XLR8R always makes an effort to cover music that we think is new and exciting, but certain acts have proven themselves to be especially adept at breaking the mold. The Innovators mix series, presented by Cigna, is designed to spotlight one-of-a-kind artists that we think are particularly innovative and unique. Following our previous Innovators mixes by the likes of Kingdom and Todd Edwards—click here to peruse the entire series—we've tapped a legitimate legend for this week's installment, Kevin Saunderson. Granted, Detroit's dance-music history is essentially overflowing with artists that have been tagged as "legends," but Saunderson unquestionably fits the bill. After all, he's generally recognized as one of the original creators of techno, alongside similarly revered producers Juan Atkins and Derrick May. For many artists, that alone would have been sufficient, but Saunderson has made his mark in a variety of ways, including his pop-crossover project Inner City, his more underground efforts as E-Dancer, and his stewardship of the KMS label. More than 25 years after his first records changed the electronic landscape forever, Saunderson keeps on working, and in recent years has even seen his own sons follow his footsteps and join the techno game. On his Innovators mix, Saunderson delivers an hour-long session that's essentially loaded with the same sort of brightly melodic and subtly soulful tunes that he's been playing throughout his career.
01 Tom Taylor "Jazz Dialect" (Dessous)
02 Bicep "Vision of Love" (Feel My Bicep)
03 Felix Cage "Mascarade (Rodriguez Jr. Remix)" (Electronical Reeds)
04 PJ "Happy Days (Daniel Dubb 2013 Edit)" (DV8)
05 Copyright feat. Jody Findley "Sacrifice" (Defected)
06 Grant Nalder "Sunshine" (Freeze Dried)
07 Deep Future "Let Me Go (Dirty Channels Gruuvy Rework) (Gruuv)
08 Dantiez Saunderson & Exhale "Mercenary"
09 Gusto "Disco's Revenge (Eric Krupper Mix)" (Hysteria)
10 Ninetoes "Finder" (Kling Klong)
11 Brandon DeCarlo "Not with Standing" (KMS)
12 Greg Gow "Rings of Saturn" (KMS)
13 Dantiez Saunderson & John Norman "Resonance"
14 Inner City "Big Fun (House of Virus Remix)" (KMS)
15 L8M8 & Damarii Saunderson "The Path"
16 E-Dancer "Velocity Funk (Joe Brunning's Back to the Funk)"
17 Kevin Saunderson Presents Inner City "Good Life ( Pig & Dan Less is More Dub Mix)" (KMS)