Kevin Saunderson’s Still Good Life
Detroit pioneer Kevin Saunderson has commissioned a fresh bunch of hard-hitting remixes of his acid house anthem Good Life, including one by his son Dantiez Saunderson and another tough techno workout by Pig & Dan.
The remixes appear on KMS Records on August 27 some 25 years after they first topped European pop charts under Kevin’s original alter ego of Inner City.
Chatting to Skrufff ten years ago about his already lengthy music career, he recalled how Inner City’s massive success transformed his life irrevocably.
“I first realised I could make a living from electronic music around 1988. I started making records in 1985 then had big success in ‘88 when Inner City came out and the cheques started coming in, the money was amazing. I thought ‘This is the right thing to do, if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back and finish college’,” he recalled.
“I was going to college before that and also working as a security guard, protecting scab (strike breaking) drivers who were delivering beer while at the same time selling my records by phone. People would be shooting at you, throwing rocks and all kinds of stuff. So I’d be protecting these drivers as I took orders over the phone. It was all a great challenge. Then in 1988 I went overseas to England.”
Skrufff: How was the club scene in England in 1988?
Kevin Saunderson: “I went twice, and the second time after four months the whole scene had changed. Paul Oakenfold was playing Big Fun at Spectrum and when I saw the reaction of the crowd, I couldn’t believe it. It was like they’d been touched. Then we followed that up with Good Life which was even better, we had a real chemistry going on there for a while.”
Skrufff: Why do you think England embraced house music far earlier and more enthusiastically than the US?
Kevin Saunderson: “One reason was that music wasn’t so segregated in England as it was in the US, especially at that time. Even today you’ve still got country stations, black music stations that play R&B, pop stations that might mix it up a little but not much. So blacks were listening to black music, and whites were hearing rock and alternative music. When I started DJing I didn’t DJ for any whites at all, it was all black people at the parties. It was crazy. England had a different perspective then; that music was music.”
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff