Triptych - Model 500

Model 500

Model 500

There are few living artists in the pantheon of contemporary music who can claim to be as influential as Juan Atkins. Growing up in 1970s Detroit, the young musician was inspired by the cosmic funk of George Clinton’s Funkadelic and fascinated by the elegant European minimalism of Kraftwerk. Working as Model 500, Atkins combined these influences and set a template for what would become known as Detroit techno.

Over the following years, Atkins would perform a pivotal role in such seminal releases as Derrick May’s ‘Strings of Life’ (as Rhythim is Rhythim) and Kevin Saunderson’s ‘Good Life’ (as Inner City). These euphoric records once inspired, and now eloquently articulate, the hedonism of clubs that emerged alongside a generation craving unity and an escape from the deadening conservatism of the Thatcher/Reagan era. These records would also directly influence the embryonic acid house scene and their influence is still evident 20 years later.

It is unsurprising that Detroit techno found an audience in Glasgow in the 80s. Following the decline of industry and unemployment had become widespread in both cities. When promoters like Martin Mackay (founder of Rubadub Records and promoter of this Triptych debut) invited artists from Detroit to play, Glasgow’s clubbing fraternity embraced them as their own. The relationship between Detroit and Glasgow has endured, with appearances by musicians from the Motor City at clubs like Pressure, Return to Mono and Mackay’s own Club 69 in Paisley.

Mackay has been waiting 20 years for Model 500 to play in Glasgow and their performance is a chance to witness some of the most influential figures in techno performing and to celebrate the extraordinary, unifying potential of electronic music.

Model 500 play Glasgow School of Art, Sat 26 Apr.

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