Carl Craig shares his top five Detroit techno tracks of all time

The music legend celebrates 30 years of his record label, Planet E Communications, and will return to Movement this weekend.

Carl Craig

The name Carl Craig needs little introduction in Detroit. The music legend is one of the major names in Detroit techno, and this year, he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his record label, Planet E Communications. In the past year plus, he’s expanded his influence and work into many different areas, from an immersive sound and light installation in New York to a synthesizer ensemble at Carnegie Hall.

Craig will return to the Movement Festival at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. He stopped by CultureShift to give us his top five Detroit techno tracks of all time.

Listen: Carl Craig on his top five Detroit techno tracks of all time.


1. “Beyond the Dance” by Derrick May

2. “Knights of the Jaguar” by DJ Rolando

3. “Never Grow Old (Re-Plant)” by Floorplan

4. “Clear” by Cybotron

“Cybotron was making some of the first electro records that turned into Detroit techno because of Juan Atkins,” Craig says. “‘Clear’ is the track that you can still hear today. Missy Elliot did a sample version of it some years back, so you can hear it not only in cars but also in the club.”

5. “Good Life” by Inner City

“[‘Good Life’ is] the most popular Detroit techno track in existence,” says Craig. “It’s a track that when I first heard it, I didn’t believe what I was hearing. I had already known Kevin [Saunderson] for a little bit by that time so it was amazing to know the person who was making this track that made everybody on the Boblo boat go crazy.”

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Amanda LeClaire
    Amanda LeClaire is an award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. She’s a founding producer of WDET’s flagship news talk show Detroit Today, and a former host/reporter for Arizona Public Media. Amanda is also an artist, certified intuitive and energy healer, and professional tarot reader.