Juan Atkins was the inventor of techno and probably also invented sliced bread, the wheel and built the ancient pyramids of Egypt. If you spoke to the man himself, you might be tempted to believe him if he was to tell you all this – such is his extremely capable talent at telling a story.
Now, one of few things the so-called Belleville Three have in common is an ability to try and downplay the roles others played in the development of techno – Atkins and Saunderson were both at it in the recent documentary Techno: A Social History, and May would have been too if he wasn’t mired in allegations of sexual abuse.
Atkins, in particular, would have you believe that Cybotron was his sole project. This defence falls down, however, when he’s questioned about specifics such as what equipment the group used in the 1980s, in contrast to fellow member Rik Davis who will happily tell anyone who asks about it. There’s also the awkward fact Atkins is named second in almost all Cybotron releases – something which the so-called primary producer would never usually accept.
So Ears To The House was highly bemused to see a listing on Resident Advisor for FAC 51 Haçienda, due to take place on October 29th in brand new London club The Beams. You see, the lineup includes Marshall Jefferson, Brit hating DJ Pierre, Graeme Park, Terry Farley – and an appearance from Cybotron.
When Cybotron was first formed in 1981, three men were involved – Richard Delano Davis, Juan Atkins and John Housely. Atkins left the band in 1985, but then went on to release music under that name anyway until 1995. And all appearances for Cybotron in the past few years appear to solely involve Atkins.
So where are Housely and Davis amidst all this? Ears To The House wasn’t able to reach Housely for comment, although a quick search online reveals he has released a number of flamenca albums in recent years. As for Rik Davis, he confirmed last night to our editor that “No, I personally am NOT involved”.
We wonder which journalist will ever be courageous enough to ask why Atkins is now apparently happy to make money out of the band he chose to walk out on 37 years ago…