Kevin Saunderson b2b Dantiez

SUNDAY


Platinum-selling recording artist, label boss, festival promoter, true innovator in the pantheon of popular music, cultural champion, cracking DJ: there’s a lot to be said about Kevin Saunderson.

His influence runs deep, through both adopted hometown of Detroit, and music culture as a whole: as one of the Belleville Three, the high school trio which also includes Juan Atkins and Derrick May, he irreparably changed the face of electronic music; with Inner City, he gave it some of its most memorable tunes.The genesis of today’s enormous techno scene can be retraced straight to Kevin, Derrick and Juan, as their formative experiments on rudimentary hardware sketched a blueprint for a genre that was yet to exist. By absorbing Kraftwerk, cutting-edge funk, local radio stalwart The Electrifying Mojo’s eclecticism, and all manner of new synthesizers and drum machine-led pop music, the Belleville Three broke new ground as musicians and DJs in the 80s.

Saunderson’s comparatively late start as a producer – kicking off in ’87 under the moniker of Kreem, with E-Dancer and Reese two of the more well-known names to follow – inadvertently gifted him a head start. With the eruption of house music a few hours down the I-94 in Chicago, Saunderson married Detroit’s raw sound to more tactile, pop-leaning sensibilities. Inner City was born, and global success followed.Between “Big Fun”, “Good Life”, debut album Paradise and a number of follow-up singles, Inner City (Saunderson and vocalist Paris Grey) amassed 12 UK top 40 hits and over six million records sold worldwide during their peak. A dancefloor-dominating remix by Luciano in 2008, and a globetrotting reunion tour in 2012, underscores the longevity of Inner City’s classic sound.His nickname of ‘The Elevator’ is apt: for his role in transporting Detroit’s new sound to a wider audience; as anyone who has seen him perform live can attest, his high-energy, high-spirit and high-impact DJ sets; and for spending the past 35 years of his life progressing the culture he helped create.Operating in tandem to his golden run as a producer in the late 80s and early 90s, Saunderson’s own KMS record label – a remarkable 30 years strong in 2017 – has chronicled the early footsteps of R-Tyme, Blake Baxter, MK, Chez Damier, Derrick Carter, Bicep and even Saunderson’s son and regular DJ partner Dantiez more recently.

From an early age, surrounded by such influential creatives, Dantiez knew music was the way for him. Inspired by his generation’s reaction to electronica, Dantiez completely immersed himself in production and DJing.

Directly connected to Detroit’s rich musical heritage, he learnt from his dad and fellow Techno innovators: Derrick May and Juan Atkins, whilst drawing further inspiration from the likes of Marco Carola, Seth Troxler, Richie Hawtin and Dubfire. From this Dantiez honed his craft, with songs beginning to reflect all sides of his taste pallet: energetic, Detroit-infused, underground but with a Pop vibe that’s still rooted in Tech-House and Techno.

These early explorations paid off. Dantiez secured tracks on esteemed labels, most notably: Defected, Toolroom, Nervous and of course KMS, the legendary label owned by his father, which Dantiez helped relaunch and now heads its A&R department. Alongside these production credentials, Dantiez is a busy touring DJ with many high-profile events under his belt, like Boiler Room and Movement Electronic Music Festival. Dantiez has also earned his stripes as an in demand remixer, even being asked to reinvent material by childhood heroes: Green Velvet and Carl Craig.