Kevin Reynolds

Kevin Reynolds has always been happy to operate in the shadows. A life long Detroiter, he has had his hand in many musical pies over the years, always furthering the careers of the city’s most famous sons. But now the wider world is finally waking up to one of the Motor City’s best kept secrets, and rightly so: Reynolds has more than paid his dues and now very much defines the new sound of Detroit as he continues to lay down compelling, freeform live shows everywhere from DEMF to Berghain/Panorama Bar on an array of hardware tools though which he really does speak his own musical language.

In his long musical life, Kevin has always been at the heart of the Detroit scene and as such it makes perfect sense he has composed music for local brands like Microsoft Ford Sync, the Mayor of Detroit and Lexus, and has also remixed The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s version of Stravinsky’s riotous “Rite of Spring” as well as recently being involved in a project that saw the same orchestra play Derrick’s seminal ‘Strings of Life’ live. As such, he is an assured pair of hands with a wide range of sonic skills who also heads up the Todhchai label. His own productions constantly confound expectation and marry harsh texture with emotive chords. His compositions draw upon the freedom of jazz and wilfully break rules in fascinating and curious ways. Records such as Afrik, Liaisons and Favis may not come often from Reynolds—despite the fact he can’t help but make music every day—but they are standout, enduring affairs that resonate for years. Proof of that comes from the fact that they turned the heads of untouchable tastemakers like Gilles Peterson, Osunlade, Jazzanova, DJ Karizma and Masters At Work.

Growing up on Michigan State University campus as his mother studied medicine, Reynolds was immersed in music from all over the planet. It meant that Afro pop, Tejano music, spaced out melodies from the Middle East and weird stuff from China all seeped into his consciousness alongside a steady stream of music from Detroit’s most famous radio DJ, Electrifyin’ Mojo. Straight after college Reynolds began working as an audio engineer for Derrick May’s legendary Transmat label and soon progressed to work as an engineer for Derrick’s Hi Tech Soul band, Time: Space.

With new music coming in 12” format on Osunlade´s soulful outlet Yoruba Records, as well as more on Berlin´s n s y d e label, Kevin Reynolds is only likely to continue to redefine what we have come to expect of Detroit techno.

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