Derrick May (musician)

Derrick May, also known as Mayday and Rhythim is Rhythim, is an electronic musician from Belleville, Michigan U.S.A. He was born an only child[1] in Detroit in 1963 and began to explore electronic music early in his life. Along with his Belleville, Michigan high school friends Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, commonly known as the Belleville Three, May is credited with developing the futuristic variation on house music that would be dubbed "techno" by Atkins.

May's career started in 1987 with the release of a record called "Nude Photo" (co-written by Thomas Barnett), which helped kickstart the Detroit techno music scene. A year later he was following it with what was to become one of techno's classic anthems, the seminal track "Strings of Life," which was named by Frankie Knuckles.[2]

May has not released any original solo recordings since 1993, but has also produced numerous remixes and has re-worked his older material for video game and movie soundtracks, including, most recently, music for the new film of the popular fighting video game Tekken.[3]

For two years, in 2003 and 2004, he was given control of Detroit's popular annual electronic music festival, originally conceived by Carl Craig and Derrick May, now operated by Paxahau. He named his event Movement, replacing the Detroit Electronic Music Festival along the city's riverfront.

Derrick May also still maintains a steady performance schedule, playing internationally many weekends. A pioneer of techno, he produces what he calls Hi-Tek Soul or "George Clinton meeting Kraftwerk in an elevator."[2]


Selected discography

With X-Ray

  • "Let's Go", 1986

As Rhythim is Rhythim or Rythim Is Rythim

  • "Nude Photo", 1987
  • "Strings Of Life", 1987
  • "It Is What It Is", 1988
  • "Beyond The Dance", 1989
  • "The Beginning", 1990
  • "Icon" / "Kao-tic Harmony", 1991

As Mayday

  • "Sinister" / "Wiggin", 1988

As Derrick May

  • Derrick May: Innovator, 1996
  • Derrick May: Mayday Mix, 1997

With System 7

  • Mysterious Traveller, 2002


  • High Tech Soul, 2006 @IMDB

Catalog No.: PLX-029 Label: Plexifilm Released: 09/20/06 Director: Gary Bredow Length: 64 minutes

  • Summary: HIGH TECH SOUL is the first documentary to tackle the deep roots of techno music alongside the cultural history of Detroit, its birthplace. HIGH TECH SOUL focuses on the creators of the genre—Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson—and looks at the relationships and personal struggles behind the music. Artists like Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes and a host of others inconclusively explain why techno, with its abrasive tones and resonating basslines, could not have come from anywhere but Detroit.

External links


Media Links


  1. ^ [1] Derrick May Biography
  2. ^ a b [2] Interview: Derrick May - The Secret of Techno
  3. ^ [3] Interview: The List (Issue 594) - Derrick May, January 17, 2008

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