Carl Craig

Last updated
Carl Craig
Carl Craig.jpg
Background information
Also known as
  • Psyche
  • BFC
  • 69
  • Paperclip People
  • Innerzone Orchestra
Born (1969-05-22) May 22, 1969 (age 51)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
  • Producer
  • DJ
Years active1989–present
Associated acts

Carl Craig (born May 22, 1969) is an American electronic music producer, DJ, and founder of the record label Planet E Communications. [4] He is known as a leading figure and pioneer in the second wave of Detroit techno artists during the late 1980s and early 1990s. [5] [6] [7] He has recorded under his given name in addition to a variety of aliases, including Psyche, BFC, and Innerzone Orchestra. [8]


Craig has remixed artists such as Maurizio, Theo Parrish, Tori Amos, and Depeche Mode. [3] He was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his remix of the Junior Boys track "Like a Child." [9] He has released collaborative recordings with Moritz von Oswald (2008's Recomposed) and Green Velvet (2015's Unity).

Early life

Carl Craig was born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 22, 1969. [6] His mother is a teacher's assistant and his father is a post office worker. [7] He attended Cooley High School, where he developed an interest in music. [6] He learned to play guitar and later became interested in club music through his cousin Doug Craig, who worked lighting for Detroit area parties. [6] After hearing Derrick May's radio show on WJLB, Craig began experimenting with recording on a dual-deck cassette player. [6] Craig met someone who knew May and passed along a tape of some of his home studio productions. [6]


Since 1989, Craig has released many recordings under a large number of aliases, including Psyche, BFC, 69, Paperclip People, and Innerzone Orchestra. [6] Many of these early Psyche and BFC releases were collected on the 1996 compilation Elements 1989-1990. [10] Craig founded his own record label called Planet E Communications in 1991. [7] Since then, it has released records by other artists such as Kevin Saunderson, Moodymann, and Kenny Larkin. [11]

His first studio album, Landcruising, was released on Blanco y Negro Records in 1995. [6] In 1996, he released The Secret Tapes of Doctor Eich under the Paperclip People moniker. [12] In 1997, he released More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art. [12] It was placed at number 29 on Pitchfork 's "50 Best IDM Albums of All Time" list. [13] In 1999, he released Programmed under the Innerzone Orchestra moniker. [12]

Craig served as co-creator and artistic director for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000 and 2001. [14] His subsequent dismissal by festival organizers caused substantial controversy within the Detroit techno community, igniting a high-profile campaign in his favor. [15] In 2001, he filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against festival producer Pop Culture Media. [16]

He released a reworked version of Landcruising, titled The Album Formerly Known As..., in 2005. [17] In 2008, he released a collaborative album with Moritz Von Oswald, titled Recomposed, on Deutsche Grammophon. [17] He returned as artistic director for the 2010 Detroit Electronic Music Festival. [18] In 2015, he released a collaborative album with Green Velvet, titled Unity, on Relief Records. [19] In 2017, he released Versus on InFiné. [20]

Craig created a sound installation, titled Party/After-Party, which opened at the Dia Beacon art museum in March 2020. [21] The culmination of a five-year-long engagement with Dia Beacon, [22] it was his first foray into the art world. [21]

Regarding the many positions he has held in the music industry (artist, producer, DJ, record label boss, and more), Craig has said, "I have a bad habit of getting my hands dirty in every little thing, and I really do enjoy it." [23]

Style and legacy

Mixmag called Carl Craig "a leading figure in Detroit techno's second generation," [5] while Exclaim! called him a "central figure" in the genre's second wave. [6] Pitchfork described him as "techno pioneer." [7] He has approached techno using inspiration from a wide range of musical genres, including soul, jazz, new wave, industrial, and Krautrock, while his works have spanned ambient techno, breakbeat, house, and modular synthesizer-based stylings. [3] In a 2015 interview, he cited The Electrifying Mojo, Prince, Kraftwerk, Juan Atkins, and Jeff Mills as the major influences on his music. [24]

Craig's 1992 track "Bug in the Bassbin", released under the Innerzone Orchestra moniker, was picked up by DJs such as 4hero, Goldie, and J Majik. [25] In the United Kingdom, DJs started playing the track at 45 rpm instead of the intended 33 rpm. [26] According to Now , the track "ended up providing inspiration and in many ways writing the blueprint for what drum 'n' bass was to become in England." [26]

According to Vinyl Me, Please, Craig "managed to not only push the boundaries of Detroit techno, he also introduced an urgency and melodic richness to the sometimes navel-gazing world of IDM" with releases such as More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art (1997). [27]




DJ Mixes



Awards and nominations

AwardYear of ceremonyNominee / workCategoryResultRef(s)
Grammy Awards 2008 Junior Boys "Like a Child (Carl Craig Remix)" Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical Nominated [9] [28]

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  9. 1 2 "Carl Craig and Justice nominated for Grammys". Resident Advisor . December 10, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
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  15. "In gratitude". Metro Times . June 6, 2001. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
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  20. "Versus by Carl Craig". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved August 17, 2019.
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  28. Breihan, Tom (January 11, 2008). "Carl Craig's Hard-Earned Mastery". The Village Voice . Retrieved August 22, 2019.