Juan Atkins

20 Years: 1985-2005

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Juan Atkins is one of the pioneering forces in the birth of Detroit techno (and of techno in general, for that matter). Under a series of aliases, including Cybotron and Model 500, Atkins created a groundbreaking synthesis of Kraftwerk's austere electro grooves and the more organic sounds of American funk acts from the 1970s and '80s, cloaking it all in a futuristic, machine-like vibe. Atkins' own label, Metroplex, founded in the mid-'80s, became the breeding ground for his excellent experiments over the next 20 years. This two-disc compilation represents the key tracks of that period, and it also highlights two qualities that distinguish Atkins from many of his electronica contemporaries. For starters, Atkins' work is remarkably consistent. Also, he's not afraid to incorporate new styles and trends into his aesthetic, so his music remains contemporary and fresh while still maintaining its original vision. A perfect overview of his work and a definitive historical document of club music, 20 Years of Metroplex should be a cornerstone of any electronica library.

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