Not even Santa can manage THAT Christmas miracle! Detroit’s Belleville Three are fed-up with questions over techno’s origins story – but things aren’t getting better anytime soon…

If there’s one thing that Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May would love to see under their Christmas trees this year, it would be a well-wrapped box with a pretty bow on it – containing a magic spell which would stop all those pesky questions about where techno originated from. That, of course, isn’t going to happen.

Indeed, the way that the so-called Belleville Three have behaved over the past 12 months, Ears To The House suspects Santa might be dropping off a lump of coal for each of the men in just a few short days time. What else would Father Christmas make of them yet again pushing the line that they were the three people who created an entire genre between them?

Let’s face it – even they don’t believe their own words on the subject. Recently, we unearthed an article from the December 1994 issue of Wired Magazine, where they interviewed Juan Atkins. Nowadays, he’d have the world believe he was the “Originator” of techno – but he was more humble about its roots in those days, saying…

“Today, I think techno is a term to describe and introduce all kinds of electronic music. In fact, there were a lot of electronic musicians around when Cybotron started, and I think maybe half of them referred to their music as techno. However, the public really wasn’t ready for it until about ’85 or ’86. It just so happened that Detroit was there when people really got into it.”

Earlier this week, Kevin Saunderson shared an article on his Facebook page written by the Michigan Daily’s Miles Anderson – this was soon picked up by the ever mischievous Michael James. Now, the local press in Detroit is downright weird – they always have the time to keep old myths about their city’s techno scene alive, yet never got round to reporting those multiple allegations of sexual abuse against Derrick May three years ago.

The source of much of what Anderson reported is Underground Resistance’s own John “Jammin” Collins – an account of events that is utterly undermined by UR’s own founder Mike Banks, who said the following in a 1994 interview with Jockey Slut Magazine…

“A lot of people ask me what I feel about all these white boys making techno and I say to them, ‘What are you talking about? The first techno I listened to was Kraftwerk, and they’re white!‘”

And as James points out in his article, Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür published a book called “I Was A Robot” in 1999 – which is now available digitally. The book, rather tellingly, contains no mention whatsoever of the words ‘Detroit’, ‘Belleville Three’, ‘Juan Atkins’, ‘Derrick May’, or ‘Kevin Saunderson’.

These questions are not going to go away – if anything, they’re going to get louder. Funnily enough, this always happens when Movement Detroit start making announcements about who’s appearing at their festival that year – and the first batch of news is due in January. No quiet start to the New Year for us…

Ears To The House Team

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