The music scene in Detroit has a long history of producing many forms of music. Detroit has long been influential in the celebrated “Motown Era,” to the globally influential age of “Detroit Techno.” Detroit will always in some way drive the world in music. Detroit DJ’s and Producers, in their unique ability, strive to progress into the future by putting a little of themselves into each track. This ability allows some to feel a special vibe that produces visions of the future by embracing the past. Keith Tucker, an Artist and DJ, has captured this vision in his recordings. Tucker, co-founder of AUX-88, and also known as DJ K-1, Alien FM, KT-19941, and his (Alter Ego) futuristic movie score sounds of Optic Nerve. During the early part of the 1980’s, Tucker focused his talents on playing his exclusive music via mobile DJ’ing. These transmissions of his exclusive music were most effective through street parties and various underground venues. Spinning the likes of Kraftwerk, Cybotron, Parliament, Human League, Derrick May, and the Soul Sonic Force, to name a few. On the radio, in and around Detroit, this music was playing, and Tucker discovered that keyboards and various drum machines had taken over his life. Various other aspiring artists, Ron Cook, Tommy Hamilton, and Anthony Shakir, helped redefine Techno with wicked drumbeats and synthesized bass tracks strictly for parties.
In 1985, Tucker, Tommy Hamilton and Tony Horton formed RX-7, a local Detroit Techno band. They performed great hits by such groups as Cybotron, Kraftwerk, and the Soul Sonic Force. There were also many unreleased original tracks performed by RX-7. The band played at local events in and around the city of Detroit. Wanting to pursue personal projects, the band decided to disband a year later. Starting out in Classical Music during his grammar school years, Tucker went on to learn music sequencing. He also pursued a College career in Technical Illustration, Computer Graphics, and Mechanical Engineering. This in turn with a love of Classical Music has helped him to appreciate music as an art form. He learned that he had gotten more into the SCI-FI aspect of music because of the moody strings moving faintly in the background. Tucker’s style of Techno conveys this in the various bass lines inter mingled together to not only convey the title of his music, but feelings of being else where. This art form of music led Tucker to buy older models of analog gear and pursue sending out demo tapes to various local Detroit Techno labels.
Tucker received a response from Metroplex Records; Juan Atkins’ label, and signed as Frequency. Under this alias, Tucker and Jessie Anderson recorded such tracks as, “Television,” “Frequency Express,” and “New Jack House.” On the track “New Jack House,” Darren Muhammad of Adrenaline M.O.D. did the vocals and Juan Atkins did the mixes. Tucker learned a lot from his experiences with Metroplex Records. In September of 1992, while working on new tracks for Metroplex Records, Tucker received a visit from Tommy Hamilton. They brought their experiences together to form AUX88, and found that their music talents had matured since the early 1980’s. Using their Detroit Techno background, the two quickly accumulated a mass of new tracks together, as well as individually. AUX-88 wrote many new tracks with a brand new vibe. The futuristic blend of Electro, Bass, and Trance, that they call Techno Bass.
In 1992 the first single, “Technology,” transmitted by Direct Beat/430 West, immediately over took the Detroit club scene. “When we heard the tune, we knew the guys had made it in Detroit, for Detroit, so that’s where we released it, DETROIT,” exclaimed Lawrence Burden of 430 West Records. Burden explained that 430 West did not intend to sell Techno Bass anywhere else except the U.S., but Hardwax (the only underground store in Berlin, Germany) got wind of it, and demanded we sell it to them. After that, the world just caught on to Detroit’s form of Techno and made their own. After the first successful single, AUX88 produced their monumental double EP “Bass Magnetic.” While creating a new identity on the Techno scene, AUX88 brought about new feelings among other Techno artist. This was demonstrated through a truly historical event brought about through Juan Atkins of Metroplex Records. Tucker (K1), Tommy Hamilton (Tom Tom), and Mike Banks (Mad Mike) were approached by Juan Atkins to help organize and perform Atkins first ever-live performance as Model500, on October 13, 1995 for Metroplex Records 10th anniversary celebration. This live performance was performed in downtown Detroit and was a huge success. This historical event brought Press and Guess from as far away as Austria to see Model 500 perform “Clear”, “No UFO’s,” and “Technicolor,” to a standing room only crowd of on lookers. Tucker also received an invitation a few months later to perform December 16, 1995 at the MAYDAY gathering in Frankfurt, Germany, because of his outstanding performance from Model 500 and AUX88 affiliation. There was a highly energized crowd of over 28,000 plus Techno fans from all over the world. Tucker was the only DJ to spin an entire musical set of all Electro. This MAYDAY event was televised world wide via the Internet. K1’s Electro set was greeted with many cheers of acceptance and autograph seekers.
Tucker felt it was time to leave AUX-88 and explore his other areas of interest in Techno music. He decided to pursue his alter ego solo projects Alien FM, Optic Nerve (signed to OMNISONUS Records of Paris), and KT-19941 on PUZZLEBOX Records (co-owned by Tucker and Wanda Dixon). Tucker felt that his style of Techno was unique of its own. Tucker felt he was not being properly recognized for his various solo projects. Many of his projects were being perceived as being group projects. In May of 2000, Detroit was host to the largest free Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) in the world. Tucker brought together old and new artist to form RX-7 again for the festival. AUX88, XILE, Black Electric, and Optic Nerve performed on one stage for the first time. Tucker’s vision of unity came together during the DEMF. Through Tucker‘s many releases, interviews, reviews and performances in the U.S and Europe, Techno has now given him the recognition he deserves. This has promoted Keith Tucker as an artist, a writer, and a performer. Tucker’s love of music shows that there is truth in the music. Call him what you want but by any other way, but don’t call him blind. This visionary from DETROIT has brought his unique brand of dance music to the awaiting ears of the world since 1990.
He has also pulled together the members of AUX88 and other well known Detroit artist to form many different factions of Detroit techno. Tucker has had his hand in the mechanics of the groups FREQUENCY (Metroplex), ALIEN FM (430 West), SIGHT BEYOND SIGHT (430 West), the ever changing AUX-88 (Direct Beat), and AUXMEN projects (Puzzlebox), NICO Marks, Eddie Folks, Strand, members of P-funk all-stars, members of the house, Mike Grant, Max Durante (Fuzion Project), A Number of Names (Shari Varri), Patrick Wacher (Southern Outpost Records), and Model 500 Live. The former GM TECH grad has had affiliation, and is currently an inductee of DETROIT HISTORICAL Museum’s “TECHNO: DETROIT’S GIFT TO THE WORLD EXIBIT”. The ELETRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL vet now concentrates on his renewed musical kinship with Tommy Hamilton to reform the original AUX88 duo lineup of the group and there new techno incarnation Aux 88 presents Black Tokyo.