Cybotron review – a gloriously disreputable hi-tech rave
Detroit techno maverick Juan Atkins and his reshaped 1980s group turn the concert hall into the dancefloor in their first gig ever
Both of Orbital here, a couple of Rinse FM residents there, Trevor Jackson over there: the Barbican foyer is an absolute scrum of London’s dance music community, all in a state of excitement. For a certain demographic, Juan Atkins’s Cybotron are as fundamental and foundational as any act in music. The 1983 single Techno City gave its name to a genre that would take over the world and define Detroit as its spiritual home. But for all their influence, and for all that Atkins has continued making music in various guises – most notably as Model 500 – they’ve never before done a live show.
This is a new permutation of Cybotron. In place of original members Richard “3070” Davis and John Housely, Atkins is joined by his long-time collaborator the German techno aristocrat Moritz von Oswald, and by fellow Detroiter Tameko J Williams, AKA DJ Maaco. As the moody drone of Industrial Lies thrums, the three come on stage one by one, dressed in matching boiler suits and a sci-fi version of welding masks, as lasers trace out geometrical patterns on the vast projection screen behind. It is a nice summation of techno’s roots: inspiration from the production-line aesthetic of Motor City’s car plants, and afrofuturist dreams of motherships and technological emancipation.
Source: The Guardian – Cybotron review – a gloriously disreputable hi-tech rave