The Detroit techno bunch are feeling a little on edge at the moment – and not just because the documentary God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines actually acknowledged the sexual abuse allegations against Derrick May. No, they’re also irritated by increased coverage online of their activities – we wonder who could possibly be annoying them?
Like too many in the dance music world, most at the top of the Detroit techno tree are used to having it their own way. They’re not used to being questioned and they’re even less used to outsiders doing it. Hence why Carl Craig responded to legitimate criticism from this site by dismissing us as “haters” – an increasingly meaningless slur used to stifle debate.
Over the past few days, the likes of Carl Craig and Alexander Omar Smith have been engaged in a very ugly game on social media – by sharing a tasteless meme featuring Annabel Ross, one of the two journalists who brought the story into the mainstream press. We apologise to anyone upset by the image below, but we also feel its publication is necessary.
It was initially published by Smith late on Saturday, then taken down after an onslaught of negative comment – and worryingly, over 400 likes. Whilst it was up, Carl Craig and Derrick May both shared it on their stories. Both also took theirs down shortly after Smith removed his post, suggesting a poorly orchestrated campaign at work.
On Sunday night, Craig uploaded the post onto his profile. Once again, over 300 likes were recorded at the time the post came down, from names including long time Derrick May friend Alan Oldham, Germany’s Oliver Dollar and Harry Romero – who incidentally removed his like before the post was later deleted.
The only difference between Craig and Smith’s posts were that Craig made his own comment whereas Smith did not. Not for the first time, Craig has resorted to the claim first mentioned by May’s own lawyer in 2020 that the allegations are racially motivated – an accusation that Craig, who is by all accounts a very intelligent man, must know is utterly ridiculous.
With most of May’s career now having collapsed around him – ironically due mostly to his stubborn refusal to meaningfully address the allegations against him – his fellow Detroit peers don’t quite know how to respond. Silence was their main mechanism during the pandemic, so keen were his apparently loyal friends to keep their own powder dry.
And now that clubbing and festivals have resumed again, they think they can try to rehabilitate May. Not only that, but they now think attacking one of the journalists who helped bring his career crashing down is going to help them do so. Their actions smack of desperation – and the fact they keep pulling their posts after a few hours of baiting their followers suggests they too know what they’re doing is wrong.
These attacks against Annabel Ross are disgusting and must stop immediately. If they really believe that Derrick May should be allowed to resume a career, they should openly explain to the world exactly why. If there’s a reason why a man accused of sexual assault by at least 12 women should be allowed to continue his career without addressing those claims, Ears To The House has yet to hear it.
And if certain members of the Detroit techno crew don’t like the scrutiny they’re under, may we kindly suggest they start to behave better?