Writing succinctly about Derrick May is no simple task. By releasing “Nude Photo” and “Strings of Life” in 1987, then starting the revered Transmat label, May advanced the genres of house and techno tenfold. His involvement in Detroit’s electronic music festival further cemented his unwavering commitment. Currently, May focuses on DJing; he’s been relatively idle studio-wise since the nineties. His deck skills, however, are wildly impressive and he is one of the few who’s able to champion his music in a worldwide setting. Architectural in nature, May’s style first involves laying the groundwork by setting a tone with minimal, bleep-driven techno, or a lilting house melody. As the night progresses, he adds layers of funk, jazz or dub, forcing bodies onto the dancefloor each time. With an artist of this caliber holding down a Chicago club residency, there’s no excuse to miss the Transmission. (John Alex Colón)
July 21 at Smart Bar.