The Belleville Three promised us a big tour in 2016, so seven years on, where is it?

With Derrick May as part of what’s been dubbed The Belleville Three, it was inevitable they would be able to talk the talk. Indeed, May spent over thirty years talking non-stop to anyone who asked – and probably quite a few who didn’t. How much the three men can collectively walk the walk, however, is a much less certain proposition.

Out of the three, Kevin Saunderson is probably the most prolific in terms of output, still occasionally releasing music now. Juan Atkins, whom Ears To The House holds a deep respect for, hasn’t put out anything in quite a few years and as for Derrick May? He notoriously announced he wasn’t doing any more remixes in 1992 – but hasn’t released any new music since then either.

And how many records have the three men done together over the years? None. We can’t help but think this is a massive red flag – given the notoriety of the Belleville Three name in techno history, they did virtually nothing with the brand other than to plug themselves and their alleged role in techno’s early days.

On the rare occasions something is meant to come out of a choreographed appearance by the trio, nothing ever happens. Take an interview with We Got This Covered from 2016, which starts with the ominous words:

“EDITOR’S NOTE: In a previous version of this article, Kevin Saunderson briefly mentioned an upcoming endeavor between the three artists that was not supposed to be shared with the public until a later date. At the request of his publicist, we have removed that passage.”

What exactly was removed? The answer can be found on Insomniac, who ran a quote from the We Got This Covered interview where Kevin Saunderson said “What I can say for the future is that we’re working on a tour now, for all three of us as the Belleville Three. We’re gonna try to kick it off next year, and it’s gonna start out with DJing and evolve into a much bigger thing, too.”

The very same passage which is now missing from the original interview. This was disclosed in 2016, apparently too early, by Kevin Saunderson. The subsequent promised tour never happened – and with multiple allegations of sexual abuse hanging over Derrick May, such a tour of the trio will now almost certainly never take place.

Unless, of course, the bizarre rumours we received a while ago of Carl Craig effectively being brought in to replace Derrick May in the trio are true…

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