Respected and acknowledged around the World as one of the three Detroit Techno innovators, Kevin Saunderson is a legend in his own right, who has helped to reshape the future of Dance music as we know it
Resident Advisor Top 10 remixes of 2008 Inner City “Good Love (Luciano remix)” (KMS)
BBC Radio Top Ten Dance Records of All Time Inner City “Big Fun”
M8 Magazine Top 20 Compilations of 2007 “The Detroit Connection” (Explicit)
’Best Dance Act in the world’ DMC 1989 & 1992
4 Gold Singles & 1 Gold Album
Eight Top 40 hits and two Top 20 albums
Four #1 billboard club hits & seven #1 club hits in the UK
“without the originators, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May — electronic music today would probably look very different. It’s very safe to say they’re the ones who started it…” Moby
The Present/The Future:
“With a well-selected and diverse set of remixers and some legitimately classic raw material to work with, ‘History Elevate’ may go down as the remix series against which all others are judged.” (Resident Advisor September 08)
The ‘History Elevate’ project (parts 1-4) has included collaborations with the cream of 21st Century talent: Carl Craig, Claude Von Stroke, Loco Dice, Joris Voorn, Samuel L Session, Simian Mobile Disco , Luicano, Jesse Rose, and Matthew Jonson.Kevin proves once more that he can bring together the cutting edge of new talent with his proven classic skills, and create something which sounds thoroughly fresh, with the class to have the kind of longevity that tracks like “Big Fun” and “Good Life” still enjoy.
Kevin is now back in the studio full time, and along with working on his own brand new productions for 2010, in 2009 he has produced acclaimed remixes for Hercules and Love Affair “You Belong” and The Presets “This Boy’s In Love”
DJ tours in 2008/09 included:
Clubs: Fabric, Matter, Lost, Lightbox and Secret Sundaze London, Space & Eden, Ibiza, Berghain, Berlin, Code, Madrid, The Loft Barcelona, Industria Copera, Granada, Awakenings, Melkweg & Paradiso Amsterdam, Decadance, Gent, Cafe D’Anvers, Antwerp, Kozzmozz, Gent, Bataclan & Showcase, Paris, Cabaret Sonique, Brest, Homan 17, Tel Aviv, Colloseum, Skopje, Boogaloo, Zagreb, Blend, Athens, Pod, Dublin, Sub Club, Glasgow, Stiff Kitten Belfast, Avalon, Los Angeles, GBH & Webster Hall, New York plus numerous other headlining events in Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Asturias, La Coruna, Venice, Rome, Perugia, Milan, Lyon, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Oslo, Helsinki, Toronto, Quebec, Montreal, Miami, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Festivals: Bang Face Weekender, UK, Gatecrasher Summer Sound System UK, Creamfields Andalucia, Tomorrowland, Belgium, Maximal Festival, Italy, Awakenings, Loveland, CityDance & Emporium Holland, Benicassim, Spain, Nordik Impakt, France, Fama Festival Asturias, Materia Viva Gran Canaria, Apokalypsa Czech Rep, Summerknights & Summerspirit Germany,3 Fridays Festival, Montenegro, DEMF, Detroit
Respected and acknowledged around the World as one of the three Detroit Techno
innovators, Kevin Saunderson is a legend in his own right, who has helped to reshape the
future of Dance music as we know it.
Kevin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1964, but moved at the age of nine to the place
known as the ‘Motor City’, Detroit. He attended Belleville High School (West of Detroit), where
his youthful urge to make music had been fuelled. There he befriended two other like-minded
students (Atkins and May). After leaving school he attended Eastern Michigan University in
Ypsilanti, where he played Football. After 2 years, Kevin quit playing football in order to focus
on music, so he joined his high school pals Derrick May and Juan Atkins, which unknown at
the time would be the move that would help Kevin’s career escalate.
Starting out as a DJ, Kevin soon developed new skills that led him into producing records,
which he released on his own label, KMS Records. The demand for Kevin as a Producer and
DJ was overwhelming overseas, as well as in the States. He introduced acts like ‘Kreem’,
‘Reese’, ‘Inter-City’ (later to become Inner City) and ‘Reese & Santonio’. Kevin has had many
other aliases too, such as; ‘Tronik House’, ‘The Reese Project’, ‘EssRay’, ‘Kaos’ and more
recently, ‘E-Dancer’, which he uses to show his versatility at being able to create different
facets of Dance music. Kevin also pioneered the art of the “REMIX,” changing the face of how
remixers revamp songs. His very ﬁrst remix for The Wee Papa Girl Rappers “Heat It Up” went
on to pick up ‘DMC Remix of the Year’ in spring 1988.
Big Beat & Drum and Bass use techniques such as the “Reese Bass”, a distinctive synthesized bass sound comprising layered ‘clashing’ sawtooth waves. Kevin Saunderson’s 1988 classic “Just Another Chance” is widely recognised as the earliest example of the use of this.
Kevin’s biggest achievement to date, and his most commercially recognized project has
been INNER CITY, one of the World’s most inﬂuential Dance acts of all time. As one of the
most important prime time movers in the house and techno revolution of 1988, Kevin
Saunderson and Paris Grey have been to the top, struggled and bounced back to the top of
the pile. Now in their 19th year together, the duo have proven they are one of dance musicʼs
great survivors with a new dazzling renaissance and they’re justiﬁably proud of a healthy
career spanning early pioneering hits like “Big Fun” and “Good Life”, “Ain’t Nobody Better”,
through to “Hallelujah”, “Pennies From Heaven”, “Till We Meet Again”, “Do Ya”, “Your
Love” (to name but a few) plus the Spanish re-recording of their 1989 hit “Good Life”,(Buena
Vida), which became a Number One Club hit in Europe and entered the TOP TEN on the UK
Since the beginning, their career has been nothing short of remarkable, not only for their
numerous critical and commercial achievements, but also for their longevity. Whilst most acts
have been snubbed out at the onset of the ‘next big trend’, Inner City have managed to
sidestep the trends, making “songs that went on to become classics”. Amazingly, the good life
of being one of the World’s top dance groups came to them by accident.
In 1987 Kevin, then at only 22-year-old recorded a backing track in a makeshift studio stuck in
the basement of his apartment. He needed a girl vocalist who could also supply lyrics and his
friend Chicago house producer, Terry “Housemaster” Baldwin, suggested Windy City
Chanteuse Paris Grey. Paris agreed, ﬂew into Detroit, came up with lyrics and “Big Fun” was
born. Incredibly the tape was then ﬁled away and almost forgotten until months later when UK
dance aﬁcionado, Neil Rushton, visited the Motor City to put together a compilation album,
“Techno – The New Dance Sound Of Detroit” for Virgin Records. He freaked when hearing
the song and made sure “Big Fun” was on the LP. Soon afterwards, it was released as a
single and went on to become a World wide smash. But despite itʼs sudden success, Paris
hung on to her job as a sales assistant in a Chicago store – only quitting when the follow up,
“Good Life” outsold “Big Fun”.
The third single “Ain’t Nobody Better” retained Kevin’s techno-logic microchip feel, topped by
Paris’s soulful voice. Their debut album, “Paradise” cemented this prosperity and highlighted
the Detroit techno blueprint.
In 1993, INNER CITY parted company with their label, Virgin Records. The label released the
“Testament” “93” remix album to celebrate their time together. Also in that year they were
voted, by the readers of Mixmag Magazine, the “Best International Act of the Year” and a
“homecoming” deal with their manager Neil Rushton’s SIX6 label was ﬁnalized. Another UK
Tour followed in August ‘93, including a headlining appearance on the Reading Festival’s
dance stage and the top slot at the European Dance Weekender in Paris the following month.
It was also at this time that Kevin’s work with his other group THE REESE PROJECT was
greeted with equal glee by journalists and clubbers alike.
To date, INNER CITY have had 12 Top 40 hits in the UK, as well as having had two Top 20
albums, with combined sales of more than 6 million. Inner City have also achieved many
awards for outstanding accomplishments, such as ‘Best Dance Act in the World’ by DMC in
1989 and 1992. Inner City have also received 4 Gold singles, 1 Gold Album and 1 Platinum
Meanwhile, Kevin’s alter ego E-DANCER produces Techno Music, pure and simple. Created
for a savvy audience by an original master. E-DANCER’s ﬁrst full length LP entitled simply
“Heavenly”, has hooked audiences and critics alike. Even more mains-stream music
publications were compelled to take notice. For example ‘Spin Magazine’ cited “Heavenly” as
‘ONE OF THE TEN BEST ALBUMS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD’. Odd praise? Perhaps. But
accurate nonetheless, for rarely has a record so “underground” in both proﬁle and content.
Indeed, “Heavenly” is a ‘Must Have’ in any Detroit Techno collection.
Kevinʼs two productions, Inner City ʻSay Somethingʼ (Concept) and Reese Project “This
Means That” (SuSu) both provided late summer 05 hits in Europe, reaffirming Kevin’s
standing as one of the ‘INNOVATORS’, and a leader in the industry.One of the most exciting movements for Kevin of 2005, was his new title which has also given him one of the biggest challenges of his career, the Producer of FUSE-IN, the newest reincarnation of Detroitʼs 6th electronic festival this Memorial Day weekend at Hart Plaza on May 28th, 29th and 30th, with an outstanding line up which included Mos Def, Ken Ishii, Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, Green Velvet, Ritchie Hawtin, Underground Resistance, Alexander Robotnick and many more. As Kevin states “What weʼve done in our history in
Detroit with techno is a result of a love for all kinds of music, I donʼt want this just to be a
techno event, I want techno to be the foundation and for people to realize how powerful
Detroit has been and still is, I want to put on a good show with good artists so people can be
inspired by the music”.
2006 celebrated 20 years of Kevin Saundersonʼs music Productions with the Elevator World Tour- The tour featured both House and Techno DJ sets & a live show incorporating all his most popular productions from 1986-2006. This included tracks from E-Dancer, Esser’ay, K S Experience, Kaos, Keynotes, Reese, Reese + Santonio, , Tronikhouse, Intercity, Kreem, Inner City and The Reese Project. The live show featured stunning visuals, and crystal clear audio, taking the audience on a
breathtaking journey through the roots and soul of Kevin Saunderson from house to techno
and back again. These live shows gave Kevin the opportunity to entertain and inform his
audience on his unique history. This incredible body of work, which for the ﬁrst time will be
under one umbrella, clearly deﬁned and clariﬁed the artistry of the man they call THE
ELEVATOR. True to his dream, Kevin Saunderson elevated the deep sound of Detroit
Techno and took it from the underground into the hearts and souls of music lovers the world
over with his Inner City and The Reese Project recordings. These live events will surely be
remembered for years to come as a celebration of the one of the greatest ambassadors for
techno to come out of Detroit.
In 2007 Kevin was back in the studio working on new productions, and remixes. The ﬁrst to
come out of the box, was a stunning re-working of Claude Von Strokeʼs “Whoʼs Afraid of
Detroit” which received 5 star reviews and plaudits from every corner of the globe.
In June 07 Kevin released a new compilation CD on Umek’s Explicit label “The Detroit
Connection” (EXPLICITCD007) which received rave reviews across the board and featured i
M8 Magazine’s Top 20 Compilations of 2007
2008 Kevin’s KMS imprint in association with Carl Craig’s Planet E label release part 1 of the ground breaking series of new innovative “History Elevate” vinyl only remixes of classic Saunderson productions on exclusive 12” double A sides, the tracks paved the way for the double CD release “History Elevate” (Fabric/KMS) in May 2009 to create a project tying the past with the future, mutating the techno virus ever further and signposting the talents of a true dance music innovator they call ‘The Elevator’.
2009 saw the release and tour for “History Elevate” (Fabric/KMS) the anthology of an amazing body of work, with remixes from the cream of international talent.
This is Kevin Saunderson, this is inspiration for all music lovers alike and there is so much more to come!