Carl Craig

Essential Albums

  • More Songs about Food and Revolutionary Art

Artist Playlists

More To Hear

About Carl Craig

Detroit techno was always a melting pot of ideas from around the world, a futurist mixture of American funk, European synth-pop, and Japanese technology, while the scene’s young black pioneers named their parties after upscale New York boutiques and dressed like GQ’s preppiest models. None of the Motor City’s sons or daughters have embodied that spirit of hybridity better than Carl Craig. One of his earliest EPs, 1991’s 4 Jazz Funk Classics, was titled in homage to Throbbing Gristle—a nod to Craig’s adolescent fondness for industrial music—while his 1997 album, More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art, riffs on a Talking Heads classic. Craig’s early tunes took the lush synths and sleek machine grooves of first-generation Detroit producers like Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, and added a mischievous dose of grit. His synths always seemed to cut a little deeper than his peers’, and those buzzing waveforms soon became his signature on songs like “Landcruising,” from his 1995 debut album. But while he could be as rowdy as any disco infiltrator (James Murphy, by the way, is a huge Carl Craig fan), his first albums—particularly the gorgeous, contemplative More Songs—were instrumental in helping to establish techno as music made for listening as much as for dancing. But in testing the limits of dance music, Craig has produced jazz ensembles (Innerzone Orchestra), remixed Ravel and Mussorgsky, and innovated new models for live electronic performance. He’s also made a name for himself as one of the top remixers in dance music, bringing those trademark pumping synths to everyone from Junior Boys to Hugh Masakela to Hot Chip, minting a number of classics in the process. He’s got an almost Midas-like talent: Everything he touches becomes techno.

Detroit, MI, United States
May 22, 1969

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