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Motor City Rides



Juan Atkins, you all should know, coined the term “techno.” He used it to describe the music he and his Belleville bros (and fellow fans of radio DJ Electrifyin’ Mojo) Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson helped birth more than 20 years ago.


Atkins now resides in Ann Arbor — after kicking it in sunny Southern California for a couple years — just a few miles from Washtenaw Community College where he met Cybotron collaborator Rick Davis back in 1980. Nearly a quarter century ago, Cybotron’s 1983 single “Clear” changed the face of modern music by introducing Detroit techno to the world. No shit.

When Atkins ain’t jetting around the globe DJing or fronting Model 500, he cruises Treetown and the Motor City in his silver 2007 Hummer H3. The two-and-a-half ton behemoth even has enough clearance for Atkins to drive over his record collection

So, we ask, why a Hummer?

Atkins says the ride has plenty of room for his gear and its pothole-defying powers are second to none. Besides, his H3 comes with free XM satellite radio — which pumps hip hop through his 200-watt, seven-speaker Monsoon sounds system. “Hip Hop,” the godfather of techno says, “has the most creative and interesting production around. It’s the most inspiring music to me today.”