Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Fowlkes, Eddie

DJ and producer Eddie Fowlkes is one of Detroit Techno’s early visionaries. As with many of the young techno innovators, their first experiences with the DJ and dance music scene were high school parties put on by groups like “Charivari.” While attending one of these parties, Fowlkes was bit by the DJ bug, and sought out to spin like a pro, asking for a mixing device for Christmas in 1978. Before long, he had joined the DJ collective Deep Space, started by techno progenitors Juan Atkins and Derrick May. There, he was known as Eddie “Flashin’” Fowlkes. Kevin Saunderson, another of Detroit’s techno pioneers, was inspired to begin his DJ career with Deep Space after seeing a performance by Fowlkes.  

Much of Fowlkes’s history is intertwined with the “Belleville Three” – Atkins, May, and Saunderson – who are typically regarded as the forefathers of Detroit Techno. While he initially focused on his DJ performances, Fowlkes eventually became inspired to create a record. His first release was “Goodbye Kiss,” which appeared on Atkins’s Metroplex label in 1986 and became their first big techno hit. While Fowlkes didn’t immediately begin his own record label like his peers, he continued to experiment with his sound, eventually landing on what he calls “Techno Soul” – which infuses funk and the Motown sound into techno beats.  

Fowlkes did go on to create City Boy Records in 1993. His focus shifted to the record label development once he had started a family. Like many of his peers, Fowlkes has played at Detroit’s annual electronic music festival many times. Fowlkes’s contributions to the growth and proliferation of Detroit Techno place him in the pantheon of the genre’s greats.   



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