Keith Tucker is a hero amongst the first generation Detroit techno and electro producers; a contemporary and collaborator with many of the city’s greats like Juan Atkins, Moodymann, Terrence Dixon, Suburban Knight, Drexciya and the whole Underground Resistance crew. Under aliases DJ-K1, Optic Nerve and as one half of AUX 88 with Tommy Hamilton from 1993, Tucker has been a pioneer of electro and continues to put out some of the genres purest and grittiest tracks. Co-owner of Puzzlebox Records with Anthony Shakir from 1996, this has been home to the majority of Tucker’s productions and affiliated projects. Like many of his Detroit peers, Tucker also was influential in introducing electro over to Europe, especially through his ‘Brace Yourself’ EP which came out in 1998 on Cologne’s Electrocord label. Snappy, raw, funky and loose.
Originally released on Glasgow-based label, Seventh Sign Recordings in 2005, Tucker’s ‘Detroit Saved My Soul’ EP makes a fresh return on newly established imprint, Mint Condition having been remastered by London's Curve Pusher. 2017 has been a solid year for the label focusing on unearthing and reviving classic house and techno gems, and whilst not ready to flog out £50+ on Discogs for the original, most can truly appreciate their efforts!
‘It’s A Mood (Detroit Saved My Soul)’ is a pulsating minimal cut with sentimental trippy vocodered lyrics. The hooks and paddy percussion have the classic weight and grit of early US techno, speaking true to Detroit’s musical legacy. ‘My Mental State’ has a similar punch with bouncy rhythm, syncopated percussions and more psychedelic vocals. Acidy electro.
‘Electronik’ epitomizes the early US electro sound. It’s stabby and invigorating with riveting dichotomies of cold percussion, mystical synths and growling bass. Unlike the other two tracks, ‘Electronik’ has those futuristic keys designed to take the listener to the furthest corners of space.
Words by Fred D