Alton Miller

Rhythm Exposed

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A house head born in a techno town, Detroit native Alton Miller has rarely received the same accolades as his Detroit techno contemporaries, despite having been involved from the beginning of the movement. You see, Miller actually ran the Music Institute, the legendary mid-'80s nightclub where the Detroit computer groove finally culminated into its own genre. Yet for all of his techno credentials, to listen to Miller's music is to be reminded of the slow sweaty grooves of deep house, making him more musically akin to Ron Trent than Derrick May. But that isn't to say Miller is completely untouched by his geographical heritage. The live vibes on "Vibrations" are propelled forward by a strictly mechanical drum pulse, while "For All Time" deconstructs a house diva vocal into a bottomless dub of computer-generated soul. This is the literal definition of tech-house. Or maybe house-tech. Or perhaps even disco-jazz-house-tech, as is the case on Miller's cover of the George Benson disco classic, "Love Ballads," which finds Miller providing a rough yet impassioned vocal of his own. It is yet another element that sets him apart from his Detroit techno neighbors.

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