Such a good life
One of the founding fathers of techno is making a rare visit to Scotland. KEVIN SAUNDERSON talks about Inner City, E-Dancer and the birth of the scene. Words: Rory Weller
‘When you‘ve had success like I have you become seen as Mr Commercial.‘ says Kevin Saunderson. in London to film the video for the re-release of ‘Good Life'. the 1988 dance classic he created under the guise of Inner City. ‘The Detroit gttys see it as a negative. but. man. I just do what I feel and feel what I do.‘
Saunderson holds a singularly unique position in dance music history. No one else has managed quite so efficiently to cross-over from serious underground credibility to full-on chart success. With ‘Big Fun' and ‘Good Life’ he created two of the most enduring dance anthems ever. yet he still maintains full respect for his other work. He runs the credible labels KMS and Fierce City Records. while the E-Dancer project showcases his dark side — all hard rhythms and sparse melody.
Along with Derrick May and Juan Atkins. Satmderson is one of Detroit Techno‘s holy trinity. The trio grew up in the same place. listened to the same radio shows. went to the same clubs. got into the same books and even stayed in the same house. ‘When Derrick stayed with me it was almost like we became like one.‘ he says.
But the difference between Sattnderson and the other two was his experience of New York nightlife. Although he moved to Detroit when he was eleven. he would still visit his brother Ronnie back east. As a particularly hirsute thirteen-year-old. he could get into clubs like the Paradise Garage with ease and hear Larry Levan‘s uplifting vocal dance sets. The combination of NY
and Detroit influences were the key to his cross—over
success. he reckons. ‘Juan and Derrick thought music of the future had to be without vocals. but I was a little different. I heard Larry playing all kind of songs which touched me. and ljust freshed into it.‘
He says he makes different kinds of dance music
to stop him getting bored doing the same thing over
and over. ‘It all works hand in hand. that‘s how I
66 THE LIST 2] Jan—4 Feb 1999
'Iuan Anderson and Derrick May thought music of the future had to be without vocals, but I was a little different. I heard Larry Levan playing all kind of songs which touched me, and I just fI‘EShEd into it.’ Kevin Saunderson
Techno guru: Kevin Saunderson
create.‘ Currently he‘s back working with Paris Grey. the ‘Good Life‘ vocalist. on an Inner City album to come later this year. He had been writing with her even when they didn‘t have a deal. and says they‘ve got some great anthems ready to record. On the flip side. he‘s overseeing remix work on singles from the Iii-Dancer album Heaven/y and DJing with such diverse talents as Tony Humphries. Roger Sanchez. lan Pooley and the Detroit guys.
Saunderson's goal for the millennium is to start scoring music for films. ‘Some sort of sci-fi like Aliens, Total Recall or 'liv-minamr. Yeah. something real futuristic like that.‘ he says. ‘Man. I would love to do that. Maybe one day. maybe one day.‘ Move over John Williams. Saunderson is coming your wa '.
Kevin Saunwderson Dls at Pressure, The Arches, Glasgow, Fri 29 Ian and at Pure, The Venue, Edinburgh, Fri 5 Feb. ‘Good Life (Buena Vida)’ is out now on PIAS Recordings. Heavenly by E-Dancer was released last year on KMS/PIAS.
THIS ISSUE SEES the merger of ELNINO, previously of The Venue, and Defcon One, a monthly club at La Belle Angele. The club will retain the name Defcon One and will feature head residents of both clubs, namely The Jengaheads and Colin Millar. The first night of the merger is Fri 29 Jan. Expect big things.
MINISTRY OF SOUND announced recently that they are to open six club/bars around the country including one in Glasgow. While exact details and dates are being keptvery hush hush, we understand that the bar will open this summer and will feature live 0] linkups from London.
LOVE BOUTIQUE, SCOTLAND'S top mixed night is to end its monthly slot at The Arches on Sat 6 Feb. The club will continue at other venues in the city and beyond, most probably as one-off large scale events. Love Boutique, which has been running in Glasgow for about six years, has seen the likes of Leigh Bowery, Lily Savage, Jon Pleased Wimmin and Billie Ray Martin perform and will close with a masked ball featuring the resident 0] Roy joined by Love Boutique’s original first guest Orde Meikle (Slam).
SUB CITY RADIO hopes to be back on air in March and is looking out for new talent to get involved. Currently the Glasgow University station has more than enough show tapes, but wants DJ mixes for their ’Mix at Six' slot or demos from local unsigned bands of any genre. Send all tapes to Frazer/ Dougal at Sub City Radio, John McIntyre Building, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ.