Friday, March 10, 2017

Daughter Produkt, Drexciya, The Other People Place, tributes and more

You can listen and download Heinrich Mueller's latest track, 'Direction Asymmetry' under his newly resurrected alias, Daughter Produkt, at this link. You will find it on the Dreamy Harbour 3LP compilation from Tresor. There is a great sample/vocal used, it must be one of his eeriest tracks for sure, love it. The image above was sent to me without explanation, so I'm not sure yet if it's official or made by a fan, either way I like it.

There is a 2 minute sample of Heinrich Mueller's dreamy 'Lamb Shift Model' version of 'Where Did He Go … And Why' by As One from the 6 LP boxset, Brainbox, on De:Tuned from 2016.

A new live show for Dopplereffekt has been announced. They will play on 18th March in Vienna, Austria at what looks like a 5 year anniversary for a club night there. There are now 7 upcoming Dopplereffekt shows and 2 for Arpanet (click on links for the Resident Advisor list for each act)

The still travelling group art exhibition, The Ocean After Nature, which features a cabinet of Drexciya artefacts and The Otolith Group's, Hydra Decapita, film (which references the Drexciyan mythos) is now on show at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA until March 18th of this year. Details of the full programme and all the artists involved at this link.

"...I eventually ran a search for them and the first file that came up was an MP3 that turned out to be The Journey Home from their 1995 EP on Warp. It blew my mind. Creatively it was like nothing I had ever heard because at that point I was into mainstream house and trance. It was the equivalent of an Abba fan hearing Larry Levan for the first time. I’d never really heard much dance music made on analogue machines before, at least not music that had so much feeling."

This is a refreshingly personal piece written by DJ Jackmaster (Numbers label) about how he first encountered Drexciya and fell in love with The Other People Place album in particular. He lists his 5 favourite Drexciya related tracks as well.

While it's not '700 Million Light Years From Earth', but only a mere 39 light years away, the discovery of the Trappist-1 system is a nice coincidence considering the upcoming reissue of Drexciya's Grava 4. We could imagine it as part of the Drexciya Home Universe however, there is even a dwarf star at the centre of its 7 planets as foretold on 'White Dwarf' on the Shifted Phases album from their 7 album Storm Series. NASA even believe there might be water there!

The brilliant UK DJ and producer Dez Williams included this Drexciya tribute, 'Stinsoninspiration', on his Happiness is Pain album in 2014 on Transient Force (listen on YouTube here). This was a digital release and I actually can't find where you can still download it from but YouTube has most of the tracks.

'Drexion Caves' is a very nice Drexciya tribute from 2003 by $tinkworx aka US producer JT Stewart. The track appears on an EP of the same name on Keynote, listen here.

I've often wondered if 'Other People' by the mysterious Detroit in Effect was a tribute or reference to The Other People Place. The track is included on their 12", The Men You Never See Part 2, on Clone in 2003. I love it and still have it on vinyl. If you are into Drexciya or early Dopplereffekt you will probably love going down the D.I.E. rabbit-hole and this EP is a great place to start (must be time for a re-press too).

This above was a post I put up on the DRL Facebook page a month or so ago and DJ Maaco from D.I.E. kindly got in touch to resolve the question, "Nah, The Men You Never See predates The Other People Place by a few years. The first time I learned of Stinson was around mid 2000's when I was introduced to Lab Rat while performing in Germany! The People From The Other Side are beings from another realm that can control your emotions through sound!"

There is a Helena Hauff Essential Mix from BBC Radio 1 with great tracks by Drexciya. DJ Stingray, Urban Tribe, The Exaltics, Photodementia, Aux 88, DMX Krew and tons more you will probably like. She is quite the Drexciya fan.

"I guess one night I was playing some Drexciya and he heard it, so he came down to the club. He introduced himself and said, ‘My name is James, I appreciate that you’re playing Detroit shit on the radio’. And he broke out. He came back a couple more times. After the second time I realised who he was. Then I’d see him around the city and it was a whole different vibe. I liked the way he wasn’t running around with a Drexciya T-shirt and saying his last name to everyone he met, with a UR headband on. It was really dope. It made it completely about the music.”
This is just part of a great DJ Bone interview over at FACT magazine now.

I've been sent a link for a recent petition set up by a fan, for Tresor to re-press the album by Shifted Phases, The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope (2002). Even though the album was re-pressed in about 2009, this double vinyl album currently sells for at least 100 euro on Discogs. A similar previous petition to re-press The Other People Place album could well have encouraged Warp to make their decision, so it could work.

For archival purposes, these are screen grabs of James Stinson's Ride Dimensional Waves website (below, click to enlarge). He made this very simple 1 page site back in 2001 using Geocities through Yahoo. When Geocities stopped operating it was hosted on a website by a fan, which in turn has also become inaccessible. The page can be still read through the original address through the Wayback Machine however. I forget how I originally found the link, as it's not mentioned on any of their records, probably through a search engine, but I do recall that the text, 'Ride The Wave', would follow your cursor when it was still working. It was also very cool to know that records by Lab Rat XL, Shifted Phases and Abstract Thought were going to be released way before they were (I got to bug people in record shops to keep an eye out for them on order sheets).

“Open your mind to another time, place and dimension. Feel electronic music in a way you may have never felt before.”

This beautiful instruction was also used in the Rephlex press release for Transllusion's L.I.F.E. album, which makes it doubly surprising that the record is not actually listed here. Perhaps it was one of the last albums of the Storm Series Stinson completed, even though the tracks on Lab Rat XL were never titled, which makes it appear to be the last one. I always regret that I didn't send an email to one of the many email addresses here, as it implies that he was very open to communication at this time. If you read the text closely there are plenty of unanswered questions too. For example, I've always wondered if there are unreleased tracks by Digital Aphrodisiac to be found in his archive, what was planned to be released on Isophlux Records and how advanced were their plans for the Deepfits clothing line? Sadly, he died just 3 months after his last update of the site.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Dopplereffekt - Cellular Automata

It's only taken 10 years but the wait is over! Dopplereffekt's new album, Cellular Automata, will be out around April 2017 through Leisure System. It will be on vinyl and presumably download too. If you go to this Leisure Systems link there appears to be samples from it too. More news on this when I have it.

A1. Cellular Automata
A2. von Neumann Probe
A3. Gestalt Intelligence
A4. Isotropy
A5. Pascal’s Recursion
B1. Ulams Spiral
B2. Mandelbrot Set
B3. Spirangle
B4. Exponential Decay

Cellular Automata is the new album from Dopplereffekt (Rudolf Klorzeiger and To-Nhan), their first in ten years since 2007’s Calabi Yau Space on Rephlex.

Cellular Automata approaches mathematical growth and decay as an iterative process, with each data input considered individually relative to the overall model. The result represents one of the group’s boldest creative endeavors, defying expectations while remaining unmistakably Dopplereffekt.
Cellular Automata is the third Dopplereffekt release to come out via Leisure System, following 2013’s Tetrahymena and 2014’s Hypnagogia.

You can order it now at this Bandcamp link

Searching for the lost 1999 Etronik Drexciya interview

There is a lost James Stinson/Drexciya interview from 1999 with Etronik, an Irish online electronic music magazine. It was conducted by Richard Brophy who would interview Stinson once more in 2001 for Clubbing dot com, a print magazine (see below for this interview, click to enlarge). Today when you search for the 1999 interview on the Wayback Machine you get a message that the page cannot be displayed due to robots.txt provisions. Maybe one of you saved it or know how to get access to it again. It would be brilliant to read and share it here. The link is as follows

This quote from Brophy, in a review he wrote of the first Transllusion album, explains what happened, "I interviewed Drexciya’s James Stinson twice. The first occasion was for the release of 1999’s Neptune’s Lair, the second was ahead of the original release of The Opening of the Cerebral Gate in 2001. Both interviews are no longer available; the first was published on a website that ceased operations in 2002, the second appeared in a print magazine that suffered the same fate around the same time. Stupidly, both pieces were on a computer that gave up the ghost and was not backed up."

In 2005 I used Stinson's quotes from Brophy's interview for Clubbing Dot Com from 2001 (I have an original copy) for the Drexciya Speaks post, which compiles all of his quotes from interviews. Below, this is the first time I have archived and included the scan of that article here. It's been 18 years I know but I would love to share that Etronik interview here as well someday, check your hard-drives!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Other People Place - Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe review

The Other People Place
Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe
2LP (Warp)

The last time I had the vinyl version of this album in my hands was at the listening stand in Dublin's Big Brother Records, when it was first released in 2001. The fact that I can even remember this detail so long after says a lot about how I feel about this album. At the time I chose the CD as I knew it would be an album I would want to immerse myself in fully from beginning to end. I would never have thought at the time that the original vinyl would be worth so much money someday but I doubt I would have sold it anyway. This was still a time when word of mouth from friends and record shop staff was very important for discovering new music. In this case, I think that Alan O'Boyle from Decal had already tipped me off about the album and its connection to Drexciya but Big Brother's Killian also made sure I knew who I was listening to when I asked for it that day. Big Brother was a small basement electronic/dance music shop that unsurprisingly no longer exists 16 years later. Of course, much else has changed in how we consume and experience music since then.

While there might still be a few purely Internet cafes around, the regular cafe has itself changed (a process that just just beginning then) and become truly wireless and is now the most visible public space for people to access the virtual world with handheld devices. The paradox will always be that you have to disconnect from the real world to enter this wider but virtual one and I think the album is somewhat concerned with that. I've always felt that the album cover could be interpreted to show the laptop as the interface between these two worlds, that of nature (real) and the interior of a room on the screen of the laptop (virtual). Might this be 'The Other People Place', the corner of a room in virtual reality (a 2D image of reality)? The Designers Republic did an amazing job with this now iconic sleeve. When it arrived I imagined what a kick James Stinson must have gotten when he first saw the finished product as well. From the music and titles he'd sent to a label on the other side of the world, to see those things transformed and multiplied into this beautiful physical object must have been a very special experience.

In the same way that vinyl refuses to die (the vinyl revival was already well underway in 2001, trust me), this album has been steadily growing in stature by word of mouth in the real and virtual world ever since. It was inevitable that Warp would eventually feel the time was right for a re-press and I've no doubt that in another 10 years or less there will be sufficient demand from the next generation to press it again. It's an album that does not sound dated in any way. It certainly helps that its production is so seemingly minimal and that it comes packed with so much soul. Its themes are the eternal ones of love, life, meaning, nature, identity and technology. It's a wonderful soundtrack for life (styles), in that it's one of those albums you keep finding new sides to as you grow older.

There's a good chance you already know the tracks on this album and have your own favourites, but for me, 'Let Me Be Me', is still the special one but they all are really. Each of its 8 tracks manage to work together to create a consistent mood and take one away, like the beautiful 'Eye Contact' or 'Sunrays', for instance, and you would have a very different and stunted experience.

I wouldn't have known this was a solo effort from Stinson at the time; no-one even knew his name widely then, sadly this would only happen on his death about a year and a half later. I don't think that anyone would have known either for a few more months at least that this was to be the first album to be released from Drexciya's 7 album Storm Series. I know I treated it as another of their one-off projects at the time, like The Elecktroids, whose album had also been released by Warp six years earlier.

I loved the album right away but was initially surprised that it was so very different from Drexciya's music and signature sounds. I have previously reviewed the album in more detail here in the context of its place in the Storm Series. From looking at them all together back in 2005 I personally thought the album was number 3 in the series and that it was about finding your true self and developing/retaining your basic human emotions, especially love and not to become a victim of the coldness of technology/modern society but everyone will have their own opinions.

It's great to have the album back in physical form so that people can discover it in record stores and elsewhere, so it can go on sound-tracking lives and creating new memories all over again

You can still order it from Bleep here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bleep's Drexciya Guide, Drexciya Star chart, live shows and more

I was invited to write a Drexciya Guide for Bleep to coincide with Warp's much anticipated double vinyl reissue of The Other People Place album, Lifestyles of the Laptop Café (2001), which is available now from this link. I picked 10 of their albums that are currently available from Bleep to create a chronological guide and wrote a short piece about each; including releases by Elecktroids, Drexciya, Dopplereffekt, The Other People Place, Der Zyklus, Arpanet, Lab Rat XL, Transllusion and Zwischenwelt.

In the artwork for Drexciya's final album, Grava 4, you can see the location of the star, DREXCIYA. This was created by them on the 4th of February 2002 through an organisation called the International Star Registry. A long time ago I searched for a link to this online but never could find it. Thanks to one of my readers I was sent the link with all the details. This is great timing considering the upcoming reissue of Grava 4 on Clone Aqualung. Check out this link for details of the stars location, position on star chart etc.

Dopplereffekt will be playing live in London, England on 25th March. This will be part of a show to present Nina Kraviz's new label, Galaxiid. 808 Sate will also be playing live with Nina Kraviz, Luke Vibert and more on the bill. Perhaps this means we can expect Heinrich Mueller to release music on this new label in the future, which is said to focus on more experimental, ambient and psychedelic music. Back in 2010 there was even a very low key connection between Mueller and Kraviz, when she was listed as a member, under the name Curie, of the ever mysterious Noether Symmetry and also contributed a vocal to the NRSB-11 project. Her un-credited vocal is on the 12" EP and the CD version of the NRSB-11 album, Commodified, from 2013 on WeMe Records (play the track in question here).

Dopplereffekt have also been added to the Dimensions festival line-up, alongside Jeff Mills, Nina Kraviz, Theo Parrish, Grace Jones and many more. The event will happen in Croatia from 30th August to 3rd September. Finally, another new Dopplereffekt show has been announced for Berlin, Germany on 14th April 2017. The night is a 3 year celebration for the Libertine club.

There is an Arpanet show booked at an interesting looking festival in Italy that runs from 23rd - 25th June. Andrew Weatherall and ambient legend Laraaji are also on the bill, more details at this link.

There is a new Drexciya/Mueller themed vinyl mix up on Souncloud, worth a listen.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

1997 Drexciya interview from Muzik magazine

This is an interview with Drexciya from the September 1997 issue of Muzik by Tim Barr (download magazine's full PDF file here). It's a fascinating conversation at a crucial moment for them, when they were announcing their retirement with the release of The Quest compilation. While this is the first time I have seen how the original article looked, back in 2007 I was sent a transcription of it which you can read here. The last picture is a scan of a piece from the month before flagging the interview in the next issue. Click on each image to enlarge. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Drexciya Grava 4 reissue on Clone Aqualung

Clone's Aqualung label will be reissuing Drexciya's epic, Grava 4, album on double vinyl soon. This was their final album and was originally released on 2LP and CD in 2002 on Clone. It currently sells for at least €55 on Discogs and is another very welcome reissue for fans new and old. So far this video has been posted on Clone Facebook page. Here is a link to an extensive article I wrote about the album for DRL back in 2005. To order from Clone keep an eye on this link.

Dopplereffekt have just been confirmed to be in the line-up for this years Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam, Holland (2nd - 6th August 2017). They have played at this much loved event previously in 2015 and maybe even before.

Two Arpanet shows have been announced! They will be part of Clone's very special, 'Return to the Future', show in Amsterdam, Holland on 31st March (see promo text below). They will also be playing live in Paris, France on 3rd February with DJ Stingray on the bill.

'Celebrating the 25th year of existence of a seminal house and techno imprint that helped shape the course of electronic music as we now know it. 25 Years on, Clone Records is still doing business its own way. With a heart for the classic and an ear for the new, the label is looking at the future again. Shelter and Clone Records invite everyone downstairs to the Return of The Future Tour.'

Mark Fisher, the music writer and political theorist has died. Here is a link to the full transcript of an interview he did with Mike Banks for a UR cover story in The Wire back in 2007 (see text below). More links about and connected to Mark in comments.

"I heard Drexciya, and I thought it was some of the weirdest space shit I ever heard. I was proud to be able to introduce the world to Drexciya." -Mike Banks

Lake Haze have a Drexciya tribute track, 'Drexciyan Aquarium', on their powerful new EP, Intergalactic Communicationz, on Creme Organization. Lake Haze (which itself is the name of a Drexciya track from Harnessed The Storm) is producer and DJ Gonçalo Salgado from Portugal. Listen and purchase at this link.

Another quality new Drexciya mix from the Mixcloud.

This is a full length video of Dopplereffekt playing live in Gothenburg, Sweden on November 5th 2011. Sadly the sound distorts a bit but otherwise it's a great document of their live show of the time and you can really see what Mueller is up to on the keyboard.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Other People Place's Lifestyles of the Laptop Café vinyl reissue

Get ready for the best news a Drexciya fan could have wished for! Finally, the vinyl reissue of The Other People Place album, Lifestyles of the Laptop Café, is upon us. It's available at this link on pre-order from Bleep right now, estimated to be shipped on the 9th of February 2017. Bleep have written some lovely words (some of which are below) about this now 15 year old classic album and Warp have even made a short trailer on their YouTube channel to promote it. 

It's fantastic that this album has built up such a passionate audience and has gained in demand over the years, with vinyl copies having sold for up to 220 euro according to Discogs. One fan even got over 1000 people to sign a petition to reissue the album on vinyl over a year ago and I'm sure all of these factors helped Warp make their very welcome decision. Back in 2005 I wrote an extended article about the album and its place in Drexciya's Storm Series. Hopefully Warp will reissue Elecktroid's Elektroworld album on vinyl next!

"Like all of the very best techno and electro, The Other People Place yields some of the most beautiful sounds to emerge from the D with a limited sound pallette, stripping everything back to the essentials to compose an incredibly important yet delicate album that still to this day continues to fascinate and seduce with its strikingly subtle flow and elegant mystery."

On YouTube at this link there is a beautiful unreleased Arpanet track which has been looped by the uploader to over 11 minutes. The track actually comes from Futurity's Soundcloud (one of Heinrich Mueller's booking agents) which has a 10 minute sample of 10 tracks from Arpanet's live set from 4 years ago.

The first high quality video of Dopplereffekt playing live in Montreal, Canada inside an Olympic sized swimming pool (23rd October 2016) has been uploaded.

"One of the most extraordinary and most influential instances of sonic fiction comes with the music of Detroit techno music pioneers Drexciya...they manage to express and communicate something unspeakable, delving into areas which have been forgotten and suppressed by the hegemonic discourse of White and Western Cultural Memory. The performance of purely instrumental techno music becomes an extremely effective political tool, even a weapon." - from an academic paper by Peter M Boenisch, “Make World”: Archaeology as Alienation in Contemporary Performance (2008), which includes Drexciya in the discussion. I shared this here back in 2008 but the original link does not work anymore.

As this will probably be the final post here of 2016 I'll leave you with a link to my first public DRL themed mix from a month or so ago (track list below). Here's to lots more Drexciya and Heinrich Mueller music and news to write about and share in 2017!

1. Arpanet - The Analyst (2002)
2. Dopplereffekt - Scientist (1995)
3. Arpanet - Infinite Density (2006)
4. Drexciya - Hydro Theory (1995)
5. Abstract Thought - Bermuda Triangle (2002)
6. Elecktroids - Silicon Valley (1995)
7. Lab Rat XL - Lab Rat 1 (2002)
8. Transllusion - Transmission of Life (2001)
9. Drexciya - Journey Home (1995)
10. Dopplereffekt - Infophysix (1995)
11. The Other People Place - Sunrays (2001)
12. NRSB 11 - Market Forces (2013)
13. Der Zyklus - Formenverwandler (2001)
14. Black Replica - Black Feathers (2006)