US techno artist Jeff Mills will receive one of the highest public accolades for art in France – the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres – in Paris at the end of the year, reports French newspaper Le Figaro.
The 2nd generation Detroit techno DJ is being recognized for his ‘Critical Arrangements’ piece that is currently being shown at the Pompidou Center in Paris until 26th January, plus his many works that reflect the ideals of the futurist movement.
Jeff Mills has always tried more than most electronic music producers to find real meaning through music, and as such he’s not afraid of using other forms within art to communicate concepts.
Often Mills’ inspiration has stemmed from a fascination with science fiction – the classic 1992 album ‘X-102 Discovers the Rings of Saturn’, which he made with Underground Resistance’s co-founder ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, was celebrated for its space concept and tangible soundscapes that made listeners feel like they were exploring the rings around the gas giant.
His groundbreaking 2006 album ‘Blue Potential’, which was recorded with the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra (listen to it in the player below), proved that techno could be intertwined with an instrumental ensemble and in recent years his achievements have started to be recognized by those outside of the electronic music community.
Mills receiving the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres is proof that, thanks to artists like him, techno’s impact goes well beyond the clubs its mostly heard in.
Video: Trailer for June 2008 re-release of ‘X-102 Discovers the Rings of Saturn’