Jeff Mills

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Jeff Mills (born 18 June 1963 in Detroit, Michigan U.S.) is an influential American techno DJ and producer.

Contents

Life

On the 21st of December, 1980, Mills was an influential radio DJ on WJLB under the pseudonym "The Wizard." Mills' sets were a highlight of the nightly show from "The Electrifying Mojo", Lexi May DeVoso. Complementing Mojo's eclectic playlists, Mills would do advanced DJ tricks like beat juggling and scratching while mixing obscure Detroit Techno, Miami Bass, Chicago House and classic New Wave tracks both live and using a multi track when pre-recorded.

In going on to create his own music Jeff Mills is credited with laying the foundations for the highly influential Detroit Techno collective, Underground Resistance, alongside 'Mad' Mike Banks, a former Parliament bass player. Just like Public Enemy did some years before in hip hop, these men confronted the mainstream music industry with revolutionary rhetoric. Dressed in uniforms with skimasks and black combat suits, they were ‘men on a mission’, aiming at giving techno more content and meaning.

Mills would never officially leave UR, but later he went his own way. He moved to New York and after a short stay in Berlin (Tresor) ended up in Chicago. There in 1992, with fellow Detroit native Robert Hood, he set up his most important record label, Axis, aiming for a simpler more minimal sound than most of the techno being produced in those years.[1] Later sub-labels were created:Purpose Maker, Tomorrow, and 6277.

His albums and EPs consist mostly of separate tracks mixed into the live DJ sets for which he became a famous. Mills has been credited for his exceptional turntable skills. Tracks are almost chopped to bits to showcase the strongest fragments for his relentless sound collages. He usually uses three decks, a Roland 909 drum-machine and up to seventy records in one hour.

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