Jeff Mills is a pioneering Techno DJ and producer. Part of the second wave of Detroit Techno Mills has been hugely prolific throughout his lengthy career, continually pushing the boundaries of creativity and performance. Mills co-runs the label Axis Music with fellow Detroit Techno DJ Robert Hood.
Jeff Mills was part of the second wave of Detroit Techno DJs and producers, following in the footsteps of the pioneering work of Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson. Mills started out as a DJ on the local WDQR radio station. His first move as a producer was to form Underground Resistance with former Parliament bass player Mad Mike Banks.
The first Underground Resistance release was in 1990 with the ‘Sonic E.P.’ (Underground Resistance). Underground Resistance brought a brash militancy to Techno, with a harder, less commercial sound than the first wave of Detroit Techno producers had championed.
Mills started releasing solo singles in 1993 but his classic didn’t come until four years later with ‘The Bells’ (Purpose Maker 1997). The thumping kick drum, hypnotic bass and dissonant hook typified the minimal but hard edged sound that Mills was making his own.
A hugely prolific producer Mills released seven studio albums between 1991 and 2000. Mills started the new century with a sound track for the Fritz Lang film “Metropolis” in 2000 which he presented at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Jeff Mills has remained highly active throughout the 21st century, including more than two dozen albums.
Mills has also continued to broaden his creative horizons including creating an audio instillation for the ‘Diaspora’ exhibition at the musée du quai Branly in Paris.
In 2007 Mills received the prestigious honorary title of ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ from the French government in 2007.
Though not part of the first wave of Detroit Techno DJs Jeff Mills is nonetheless one of the most high profile and established of Detroit DJs and producers. Mills picked up the Techno baton from the first wave of producers and took it to a new level utilizing new technology to the full and championing a harder edged sound that would go onto inspire a generation of Techno artists including Adam Beyer and Richie Hawtin.
Jeff Mills is a native of Detroit but has spent time living in New York, Chicago and Berlin, where he was a resident DJ at the seminal Tresor club.