Atkins began by commenting on the evolution of electronic music since his genre-defining “Clear” (made as Cybotron in 1983) and the EDM sound championed today by artists like Skrillex. “I would never speak negatively about someone who has been successful at electronic music,” said Atkins. “I wish that he could probably be a little bit more funky; but I’m not going to be mad at the guy!”
He does, however, “wish people would be more open-minded, to things like what I do. It’s not enough to say ‘he’s the creator of techno’; I still don’t fit that marketing model, so they don’t really get it.”
That said, “I’m totally happy with where I am“, conceded Atkins. “Because if I had a major hit, it would probably have to be diluted to fit that model. And I’m not into diluting my music.”
Neither, added Atkins, is the new generation of “kids” he mentioned in his keynote, which now prefers to buy drum machines rather than guitars. “The stuff they’re coming up with is not a conventional sound. Yet the marketers want it to stay conventional, because that’s what made all their money.”
He also commented that “not enough people know” that electronic music is it is today would probably not exist without him. We do! “Well that’s cool, I’m glad you know,” said Atkins!
Juan Atkins is the founder of Metroplex Records. Watch his Midem keynote below!