Detroit techno stalwart Kevin Saunderson and Grammy award-winning producer/composer Dennis White (a.k.a. Latroit) have launched a GoFundMe campaign to benefit Inner City vocalist extraordinaire Paris Grey.
As astute dance music fans will know, Grey was the golden voice and writer behind classic Inner City tracks such as “Good Life and Big Fun.”
More recently, Grey has been dealing with the emotional and financial ramifications of losing her daughter Chanel to cancer in December.
According to White, who was the original Inner City live tour band director, Grey “is struggling to meet the financial requirements of funeral arrangements.”
“Kevin Saunderson and I are reaching out to our friends who may have been positively influenced by Paris’ contributions to the world of Dance Music, asking you to consider helping us raise $4,000 for her as soon as possible. Any amount is helpful, and equally, if you could pass this call to action around to anyone that you think might be sympathetic to her situation, we’d certainly appreciate that as well.”
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From its start in the late ’80s as a collaboration between Detroit techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson and Chicago vocalist Paris Grey, Inner City’s singular sound has often been imitated but never duplicated. With a treasure trove of classics — “Big Fun,” “Good Life” and “Pennies From Heaven” — few acts have remained as consistently relevant.
The outfit is back, firing on all cylinders with “Good Luck” (KMS) and never sounding better. Kevin Saunderson is joined for the first time behind the boards by his up-and-coming DJ/producer son, Dantiez. With Motor City vocalist LaRae Starr on the mic, they’ve created a brilliant floor mover in “Good Luck.”
The father-and-son duo collectively take Inner City’s trademark sound — staccato keyboard stabs, lush strings and bumpin’ percussion — into the stratosphere. In the process, they give Starr’s powerful voice plenty of room to reign supreme.
On the remix front, Sure Is Pure ups the quotient of disco-style strings tenfold; Chuck Daniels slices and dices Starr’s vocals for a rawer re-rub, and Polish techno upstart DEAS delivers a pair of techier, rough-and-tumble bangers.
The Saundersons remain the standard bearers of Detroit flavored house music.
Belgian duo T99’s post New Beat anthem “Anasthasia” was among a selection of transformative tracks produced in the early ’90s that helped draw mainstream attention to the blossoming underground rave scene. A frenetic cut released in 1991 founded on samples of Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “Bring It On Up” and Lyn Collins’ “Think (About It),” T99’s 25-year-old anthem has been reimagined by father-son Detroit techno twosome Kevin and Dantiez Saunderson.
The Saundersons do a solid job of recontextualizing “Anasthasia” into a tech-house affair. They craft a simmering buildup filled with rollicking drums, and they take their time incorporating the original version’s goose bump-inducing intro wielding one of electronic music’s most iconic orchestral synth lines. Of the two mixes, the eight-minute Extended Mix is the go-to selection for its sheer expanse and mixability.
With many records from the era now hitting the quarter-century mark, it’ll be interesting to see if any other classics get a reboot.