100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #44 – Rhythim is Rhythim – Strings of Life

Released : 1987

Barely had the UK begun to get it’s head around house music when something different arrived, a meatier hybrid which featured the piano arpeggios of it’s Chicago heritage but  blended it with insistent hi-hats and chopped, messed up sounds imported from a nascent scene at that time limited to a handful of clubs in less fashionable Detroit.

Derrick May was one of the infamous Bellevile three, who along with Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins imagined what Bootsy Collins and Kraftwek’s mannequins DJ-ing would sound like and crossed that sensibility with a trans-Atlantic energy; their invention became known as techno, but at the beginning, the two movements lived in a canny symbiosis.

Operating under the Rhyhtim Is Rhythim alias, May’s fusion would become a staple on dancefloors in perpetuity, despite the freaky omission of any sort of low end. Instead it’s effervescent cuts from phase to phase and neo-orchestral touches gave it a warmth that many genre critics have long since complained the movement lacks. After opening these doors of perception May would go on to become known as the ‘Innovator’ and deservedly earn a lifetime place in the elite of Techno’s legendarium.


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