Derrick May: The ambassador

Derrick May has never been one to mince words. When you’re one of techno’s originators, there isn’t much need for press-release-friendly sound-bites. While he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade (or Miami a dead-zone), May’s passion for doing what he does is never in question.

While as a producer he’s been dormant for years, May remains a tireless champion of Detroit’s techno legacy. After all, he was there at the beginning. His Transmat label is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011 – and as much as the distribution game has changed, the new releases keep coming. However it’s as a DJ that May is most active. Locking into the groove like a man possessed, his sets are nothing if not passionate.

In April, May and his fellow Motor City pioneer Kevin Saunderson will partner up up for the Creamfields tour. The duo is billed under the ‘Hi-Tek Soul’ banner, a concept May has championed over the last decade. With a date at We Love’s Miami bash looming, he schooled inthemix about Detroit, Hi-Tek Soul and why it’s good that Australia is “far away as fuck from everybody and everything”.

Have you guys left for Miami yet?

I’m not going to Miami until the day of the gig. Miami’s not really big on my radar. I wouldn’t gauge any amount of good or bad with Miami. I really have so little regard for Miami that it’s beyond even comprehension.

There are no promoters that I know there really, no level of support. I mean, apart from the WMC, which is not even run by Miami locals. I can’t really show any love for the area ‘cause I’ve never received any.

Where do you feel that level of support strongly?

For me, it’s got to be Japan. It’s my number one market. In Europe, it’d have to be Holland, my number two market. Also Eastern Europe. I do really well in Macedonia. I really see more support outside of the normal markets; I’m always exploring new places. I like to keep it fresh and interesting.

So is that energy and enthusiasm as strong as it ever was in Japan for you?

Yeah, it is. You know what’s happened – it has been invaded by a number of undesirables who’ve attempted to jump on-board and latch onto the scene there. They’ve never been able to figure out how it works, so the Japanese scene is still very much a Japanese scene. Unlike a lot of scenes around the world that get invaded, like all the people who ran to Berlin. That bubble had a quick burst.

Scenes all over the world come and go, ‘cause they get invaded one way or another. Now, for instance, Australia – that’s been able to maintain a decent scene because it’s far away as fuck from everybody and everything as possible. I honestly believe that the scene in Australia has been less influenced by other scenes than most countries.

Of course, the scene has taken its roots and origins from somewhere, but it seems to me Australia has stuck to really simple tactics as far as events are concerned. It’s as it always was.

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