“I was mesmerised by Rhythim Is Rhythim's ‘The Dance,’ so I rang up the phone number on a Transmat label. I had assumed from the artwork it was some kind of corporate setup but it was Derrick who answered and he explained it was a one-man operation—he made the music and released it on his own label. When we released the Innovator EP In 1991 we came up with a subtitle ‘Soundtrack For The Tenth Planet’ because it sounded like it had come from another world. I call Derrick the Detroit techno philosopher, and to me his philosophy was to create dance music which was frenetic but also had an emotional agenda. He created cerebral dreamscapes combined with urgent complex dance rhythms. His agenda is dance and dream. I love the fact that it can be so melancholy and a dance record at the same time.” - Neil Rushton
Essential Detroit techno! If Juan Atkins conceived the futuristic / technological component of Detroit techno and Kevin Saunderson proved its crossover potential, then Derrick May is responsible for its capacity for beauty. As the founder of Transmat Records and one third of the storied ‘Belleville three’, Derrick May’s legacy was already secured years before Innovator was first compiled in 1991. The fact that he hasn’t released any new music since has only further solidified it. Imaginative tracks like “Strings Of Life,” “The Dance,” “Beyond The Dance” and “Nude Photo” served as the blueprint for techno’s potential for human emotion and are still the finest examples of this crucial (but often missing) part of the genre’s DNA. Innovator was compiled by UK DJ and Network Records founder Neil Rushton, the man responsible for releasing the seminal Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroit compilation in Europe (which is typically credited as the first appearance of the term techno), and has been remastered and repackaged to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the label. Graciously spread out over 4 sides of 180g vinyl with reimagined artwork and best of all, the inclusion of lost classic “Hand Over Hand” in its full 13 minute glory which has never been released on vinyl before now. Anyone with so much as a passing interest in electronic music of ANY kind should own this. Highly recommended!
- expanded 2LP reissue of 1991 compilation
- 180g black double vinyl pressing
- includes bonus track 'Hand Over Hand' on vinyl for the first time
- music label: Network Records 2020
reviewed by Billington Lambs 06/2020