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Primavera Sound 2019

Cybotron. Live.

By Sergio Pulido 28.05.19

There was a time that some may remember with fondness, when disco was in its death throws but people still wanted to dance. Between the years 1979 and 1985 was a period of transition, where the public were still going out clubbing (gay and black clubs, mainly), and demanded new material but disco had already been mortally wounded, so it had to be reinvented. It was at that time when the styles that still today reign supreme began to take shape: house, hip hop and techno. When talking about techno, it’s impossible not to talk about Detroit. For some unknown reason the music of Kraftwerk, a very white and very German band using mostly synthesizers began to make a big impression on young black musicians of the time, who took this hypnotic and melodious sound from Europe on board and made it their own. And that’s how with the help of Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May and Juan Atkins what we know today as Detroit Techno was born, but before techno proper there was ‘electro’ created by Atkins with Cybotron.

Cybotron was a proto-techno group created by one of the most important founders of electronic music: Juan Atkins, who together with Richard Davis shaped the project. The sound was a hybrid between Kraftwerk and George Clinton, which was reflected in singles like "Alleys of your mind" and the classic "Clear". There was an album with the same name nowadays considered a classic, but Atkins left the band in 1985, Davis followed a few years later with a sound more focused on rock, while in 1995 it appeared that Cybotron had given its final performance. But it turns out not to be the case. Atkins has taken up the mantle again, and is launching the first tour in the band’s history, with new material as well as the classics from back in the day, all accompanied with a light show that looks really innovative. The future had arrived a while back, but sometimes it’s easy to miss it.

  • Primavera Sound 2019: Cybotron. Live.
  • Cybotron play live in Spain at Primavera Sound on Friday, May 31.