Derrick May

Derrick May

Derrick May is an electronic musician from Michigan, USA, aka Mayday and Rhythim is Rhythim. An only child born in Detroit, he began exploring electronic music early. 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.

Derrick May is one of the founding fathers of Detroit techno, a precursor of its many variants and particularly of acid house. Far more creative and passionate than the other founders of the genre, May's aesthetic melancholy style gained him the nickname of "the Miles Davis of techno." He introduced both a psychological element and a futuristic vision in dance music. May's career started in 1987 with the release of a record called "Nude Photo" (co-written by Thomas Barnett), which helped kick start 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. It became May's best known track, which, according to Frankie Knuckles, "just exploded. It was like something you can't imagine, the kind of power and energy people got off that record when it was first heard.

Mike Dunn says he has no idea how people can accept a record that doesn't have a bassline." The song was featured in video game Midnight Club: Street Racing May has not released any original solo recordings since 1993, but has produced numerous remixes and has re-worked his older material for video game and movie soundtracks, including music for the film of the popular fighting video game Tekken.

A pioneer of techno, he produces what he calls Hi-Tek Soul. He has also cited Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Ultravox as influences.