Carl Craig

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Carl Craig
Craig DJing in 2010
Background information
Also known as
  • Psyche
  • BFC
  • 69
  • Paperclip People
  • Innerzone Orchestra
Born (1969-05-22) May 22, 1969 (age 54)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
  • Producer
  • DJ
Years active1989–present

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 a variety of artists including Manuel Göttsching, Maurizio, Theo Parrish, Tori Amos, and Depeche Mode.[3] He was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording 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[edit]

Carl Craig was born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 22, 1969.[6] His mother was a teacher's assistant and his father was 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]

Style and legacy[edit]

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, classical, 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.[23]

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.[24] In the United Kingdom, DJs started playing the track at 45 rpm instead of the intended 33 rpm.[25] 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."[25]

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).[26]



  • Landcruising (1995)
  • The Secret Tapes of Doctor Eich (1996) (as Paperclip People)
  • More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art (1997)
  • Programmed (1999) (as Innerzone Orchestra)
  • The Album Formerly Known As... (2005)
  • Recomposed (2008) (with Moritz von Oswald)
  • Unity (2015) (with Green Velvet)
  • Versus (2017)


  • The Sound of Music (1995) (as 69)
  • Elements 1989-1990 (1996) (as Psyche/BFC)
  • Designer Music V1 (2000)
  • Abstract Funk Theory (2001)
  • From the Vault: Planet E Classics Collection Vol. 1 (2006)
  • The Legendary Adventures of a Filter King (2009) (as 69)

DJ Mixes[edit]

  • DJ-Kicks: Carl Craig (1996)
  • House Party 013: A Planet E Mix (1999)
  • Onsumothasheeat (2001)
  • The Workout (2002)
  • Fabric 25 (2005)
  • The Kings of Techno (2006) (with Laurent Garnier)
  • Sessions (2008)
  • Masterpiece (2013)
  • Detroit Love (2019)


  • 4 Jazz Funk Classics (1991) (as 69)
  • Sound on Sound (1993) (as 69)
  • Lite Music (1994) (as 69)
  • The Floor EP (1996) (as Paperclip People)
  • Just Another Day (2004)
  • Paris Live (2007)


  • "Crackdown" (1990) (as Psyche)
  • "No More Words" (1991)
  • "Oscillator" (1991) (as Paperclip People)
  • "Jam the Box" (1994) (as 69)
  • "Throw" (1994) (as Paperclip People)
  • "The Climax" (1995) (as Paperclip People)
  • "Science Fiction" (1995)
  • "Bug in the Bass Bin" (1996) (as Innerzone Orchestra)
  • "Floor" (1996) (as Paperclip People)
  • "4 My Peepz" (1998) (as Paperclip People)
  • "People Make The World Go Round" (2000) (as Innerzone Orchestra)
  • "A Wonderful Life" / "As Time Goes By" (2002)
  • "Sparkle" / "Home Entertainment" (2005)
  • "Darkness" / "Angel" (2006)
  • "Sandstorms" (2017)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year of ceremony Nominee / work Category Result Ref(s)
Grammy Awards 2008 Junior Boys "Like a Child (Carl Craig Remix)" Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical Nominated [9][27]


  1. ^ Jacobs, Mick (May 30, 2019). "Detroit Love: An Interview with Electronic Music Pioneer Carl Craig". PopMatters. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (April 20, 2018). "Detroit techno legend Carl Craig discusses his remixing rebirth and DJ roots". City Pages. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bush, John. "Carl Craig - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Toland, Justin (February 8, 2011). "Carl Craig: once upon a time in Detroit (page 2 of 3)". Fact. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Hinton, Patrick (September 29, 2017). "The 10 best 90s techno albums". Mixmag. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nasrallah, Dimitri (March 2008). "Carl Craig - Intergalactic Beats". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d Fitzmaurice, Larry (December 4, 2013). "Carl Craig". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Lhooq, Michelle (July 28, 2016). "Carl Craig Took Me on a Tour of Detroit's Most Sacred Techno Landmarks". Vice. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Carl Craig and Justice nominated for Grammys". Resident Advisor. December 10, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Planet E to reissue Carl Craig's juvenilia collection Elements 1989-1990". Fact. November 19, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  11. ^ Orenstein, Carre (December 16, 2014). "Detroit Love lab LA takeover with Carl Craig and Stacey Pullen". Mixmag. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Cyclone (August 15, 2017). "5 albums that showcase Carl Craig's versatility". Red Bull. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  13. ^ Patrin, Nate (January 24, 2017). "The 50 Best IDM Albums of All Time (page 3 of 5)". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  14. ^ Orenstein, Carre (May 19, 2016). "How well do you know the history of Movement Detroit?". Mixmag. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  15. ^ "In gratitude". Metro Times. June 6, 2001. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric (May 14, 2001). "Carl Craig Fires Back At Festival Organizers Who Fired Him". VH1. Archived from the original on March 23, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2006.
  17. ^ a b Miles, Milo (July 20, 2017). "Carl Craig's String Theory: The Detroit House Pioneer Gets Orchestral". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Taylor, Ken (May 22, 2009). "Movement: Carl Craig is Back". XLR8R. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Ryce, Andrew (March 25, 2015). "Carl Craig and Green Velvet release surprise collaborative LP". Resident Advisor. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  20. ^ "Versus by Carl Craig". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Goldfine, Jael (March 12, 2020). "Partying in the Basement of Dia Beacon With Carl Craig". Paper. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  22. ^ Brown, Harley (August 10, 2020). "Why Carl Craig at Dia:Beacon is a Groundbreaking Moment for American Art Institutions". Electronic Beats. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "Watch Carl Craig discuss Detroit, Prince and his biggest influences". Fact. February 19, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  24. ^ Parker, Tristan (November 2, 2009). "Carl Craig and Innerzone Orchestra". Clash. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  25. ^ a b Boles, Benjamin (January 23, 2003). "Carl Craig". Now. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  26. ^ McKenna, Niall. "A Carl Craig Primer". Vinyl Me, Please. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  27. ^ Breihan, Tom (January 11, 2008). "Carl Craig's Hard-Earned Mastery". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 22, 2019.

External links[edit]