Gratiot Ave

By 1990 Kirk was a firm Detroit techno fan and would eagerly await new releases from a trio of Detroit producers: Derrick May, Juan Atkins (who he knew from electro days as Cybotron) and Kevin Saunderson. It was at an Inner City gig in Kentish Town, 1990 that Kirk first met Derrick May who was support DJ. When Kirk mentioned he was due to fly to Chicago on a record buying trip for Reckless, Derrick gave him his address and told him to make the drive to Detroit. Just before leaving for the US, Ed Handley and Andy Turner visited Kirk and invited him to ‘share some ideas’ at the new London studio they shared with Ken Downie under the collective The Black Dog. They made some demos together which Kirk took to the US.

After stocking up on rare soul, jazz, funk and house in Chicago – Kirk and a few friends drove to Detroit. Derrick was still in the UK but they were welcomed by Shake, Juan Atkins, Martin Bonds and a British guy Matt Cogger who was running Transmat in Derrick’s absence. Inspired by the affordable studio setups he saw at Transmat, Metroplex and KMS Kirk sold his entire record collection upon his return and invested in an Atari, Akai S950 sampler, a broken TB303 and an Roland R8 drum machine. Matt Cogger also returned and loaned Kirk some of his studio gear – which actually belonged to Derrick.