Techno’s storied past more or less begins with one man—Juan Atkins. Back in the early ’80s, he got the ball rolling from his suburban Detroit home with a Korg MS10, some cassette decks, and a whole lot of futuristic spunk. In the ensuing years, he would bestow upon the world some of dance music’s most anthemic tracks, first as part of Cybotron and then, in 1985, as Model 500, which was responsible for one of Detroit techno’s first true classics, “No UFO’s,” on Atkins’ own fledgling Metroplex Records.
In 2010, Model 500 was resurrected, and began kicking out new tunes for the equally classic Belgian label R&S, which, last week, released another pair of tracks from Atkins.
”Control” is an instant electro bomb with all the hallmarks of Atkins’ original productions: frenetic pacing, crazy arps, clacking percussion, icy pads, a hypnotic rhythm, some robotic vox, and that eerie, post-industrial vibe that permeates nearly all of his work. If we didn’t know better, we’d have guessed this one was from a lost studio session in ‘86!
The flip, ”The Messenger,” hangs back a bit, and plays more to Atkins’ strength for creating atmospheres. It’s still entirely danceable, mind you, but this one’s definitely on the headier side, more for the comedown than the build-up.