Going bananas over 1980s Detroit electro producer Danan Potts

Today we can't stop listening to the few tracks posted online by Detroit's 1980s electro/ rap/ boogie producer Danan Potts. We can't find his later record, "Rappin Santa," anywhere online even— but we will keep looking, don't worry. "Go Bananas," from 1982, is an excellent track, worthy of its cult status, and thankfully the superb label PPU has seen fit to reissue a deluxe version of it, as well as the 12" he recorded as Westwood/ Cash (with Orlando Cash). Below you will also find a few of the songs Potts worked on with some P-Funk affiliated artists, and his anti-apartheid rap 12", as well.

So, who is this guy? Danan Potts used to spend time at the Detroit studio where Juan Atkins first began to learn about production (the Recording Institute of Detroit), and was influenced by his work. He also worked briefly with George Clinton. "Go Bananas" was released on the small Southern Sun label; original copies fetch a lot of money. The Westwood/ Cash 12" was released in 1983, and is excellent (and also super rare).

We tried to find other information on the artist, but aside from a few biographical details on YouTube comments and promo blurbs, didn't find a whole lot. We do wonder if he has any unreleased tracks laying around anywhere? Today, it appears that there is a scholarship  in his name, which is super cool. There's also a killer-looking rap compilation LP from 1987 which thanks him on the back: "Special Thanks to Danan Potts for starting Detroit Rapp."

If any Detroit heads know anything about this artist, we'd love to write more so please get in touch.

On the Discogs website, we found the following blurb about "Go Banananas," posted on a list called The History Of Detroit Dance Part One:1981 - 1991, posted by a user named Leon Sewell, who appears to be a UK-based dance music devotee. This is basically the longest thing we found written about Potts online. 
Superlife - Go Bananas

Produced by one of Detroit's most mysterious and unknown first wave producers Danan Potts(R.I.P.). Who?! I hear you cry! Thought you may ask that...read on.

This one is a sick, sick ultra minimal Detroit Electro/Techno track! Certainly ahead of its time and on another level! And to think this bomb was released the same year as Cybotron's 'Cosmic Cars' yet still remain(ed)s pretty much unknown. Quite interesting I'm sure you'll agree?

Now forward some 19 years later and something totally unexpected happened. Yes, 2011 saw an unbelieve and much appreciated repress thanks to the great PPU Records label. So massive respect to Washington's Andrew Morgan(he really knows his sh*t) for allowing this cool and sought after track to(finally) be available for everyone!!

It even came with additional bonus mixes from New School heroes Steve Summers and Legowelt!! As to be expected, both turn in very cool versions.

For even more info on Danan Potts, here's the original PPU Records press blurb:- R.I.P. Danan Potts.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.