Revolutions begin in Detroit. Almost exactly a hundred years ago, the first Model T rolled off Ford's production line in Highland Park, forever changing the way cars were manufactured. Fordʼs main innovation, the production line, was eventually adopted across the rest of the world, paving the way for mass consumerism as a way of life and gaining international recognition for Detroit as the automotive capital of the world.
Step forward to the early eighties and Detroit birthed another mechanical revolution, this time ushering in the era of electronic dance music. In 1985 Juan Atkins (aka Model 500) released the first record on his fledgling label Metroplex, ʻNo UFO'sʼ and started the clock for Year Zero of the dance music movement. Like Fordʼs Model T, the impact of these new machine rhythms was global, hitting especially hard in Europe, where dance music subsequently developed into a mass cultural phenomenon.
Since then, Juan Atkins has built what stands as perhaps the most influential body of work in the field of dance music. Characterised by his ability to make machines speak, to give them soul, his style of production has inspired a legion of admirers and can still be heard on dancefloors across the globe as well as in Radioheadʼs avant garde rock and the futuristic RnB of Timberland and The Neptunes. The common strands linking these all lead back to Atkins pioneering productions such as ʻClearʼ, ʻStarlightʼ, Technicolorʼ and ʻJazz Is The Teacherʼ.
In 2007 Atkins partnered up with Mike Banks from Underground Resistance to form a Model 500 band. It wasn't the first time they had played together as Model 500 but this time Atkins added Detroit DJ/producer DJ Skurge to the mix along with longtime associate and established funk and techno producer Mark Taylor.
As the "new" Model 500, they began performing as a band, debuting at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and not too long later, performing at festivals in Europe and Japan.