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Atkins, Juan

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Music, People.

(1962-    ) US electronic musician and composer. Inspired by Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Parliament, Atkins began experimenting with synthesizers and tape-decks in the early 1980s, making a name for himself as a pioneer of techno and hip-hop. He has recorded under a variety of names. As "Cybotron" he had hits with "Cosmic Cars" (1981) and the robotic "Clear" (1983), both of which have been widely sampled by other artists. As "Model 500" he has explored his fascination with UFOs, particularly with the hit "No UFOs" (which despite its title actually repudiates disbelief in extraterrestrial visitors) and "Night Drive (Time, Space, Transmat)". Both these singles appeared on the album Classics (1993). "Neptune" on Sonic Sunset (1994) refers to the planet rather than the sea god; and Deep Space (1994) voices interstellar yearnings ("Orbit", "Astralweks", "Last Transport (to Alpha Centuri)" and "Lightspeed"). Under a third name, "Infiniti", Atkins released the album Skynet (1998), named after the sentient computer system from the Terminator franchise. [AR]

Juan Atkins

born Detroit, Michigan: 9 December 1962


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