Over the past few weeks, the UK’s BBC Radio 4 broadcast a three-part documentary called Techno: A Social History. You might have heard of it – our very own editor-in-chief reviewed all three episodes for this site. Many of the who’s who from the vast world of techno were invited onto the programme to speak.
Except for one prominent face from the genre’s early days in Detroit, of course. Part one of said documentary had narrator Ash Lauryn pausing proceedings to reveal that Derrick May was “facing multiple sexual assault allegations from multiple sources” and would not be speaking, even if his name was to be mentioned a few times. Ears To The House strongly suspects the BBC demanded this was inserted into their programme – so far, they haven’t responded to our requests for comment on the matter.
Well, May might be persona non grata at the BBC, but at least one British outlet is happy to let him talk. Step forward, Centreforce 883 – the DAB station admittedly doesn’t have the same gravitas and reach as Britain’s state broadcaster, but it will have some familiarity amongst British ravers during the late 1980s.
Centreforce Radio was a pirate station which used to broadcast house and techno to London and the south east of England from May 1989 to June 1990. The station relaunched on DAB in 2018 and quickly found themselves censured by regulators Ofcom after playing the sexually charged “French Kiss” by Lil Louis on a lunchtime show during school holidays.
Well, it’s to this station which May has granted an interview. Promoting it on Instagram, DJ Sterling describes him “the pioneer and one of the Belleville Three who created Detroit techno”. Which somewhat suggests to us that questions such as “is it true that most of the equipment used to make early Detroit techno was paid for out of a credit card scam?” are likely to be notable only for their absence.
We note that comments are switched off on the Instagram post above – a common tactic for anyone booking Derrick May for pretty much anything these days. Expect no earth shattering revelations if you do tune in – we feel a bout of hair washing coming on this Sunday…