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Keith Tucker

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Keith Tucker was a founding member of Detroit electro group Aux 88 before departing in 1996 to pursue various solo projects. One of the key forces responsible for Detroit techno's return to its electro roots, Tucker, along with artists such as "Mad" Mike Banks, Drexciya, and Will Web, helped reinvigorate the waning Detroit sound in the mid-'90s by revisiting some of the elements that made the music in its early form so vibrant and exciting; driving, funk-derived rhythms, futuristic electronics, and down'n'dirty production. A native of Detroit's rougher East Side neighborhood (where "booty"-style electro and ghetto funk were and are the most popular styles of music), Tucker grew up listening to early Detroit classics such as Cybotron's "Clear" and "R9" and Model 500's "Nite Drive Thru Babylon." A mobile DJ through high school, he formed RX-7 with Tommy Hamilton and Tony Horton in the mid-'80s, playing talent shows and local rap festivals as an electro cover band; their stage show consisted of a barrage of keyboards and a single drum machine on which they belted out Juan Atkins tunes and a few of originals. RX-7 dissolved in 1990 and Tucker signed with Metroplex (together with Jesse Anderson) as Frequency. He reunited with Hamilton in 1992 to form Aux 88, a group pursuing an even more obviously electro/bass-derived sound than his previous work. The pair released a number of well-received singles and EPs (both as Aux 88 and as Alien FM) as well as the full-length CD/compilation, 88 FM, before Tucker departed in 1996 due to artistic differences (Hamilton continues to record under the name with partner William Smith). Tucker's subsequent solo work under the names DJ K-1 and Optic Nerve, among others, has appeared through the Direct Beat, Magick Trax, Tresor, and Puzzlebox labels, the latter of which Tucker formed in 1996 with fellow Detroit producer Anthony Shakir (the two record together under the name Da Sampla). Continuing in the new-school vein of his Aux releases, Tucker has pursued both techno and electro on these twelves, with his "K-1 Agenda" (on Direct Beat) and "Lifeform" (on Puzzlebox) the most accomplished of the lot. The Lifeform EP followed in 1997. ~ Sean Cooper

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