As any techno fan, myself included, can tell you, Juan Atkins is considered one of the elders of techno, which was born in the rapidly changing world of Metro Detroit. Even as the city, once one of the fastest growing cities in the world, was being hollowed out by white flight, the edges of the city were giving birth to a new musical vitality informed by funk, Kraftwerk, Chicago House, new technologies, and other currents of the period.
In this new video from the Avant/Garde Diaries, Atkins takes you through the urbanscape of a “postindustrial city” that he calls “cold and bleak”, but one that has never stopped acting as a muse for creatives like himself.
“We wake up and look at this everyday, and it effects how I make my music and how I make my art … that’s the beauty of the decay, it gives you creative energy,” he says.
As an added ethereal bonus, the video’s soundtrack is by Atkins himself.