B IS FOR BLAKE BAXTER

Blake Baxter is another under-rated techno innovator from Detroit’s first wave.
Like Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir (see previous post), Baxter never got the recognition he deserved. He began recording in the mid-’80s before Motor City mainstays like Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. Presaging the influence of erotic house during the late ’80s, he was inspired by Barry White and Prince as well as Parliament and Funkadelic. He released his first single on the seminal Chicago house label DJ International and recorded several classics for Saunderson’s KMS Records, and by the ’90s cultivated his connection with Detroit’s techno subversives Underground Resistance, for whom he served as a guiding light.

With the Detroit scene on the rise, Baxter ducked the hype centered around the crucial compilation Techno: The New Dance Sound of Detroit (though his productions figured prominently on it) and moved to the obscure Incognito label. Seminal releases Sexuality, the Crimes of the Heart EP, and his 1990 debut album The Underground Lives signalled a newly independent-minded producer, and he also spent much time in Berlin during the early ’90s. The extended stay yielded several releases, including the Logic singles “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” — later famously sampled by the Chemical Brothers — and a 1992 album titled The Project. He also recorded with Orlando Voorn as the Ghetto Brothers. Back in Detroit, he recorded “Prince of Techno” for Underground Resistance and set up his own labels, Mix Records and Phat Joint (the latter focused more on hip-hop). In 1995, he released a retrospective on Disko B entitled The Vault.

Blake Baxter – As One

Blake Baxter – Where Is The Love

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~ by acidted on July 31, 2008.

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