One thing which Ears To The House hasn’t covered in quite as much detail as we probably should have done was the question over how much music did Derrick May actually produce back in the day. The stories about “Nude Photo” being, in truth, a Thomas Barnett record and the fact “Strings Of Life” wouldn’t exist without Michael James – but what about those notorious Derrick May remixes?
So we thought it was time to put this right. And thanks to the ever handy resource that is Discogs, an extensive list exists of every remix credited to Derrick May. The first is listed as a rework of “Let’s Go” by X-Ray, which was a 1987 collaboration between himself and Juan Atkins – and the last seems to be “Do You Wanna Know” by Funtopia and Jimi Polo, released in 1992.
Probably on the more well-known end is his three remixes of “Sueño Latino”, a track originally released in 1989 by six Italian men – they were Andrea Gemolotto, Claudio Collino, Davide Rizzatti, Elvio Moratto, Massimino Lippoli and Riccardo Persi. It’s been reworked a few times since its release – but May’s remixes are something of the stuff of legend in Detroit circles.
As they get re-released on vinyl once again, there’s just one pesky question which has never been answered. How much work did Derrick May do on these remixes? This is a question which rarely comes up with other producers, because their signature sound makes them instantly recognisable – for instance, everyone could spot a David Morales production from miles off back in the 90s and the same is true today.
But May’s records, when viewed together, don’t seem to have much of a common thread running through them. But why is this? One theory is that it’s due to the engineers in the studio – back in the day, your choice of engineer could drastically alter the final product, and some were known to be more hands on with ideas than others.
At the moment, however, this is nothing more than a theory. Which is why Ears To The House has decided to take a closer look at this age old question. We think we’ll be coming back to this one…
Oh, and to anyone who cares, we prefer the Kayestone remix from 2000…