By 1981, Atkins paired with Richard Davis to form the group, Cybotron, and released “Alleys of Your Mind.” Four years later, after local and international success with Cybotron, Atkins founded Metroplex, the world’s first techno record label. The first releases on Metroplex were productions by Atkins under the alias Model 500, a project that he continues to this day. On Metroplex, Atkins mentored and collaborated with a number of young, local electronic music producers and DJs, including Eddie “Flashin” Fowlkes, Kevin Saunderson, and Anthony “Shake” Shakir.
With Metroplex, Atkins initiated and has sustained a global network of electronic music culture. Atkins continues to give live electronic performances to audiences around the world, and collaborates with musicians like Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus of Hardwax and Tresor. Atkins’ musical creativity is as prolific as his DJing schedule. With all this global activity, Atkins and Metroplex maintain headquarters in Detroit. Civic dedication is a tenant of Detroit’s social and political life, and Metroplex is no exception. Atkins is a regular supporter of the Backpack Music Festival, a house music festival held on Belle Isle in Detroit each August, now in its eighth year. Detroit DJs perform at this outdoor festival, raising money and school supplies for elementary students in the city.
2015 marks thirty-five years that Juan Atkins has been DJing and creating techno music. Metroplex inspired countless fans with its sonic innovations and futuristic philosophies. Atkins and Metroplex continue to inspire and impress with performance innovations and musical creativity. Here’s looking forward to another thirty-five years.