Traditionally, the birthdays of nightclubs are celebrated with a big line-up. A fair amount of money is often spent on them. Clubs have a lot of adversaries who would rather they didn’t exist, so every victory like this must be savoured and enjoyed. And that often means booking DJs who are historically associated with the venue.
Club Shelter appear not to have received this memo. They’re currently advertising the fact their 30th birthday party is coming up on September 17th and have plenty of names associated with the club on the line-up. But one name sticks out less like a sore thumb, more like a sore, gangrene infected thumb.
And that name is Derrick May. Just why has he been booked for this? My admittedly limited sources in New York can’t ever remember May being booked to play at Club Shelter – and one of them has attended most of their parties. Carl Craig isn’t on the line-up, which renders it less likely that this is a hatchet job from Hagi Craig, the wife of Carl Craig and manager for both Craig and May.
His selection is even more baffling when you consider the music policy of Club Shelter. This is a club known for playing house music, mostly American, with the BPM not usually going much faster than around 126. Techno has been played in the past, but only occasionally – and never by Derrick May. So his inclusion on a birthday line-up just seems all the more odd.
Perhaps the explanation comes courtesy of François Kevorkian, a long-time friend of Derrick May. The two were previously known as the Cosmic Twins, and have played together several times since 2003 – it’s an association Kevorkian doesn’t mention these days, funnily enough.
Rest assured, however, that you won’t find the techno groups on Facebook discussing this subject. Kevorkian is an administrator of several groups on the site dedicated to discussing the ins and outs of techno. Alongside a number of other leaders in the genre who also admin groups in their spare time, they’ve been working hard to scrub any mention of the allegations against Derrick May off their pages.
Just like this post won’t end up being talked about there either…