Various ‎– Retro Techno / Detroit Definitive - Emotions Electric

Network Records ‎– RETRO LP1
2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Model 500 No UFO's (D-Mix)
Written-By, Producer – Model 500
A2 Reese Just Another Chance
Written-By, Producer – Kevin Saunderson
A3 Mayday Freestyle
Producer – MaydayWritten-By – Derrick May
B1 Rhythim Is Rhythim The Dance (The Living Room Mix)
Written-By, Producer – Derrick May
B2 R-Tyme R-Theme (Mayday Mix)
Mixed By – MaydayProducer – Derrick MayWritten-By – D. Wynn*, Derrick May
B3 Cybotron Clear
Written-By, Producer – 3070, Juan Atkins
C1 Reese Rock To The Beat (Mayday Mix)
Producer – Kevin SaundersonRemix – MaydayWritten-By – Saunderson*, Echols*
C2 X-Ray Let's Go (Dub Mix)
Producer – Atkins*Written-By – May*, Atkins*
C3 Blake Baxter When We Used To Play (Unreleased Mix)
Producer – Saunderson*Written-By – Baxter*, Saunderson*
D1 Seperate Minds* First Bass
Producer – Seperate Minds*Written-By – Marc Kinchen
D2 Kevin Saunderson The Groove That Won't Stop
Written-By, Producer – Kevin Saunderson
D3 Rhythim Is Rhythim Strings Of Life (Unreleased Mix)
Written-By, Producer – Derrick May

Companies, etc.



Liner-notes include interview with Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins and Derrick May on one sleeve.
On the other one is a text about the music of Detroit by John McCready and a short overview on KMS, Metroplex and Transmat.

Cassette has two Bonus Tracks that don't appear on the LP & CD!

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 5 016846 720014
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side A): RETRO LP1-A * MAX * - J.T.S.- *
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side B): RETRO LP1-B * MAX * - J.T.S.- *
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side C): RETRO LP1-C * MAX * - J.T.S.- *
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side D): RETRO LP1-D * MAX * - J.T.S.- *


Reviews Show All 8 Reviews

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July 4, 2018
edited 9 months ago

This may have been "retro techno" in 1991, yet it still somehow manages to sound fresh, interesting, and perhaps even futuristic even today... when it is of course FAR MORE retro than it was in the 1990s!

I'd even go as far as to suggest that it's even better than 1988's 5-star "Techno!" album which more or less started things off (here in the UK at least).

Like all the best stuff in my collection - from the free jazz of 1950s Ornette Coleman, through the psychedelic blues of 1960s Jimi Hendrix, and the post-punk of 1970s Joy Division - this is timeless stuff.

I hadn't heard this album for years, until I recently picked up another copy, and am I glad I did!! Just what I needed after yet another day of having to listen to unlistenable soulless, autotuned, pop-rap and R&B crap at work!


October 2, 2017

Fantastic selection of pure classic Detroit Techno at its finest.
The track list simply says it all & if you aren't familiar with them then please take the time to simply have a listen, you won't be disappointed. An amazing collection of tracks from some of the true pioneers.


July 3, 2017
I was sent a white label promo of this which features the incredible 'unreleased' (aka 'piano') mix of 'Strings of Life'. A track that can only really be played out on new year's ever every decade.


April 27, 2015
edited over 3 years ago
I remember that I only was called attention to this "concept-compilation" after I was reading an article in a book which was promisefully called "techno" (Anz, P., Walder, P.: techno. bilgerverlag, 1996).
The book was published during the mid-1990s & it basically featured lots of essays & scene-analysises of the then big movement of electronic dance music(s) and its currents.
Thereby, some of the authors/ campaigners introduced the term "Detroit-techno" as novum and ultimative backlash to the then current European techno styles.
When I was now reading iljin1's submission of the producers advertisements I noticed that those essayists were not only in citing those Detroit-pioneers false! beyond that they had coined the set phrases of those pioneers from North America with some made-up aftertaste:

"My friend Michael James had written this piano piece. I took a snippet of it and created a loop. That was how it started. When I finished it I played it constantly for six days. I couldn't get away from it. [...The more I listened to that piece of music, the more worrisome thoughts came into my mind. At times I've had virtually problems to come off it, but I couldn't...] This was perhaps the start of my finest hour. (The hour is not yet up)" derrick may


March 29, 2013
edited over 6 years ago
All info from inner sleeve.

Reese-Rock To The Beat
I was thinking how I could combine a dance sound with a soundtrack element. It sounds eerie and it was meant to be. (kevin saunderson)

X Ray-Let's Go
This is one of the early thingd we did together, Me, Kevin and Juan. It was just a fun thing. Everybody was drunk except me. This is really a hip hop record.

Blake Baxter-When We Used To Play
I listen to this now and it still sounds so strange. I wanted to make it seem relentless. I did. (kevin saunderson)

Seperate Minds-10 First Bass
I got the sounds from a computer game called Metal Gear. I wanted to call it that too. SOmetimes I would rather listen to computer games than any music. (mark kinchen)

Kevin Saunderson-The Groove That Won't Stop
I don't know what to say about this. The fact that it took me 15 minutes to put together doesn't really express the fact that it came from my heart. (kevin saunderson)

Rhythim Is Rhythim-Strings Of Life (unreleased mix)
My friend Michael James had written this piano piece. I took a snippet of it and created a loop. That was how it started. When I finished it I played it constantly for six days. I couldn't get away from it. This was perhaps the start of my finest hour. The hour is not yet up (derrick may)

Model 500-No Ufo's
This was done at the Cybotron studio we had in Ypsilanti. From a time before techno (juan atkins)

Reese-Just Another Change
This was just something for me. I wanted to make it so deep it could seep into my subconscious. I didnt care what anybody thought. They seemed to like it anyway. (kevin saunderson)

What happend? I don't know. Now it seems I was trying to integrate African percussion with the sound of a tight funk band. I did this is Kevin's basement. Serious fun. (derrick may)

Rhythim Is Rhythim-The Dance
This was done in the living room of my old apartment. Sheridan court on 2nd Avenue. This track is so brutal. I called it The Dance because that's all you could do to it. It's the instruction manual to the underground and the sample anthem of the kingdom (derrick may)

R Tyme-R Theme
Nobody really cares. This song had the potential to initiate change and it didn't do that. Before I had shared my life with a woman I was so full of emotion. I think you can hear that. (derrick may)

This is the best track from the Cybertron LP. We were obviously influenced by Kraftwerk. Also the roland 808 drum machine had just come out and we were among the first to use. (juan atkins)


July 9, 2003

There was no warning. In the middle of 1987 and Chicago Ja-Ja-Ja- Jack fever a record from Detroit filtered into the UK. The label was called Transmat. The design was futuristic and suggested a 21st century Multi-National. It came from a bedroom in a neglected part of Detroit where taxi cabs would not go. Records from Detroit were the epitome of soul. This recoed was devoid of soul. It was however steeped in spirit. It was called "Nude Photo" The artist was Rhythim Is Rhythim. Listening to it the first time was weird. The second time made it seem even stranger. A sequenced mutant technology borne of a crazed imagination. A phone number on the label was answered by a man called Derrick May. He sounded... different. He sent a white label of the next 12". It was called "Strings Of Life" and it was a masterpiece. It still is. 20 year olds at Midlands Club where I played "House Music" hated it. The 15 year olds at the kids session went mad. Something was happening. Within two months Derrick arrived in England with four boxes of "Strings Of Life" to help pay for the flight. He had tapes of tracks with strange titles like "Sinister", "Wiggin" and "R-Theme". We didn't know it, but the bandwagon was already halfway down hill.

Derrick mentioned his old schoolmates, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins. "They make music too", he said. "We call it Techno". A meeting was arranged. It seemed we might be able to sell some records. Mick Clark at 10 Records agreed to take a compilation of this strange music. In Detroit I needed one final track to complete the album. Kevin pulled out a box with "Big Fun" scrawled across it. The next tape he played was "Rock To The Beat". I told Kevin to get ready to quit university. He thought I was joking. Within 12 months Techno had established itself as the most enduring influence on dance music. The niteties began and this remaind the case. Suddenly life was all about tracking how many millions of sales Inner City had chalked up, video budgets and remixes. Techno had gone mainstream. Too many conversations were about money. This album is from a time when Techno was a secret society. Not many people knew the codes. A time when staying up all night in Derrick's studio-come-bedroom where the taxi cabs wouldn't go meant hearing "It Is What It Is" for the first time. "Freestyle", "No UFO's" and "Just Want Another Chance" followed. It was wonderful. Retro Techno rewinds to them. It is what it was. Emotions Electric indeed.

Neil Rushton 1991

- text taken from the sleeve cover of this compilation -


September 25, 2002
A definitive compilation of Detroit classics, with "Let's Go", "Clear", "No UFOs" and "Strings Of Life" representing pivotal moments in techno's creation. Also, we get Kevin Saunderson showing drum'n'bass producers how to produce their bass noises on "Just Another Chance"!