The mystery and music of Neil Ollivierra – The Detroit Escalator Company
Detroit-born and bred, Neil Ollivierra is a multi-talented artist who writes and composes electronic music as The Detroit Escalator Co. Although inactive for nearly 15 years now, his legacy is nothing short of inspirational.
Having only made a handful of albums and EPs, his work is highly sought after amongst the purest collectors and selectors of IDM/Ambient Techno – renowned for its sparse form, depth of production and glistening melodics. Ollivierra first appeared in and amongst the early Detroit techno scene as the promoter behind the now legendary Music Institute (1988-89): the underground after-hours club that served as the testing grounds for the likes of Transmat, KMS and Metroplex record labels that brought together heads and hedonists alike – cementing the newly found sounds that were about to explode on to the global stage. His growing acquaintance with resident DJ Derrick May led to him becoming employed as the Transmat label manager during the label’s early years (1988-1992), where he played a big hand in signing artists such as Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen and James Pennington.
Deciding to concentrate on his own musical projects, the first album he wrote and produced was ‘soundtrack (313)’, released in 1996 through Russ Gabriel’s Ferox imprint. Somewhat of a holy grail for many, the LP has long been out of print.
A full 5 years later, Ollivierra recorded his 2nd album ‘Black Buildings’, this time for Peacefrog. Running alongside the album, he completed a long-planned series of acrylic oil paintings as part and parcel of the ‘Black Buildings’ project. These were also the subject of a solo exhibition at Detroit’s infamous Cpop Gallery. Prior to this, Peacefrog released a collection of his earlier works titled “Excerpts”. It would be another 5 years before he released his last EP ‘Blue Sciece/Between Dubnotes’.
Come a little closer and enjoy our selection of his work: