Can Juan Atkins play? Michael James offers $1000 for evidence…

Here at Ears To The House, we have the deepest respect for Juan Atkins. The self-dubbed originator of techno has been around since the beginning and is a man who has achieved much over the past four decades. Unfortunately however, not all of us share a deep respect for Mr Atkins.

One person who has a more cynical outlook towards this brave pioneer is Michael James. Now, James isn’t especially well liked in the tribalist Detroit techno world – he was first to start publishing stories about Derrick May, beating the mainstream dance music press by at least nine months. And although the Detroit world pretends they don’t read his words – they do the same with us, too – they seem to occasionally break cover to comment.

James recently started asking questions over whether Juan Atkins can play – posting footage of a Boiler Room event and querying certain moments in the video. Atkins was part of duo Cybotron from 1981 to 1985, and took the show live in 2019 – fellow member Rik Davis was not involved and to the best of our knowledge, none of these shows have yet taken place in front of the loyal Detroit crowd.

Three shows are coming up for British audiences over the next few weeks – September 9th at Camden’s Jazz Cafe, October 29th at The Beams and November 12th at FAC 51 The Haçienda. And Michael James has an offer to anyone going which could earn them $1000. The catch? Here are his words

At the time of publication, $1000 is equivalent to around £870. And all you need is a decent quality video which clearly shows Juan Atkins playing chords with his hands. Thankfully for Atkins, Ears To The House respects him far too much to do anything like this…

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