Kevin Reynolds, has new single ready for release on Osunlade’s Yoruba Records. Riverfront finds the Motor City music man flexing a sort of sci-fi samba – full of fractured, filtered piano, and softened by synthesized strings. Remixer, fellow 313-er, Jon Dixon, tightly loops up the tougher bits, and blows in a breeze of various fusion-flavoured keys. Syncopated cymbals setting off showers of synths, in what is effectively a slice of classy, understated, hi-tech jazz. Hooking up with Transmat, straight out of college, in the early 2000s, Kevin’s been producing, and performing live, for nearly 20 years. Working with the label as an engineer, and tour manager – for artists such as Aril Brikha, John Beltran, Tony Drake, Jeremy Ellis, Amp Fiddler, and Neil Olliverra – Kevin has also played an important part in Movement, Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival. Taking full advantage of all this “techno” experience, The Insider asked Mr. Reynolds for his personal Detroit top 10.
Words and selections by Kevin Reynolds. Idea instigated by The Insider.
R-Tyme – “R-Theme – Dramatic Mix” – Transmat 1989
It`s hard to pick a solitary Derrick May song but this one just hits at my core, the joy in this song is just so uplifting. Also on production is D. Wynn, who is an outstanding DJ / producer who more people need to hear.
Detroit Grand Pubahs – “Sandwiches” – Throw 2000
Paris, Andy & Bileebob on this completely unique ultra funky throw down. This was familiar and fresh all at the same time. The ability of this crew to create such an undeniable groove, and inject humour, parallels George Clinton and his cosmic slop, while still being futuristic.
The Martian – “Star Dancer” – Red Planet 1993
The Amazon guy and the Tesla guy can both kick rocks. I’m hopping on the next UR interstellar cruiser to the Red Planet.
Jeff Mills -“The Bells” – Purpose Maker 1996
For my generation this is probably THE most defining song – if you didn’t have a Purpose Maker record in your bag then you needed to study a bit more. Growing up listening to The Wiz, then to the Axis / Purpose Maker records, to most recently working the great Tony Allen, Jeff is always one of those artists who continues to surprise and evolve.
Aril Brikha – “Groove La Chord” – Fragile 1998
Another turn for the course for my generation. Assyrian by way of Iran and Sweden, Aril Brikha turned in this cassette to Transmat, only to be saved out of the trash bin in an office sweep. It was a hit the moment the needle touched the vinyl. One chord to rule them all. Classic and timeless.
The Aztec Mystic – “Jaguar” – Underground Resistance 1999
The first time I heard this… the goosebumps were running up and down my arms. Then I heard it in Hart Plaza, in the heart of Detroit at the very first DEMF / Movement, and I had tears of joy running down my face… and so did everyone else. Rolando, Mike and Gerald created this masterpiece and it’s as good now as it was when I first heard it.
Theo Parrish – “Lost Keys” – Music Is… 1997
Family Function, Three Floors of Fun, Hot Box, Johanson Charles. This is Detroit, late night… sweating, dancing, drinking, smoking, cracking jokes… Nothing but smiles and vibes. That extra bass-line in second half, forget it! Theo gave me a CD once called Live in Detroit 1999… seek it out. Absolutely formative.
Sole Tech – “Sole Waves” – Detrechno 1994
Classic dance-floor power move. Also known as the “Chuck Chuck” Song. This still gets airplay on Detroit midday radio shows, usually sped up to 45rpm.
Recloose featuring Dwele – “Can’t Take It” – Planet E 2000
This felt like a big shift in the Detroit scene. Detroit’s always had a fondness for the UK sound and broken beat was hitting very hard at the time. Recloose and Dwele were on this astronomical leap, and this track captures it greatly.
Octave One – “Black Water”- 430 West 2000
A huge tune from the Burden brothers. So much so that it got re-recorded with an orchestra in London. Ann Saunderson’s vocal sends it to another level. Just a beauty of a song.
Kevin Reynolds’ Riverfront is released this Friday, on Yoruba Records.