It’s not just Kevin Saunderson who looks surprised! The Belleville Three – that glorious fairytale of Detroit techno – are planning a comeback in 2024, but just WHAT will they actually do?

It seems to be one of those weeks for us at Ears To The House, where the stories just write themselves. In a way, this suits us fine – anything that makes the endless search for quality content easier always helps – but it also means we sometimes have to check a few things a little more thoroughly than usual.

This is one of those instances. On the face of it, this story was so utterly ludicrous that we didn’t initially believe it when it arrived at our desks. But further checks have revealed there is some truth to it – although things are not quite as far advanced as we first suspected. So, with that in mind, onto the story we go.

Since the multiple allegations of sexual abuse against Derrick May emerged in 2020, a lot of people have been unsure how to respond. This is certainly the case in Detroit, where many of May’s “friends” have been trying to have their cake and eat it – remaining privately supportive of May whilst publicly refusing to be associated with him.

It’s a development that even Derrick May has noticed, according to our usual sources – and he’s even taken to calling them out for it. As one told us “I can’t say too much, because I could get a few people in trouble, but I’ve heard that Derrick gave [a Detroit techno legend] a hard time recently because he didn’t think he was giving him enough support.”.

Ears To The House is aware of the identity of the “techno legend”, but has agreed to our source’s request not to name him. However, two people who apparently seem willing to put their heads above the parapet are none other than Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins – May’s colleagues in what became known as the Belleville Three fairytale.

Such is their willingness to back a man they never ceased to call a friend that they’re actually hoping to go on tour with him next year. Details are sketchy at the moment – as is always the case when Derrick May is involved – but we’ve been told that a “scoping out exercise”, as it’s being called, is underway to test out demand.

It’s understood that May’s own team – mainly consisting of plank lover Mike Weston right now – is exploring options for a potential Belleville Three branded gig. Italy and Croatia are high on the list of possible countries, with Kappa’s Futur Festival at the top of the three. But why?

Well, it dates back to last year. Futur Festival had Derrick May on the bill for the 2020 festival – but this was cancelled due to the pandemic. He was due to appear in 2022, but was pulled from the lineup after a mutiny by at least two artists protesting to Futur’s management. And despite the fact May received at least 50% of his fee, he still thinks that “Kappa owe him”, as one source who knows him described.

So what are the chances of a Belleville Three tour taking place in 2024? After all, plans have been afoot since 2016, when Kevin Saunderson accidentally blurted out the news in an interview – which his publicist demanded was scrubbed from a publication less willing than Ears To The House to tell them to stick it.

A source in Detroit with some knowledge of the “scoping out exercise” says, “This is nothing more than a bad f***ing joke. At some point, someone with a brain is going to ask about those rape allegations surrounding Derrick. This is a PR nightmare waiting to happen. I don’t know how they’ll negotiate that clusterf***. There was talk a while ago of him doing an interview about it, but everyone decided it was a bad idea. So is this s***.”.

If they pull this off, it won’t just be the permanently surprised looking Kevin Saunderson who’ll be wondering how…

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