Separate Minds (1988) – Trackmaster Lou (Scan 7) / Marc Kinchen (MK) / Terrence Parker

A classic project from 1988 that is often overlooked, despite these brilliant times where we seem to be looking back to Detroit with new interest. Two records to their name, Separate Minds were a collaboration of masses, highlighted once more the further we dig in to the somewhat mysterious world of Scan 7 and the militancy and legend that is Trackmaster Lou.

It was Trackmaster who brought together Marc Kinchen, Terrence Parker and himself as Separate Minds to record an EP for Express Records, the debut offering from some Detroit pioneers, followed up only the once in 1993 with the Troubled World EP on the Direct Hit label. Afterwards they went their separate ways, impacting the world of dance music with three incredibly influential solo careers.

Terrence Parker has been one of the few original cats (he just celebrated 30 years in the music game) to cross over respectfully (remixing mainstream but keeping his style underground) and continues to smash it live every time. If you’re not familiar with the name, you’ll no doubt be impressed with the way he mixes – the ‘telephone man’ as a DJ sounds like no one else in his style of blending two records together, even in the digital age mixes inimitably able to put a signature over a set. MK followed a similar path, having commercial success (getting Celine Dion a number 1, at one point being the in house producer for Will Smith and now working with his daughter Willow), but when making house kept it legitimate, working under aliases such as 4th Measure Men, turning out classics like the below.

As for Trackmaster Lou – no mainstream, no compromise. Just going from strength to strength or his cause, still smashing live analogue shows, running his own wax label and remains the figurehead for underground electronic music.

This first record for any of the names here, however, was as suspected 1988. The year the term ‘techno’ was said to have been first used and the year of the now famous Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit compilation was released. We’re talking 20 years ago, possibly the finest hour for the future of music just as techno was being unleashed on to the world. Perhaps this is why the incredible debut record and project falls by the wayside in favor of Rythim Is Rythim or similar high-profiled and reissued workings.

This is a big plate, try and snag a copy in good condition.