosting the profile of his homeland.Growing up in Brooklyn, Saunderson started DJing as a hobbywith college mates (and soon to be tech-forgers) Derrick May, Juan Atkins andEddie Fowlkes, and together they created a style of dance that has beenlabelled everything from sinister and mechanical tech to acid house. For theman so immersed in influential dance making, it was almost inevitable DJingwould lead him down the path of production. The more aliases he made for himself as a producer, the more technogroovers there would seem to be flowing out of the city. Crafty, right-  “I think it’sgreat to compose,” he says. “When you finally come up with something, it’s aspecial moment. But it’s also a special moment to play it and test how peoplerespond to it. There’s a balance. DJing experience isn’t critical to becoming acomposer, but it helps.”  Improvements intechnology may account for a greater number of people out there mixing music,but Saunderson advises that it’s not about a vacant opportunity, the cash, orthe social life that should determine whether someone gets into full-timedance. It’s about something more unrelenting, that old-age adage – the passion.“The technologyis there but it’s important we remember the music still has to come fromwithin. You have to put the feeling in the beat,” he insists. “The technologykeeps the sound fresh, but the method of creating music still has to come fromwithin.”While verycommitted to building his home city’s reputation, Saunderson has never been shyof travelling to get his music and name/s out there. He’s been to Oz many atime, and he’s set to come back very soon. Australia isn’t any less dynamic and fickle thanother dance-loving countries, he says.“When I firstplayed at Sydney in 1990, it was amazing. I did a bigwarehouse party with 15 to 20 thousand people there – it was very ahead of thetrends,” he relates. “When I came back a few years later it had changed, and itwas hard to find a party.”WHO: Kevin Saunderson
WHAT: Plays OneLove at Tank
WHEN: Saturday 1 December