11:00 pm_6:00 am
Live: 12:05 am_1:05 am Montréal time
AUX 88 cemented their place in history through their contributions to Techno and Electro, both in Detroit and across the world. Originally consisting of producer Tommy “Tom Tom” Hamilton and DJ Keith K-1” Tucker, AUX 88 was born out of the protagonists’ infatuation with Kraftwerk and Cybotron’s futuristic beats. Since its inception in 1993, the Detroit-based group has spearheaded a reinterpretation of early Motor City Breakbeat Electro-funk. Often dubbed Techno-Bass, the style combines elements of Detroit and New York Electro with Miami Bass and the darker, analog aspects of Detroit Techno. The band’s first opus, Bass Magnetic (1993), was promptly and roundly acclaimed, and their subsequent releases, such as the My AUX Mind and AUX Quadrant EPs (1995), heralded a renaissance of Detroit Electro. Tucker left AUX 88 to start his solo career in 1995, and the band’s destiny was placed in the hands of Hamilton, who furthered Aux 88’s legacy alongside former dancer William « BJ » Smith (aka Posatronix). The duo released Is It Man or Machine? In 1996. After Smith’s departure in 1998, Aux 88 became Hamilton’s solo project, going on to release Xeo-Genetic to critical and popular acclaim in 1998, with the Electro Boogie compilation following a year later on !K7 Records. Smith then rejoined the group, as did Tucker (who never strayed far from Aux 88) and Anthony “Blak Tony” Horton. The newly-reformed band released their third album, the eponymous Aux 88, in 2005, followed by Mad Scientist (2009) and Black Tokyo (2010). Their latest, Counterparts, was released in 2020. Not as prolific on record in the last decade, AUX88 now focuses on new talent, artist mentorship and community awareness and education, all while fostering the next generation of Detroit artists through their own Electrostatic label.
Aux 88’s live performances very much feel like a rousing old-school Hip-hop show. Though the latter certainly has legitimate claims on Aux 88’s sound, so do Techno, Miami Bass, Trip-hop and Funk. Still, the Detroit-based pair never aims to fit a narrow definition, but rather strives to make people dance, by any means necessary.
Consisting primarily of Tommy “Tom Tom” Hamilton and BJ/William “POSATRONIX” Smith, and occasionally assisted by Keith “K-1” Tucker and Anthony “Blak Tony” Horton, Detroit-based duo AUX 88 are recognized worldwide as pioneers of the Techno-Bass genre.
Direct Beats, Puzzlebox Records, 430 West, Submerge Recordings
Counterparts (Direct Beats, 2020)
Vocal Modulation EP (Puzzlebox, 2020)
As teenagers, Tommy Hamilton and William Smith would spend their after-school hours trying to recreate iconic tracks such as Cybotron’s Clear and Kraftwerk’s Numbers on a second-hand bass and drum kit, practicing for hours in order to hit the precise timing of electronic music’s mechanical rhythms.