Derrick May’s plan to get his career back? Reunite the old crew…

There’s been a lot here on Ears To The House over this week about Derrick May, hasn’t there? We don’t really apologise for this – we’ve been away for a few weeks and more normal levels of coverage will resume soon. Today, it’s all about how the occasional Detroit DJ – who hates it when we call him this, apparently – wants his old career back.

As even the man himself now admits on his own website, his gigs started getting cancelled during the autumn of 2020 – falsely citing a “smear campaign” by Michael James as the reason. We suspect the fact articles published by the normally useless dance music press at the time accusing him of multiple counts of sexual assault and rape might also have had something to do with it, but you do you, Mr May.

So what does this plan to get his career back on track entail – and what’s behind it? Curiously, an interview with a sympathetic journalist where he gets to moan about “it’s all because of the colour of my skin” without challenge is not part of it. The not so cunning plan, instead, appears to consist mostly of issuing this whining statement and putting the old crew together…

This old crew consists of two names whom regular readers might recall – Patricia Altisent and Michael Weston. Altisent was previously May’s manager, who responded to the sexual abuse allegations by taking all but one of his Transmat artists over to a new record label. And Weston is a plank lover who we understand invested at least a five figure sum into Project Derrick May.

Michael James recently published an exchange he’d obtained from a group intriguingly calling themselves “The Thinkers”. In it, Altisent admits she’d closed Transmat earlier than previously understood. They also talk a bit about monetising the website and putting out new music – neither of those will be by Derrick May himself. We can’t possibly imagine why

But why now? Ears To The House has asked a number of our Detroit sources and understand three reasons are behind the timing. The first is that Derrick May himself is unsurprisingly in quite poor financial health. Second is the fact Mike Weston wishes to see a return on his investment.

And thirdly, we’re told that pressure has been applied by his current manager Hagi Craig to start seeing results. As a source puts it, “Hagi has been patient so far, but she isn’t prepared to wait forever. She wants Derrick May to be as successful as the other DJs on her roster.”.

Has the cost of living crisis finally arrived in the circles of Detroit techno? It’s beginning to look that way…

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