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Album of the Week: Derrick May & Jimmy Edgar 'We Love Detroit'

Some big names involved here.

Artist: Derrick May and Jimmy Edgar
Album: We Love Detroit
Label: We Love
Release Date: 28/01/2013

Derrick May and Jimmy Edgar aren't particularly synonymous with Ibiza. At least not in the same way many other faces from their respective age groups are. Furthermore, the stylistic distance between The White Island and Detroit, not to mention the difference between older and younger generations of Motor City producers, is pronounced.

So the latest foray into album releasing by Balearic mainstays We Love could have sounded like two strong personalities negotiating an awkward middle ground, overseen by a distant relative. But instead the result is a decidedly appealing hands across the water (and era) moment that should have widespread appeal. Proof that the relationship between these varied but interlinked ideologies and localities is based on mutual respect, admiration, and now friendship.

Opening the scoring Mr May brings out some Joey Beltram, namely Synaptic Transmission's synth refrain and glittering keyboard arpeggio stabs (as life affirming as anything the techno don has produced). Clearly, then, there will be no fillers here. The likes of Petar Dundov, KiNK, and Carl Craig soon arrive too, littering the first disc with nigh-on-innumerable reasons why old school Michigan (or Michigan inspired) machine music can still sound so fresh, nearly 30 years after inception, despite little change to the formula.

Of course there have been some minor alterations, hence innovation still being evident in everyone from Robert Hood to Kevin Saunderson. Still, the most notable sonic revisions have only been enacted recently, and by fresher faced members of the scene. Enter Edgar's complement to the package, with the funkier of our two selectors opening with his own, almost over-played Let Yrself Be. Boasting those immediately identifiable vocal stabs and filtered tracking chords, it's a little obvious, perhaps, but then if the idea of We Love Detroit is for young and old to educate each other, who can begrudge them an anthem or two?

It's not long until more surprising fare gets a look in, mind, meaning even if you already own every Edgar cut there are still plenty of reasons to buy into his playliat. The ever-excellent Lando Kal's Clockin shows why his rough and ready, hi-hat and sample heavy solid house should be investigated by anyone with ears. Meanwhile, more experimental and mildly obtuse fare comes from Kyle Hall and Kero, with the bassline to Zug Island enough to make you forget quite how obscure it actually is. Oh, and that's all before we mention Kris Wadsworth's staccato piano and lyrical loop-based break number Connection. Quality business, please investigate.


CD1: Chosen by Derrick May
01. John Beltran – Synaptic Transmission
02. Yotam Avni – Pentimento
03. Petar Dundov – Distant Shores
04. KiNK – Hand Made (Dub mix)
05. Kai Alce – Power Thru Pt 3 (Mush's Sax Dub)
06. Deep'A & Biri – Hova
07. Carl Craig – Sandstorms
08. Federico Grazzini – Nova
09. Benny Rodrigues – It's A Spiritual Thing
10. Andres – New For U

CD2: Chosen by Jimmy Edgar
01. Jimmy Edgar – Let Yrself Be
02. Lando Kal – Clockin'
03. Jimmy Edgar – Semierotic
04. Magda – Late Night Woodward
05. Kyle Hall & Kero- Zug Island
06. Coyote Clean Up – Mount Babe Bricks
07. Noel Jackson – That You Love Me
08. Darling Farah – Body
09. Magic Touch feat. N Dawson – Niks Groove
10. Kris Wadsworth – Connection
11. Axiom Crux – When Summer Doesn't Come

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