Did Juan Atkins create the genre that’s known as techno? It’s a question which has been debated more and more in recent years, and that discussion has only grown louder over time. That tends to be the thing with history – as the late Queen Elizabeth II once said, recollections might vary.
But this debate appears to be increasingly polarised. On one side, you have people who are absolutely convinced the so-called Belleville Three are telling the full truth and anyone who disagrees just doesn’t like Black people – even though most of those doing the questioning are themselves Black. And on the other, you have those asking questions raising even more questions when the answers received are less than satisfactory.
Now, Ears To The House has no agenda in this debate other than to get to the truth. We believe it’s the facts which matter – and those facts will only be unearthed by scrutinising the evidence. However, we notice there is one person in this debate who has stayed mysteriously quiet so far – and that’s the central figure in the debate. Put simply, what exactly is the Juan Atkins position on Juan Atkins?
The man himself has previously not been afraid to state his position on all matters techno. In July 1994, Atkins gave an interview where he revealed that around the time Cybotron were around, several other bands referred to their music as “techno” – yet we’re now expected to believe Atkins came up with the term and even the genre. This is an almighty boast to make, to say the least – and the fact Atkins has nothing to say on the subject is downright odd.
After all, no one else knows what’s going on inside the mind of Juan Atkins than Juan Atkins himself. So what’s to stop him from commenting on this? No one is doubting that Atkins had a role in the development of techno, and probably quite a significant one – but does the man himself think he’s the one who started a whole genre?
Ears To The House doesn’t think we’ve reached the “speak now or forever hold your peace” stage – and we’d be very interested to hear what Juan Atkins has to say on the matter…