Monday, May 08, 2023

Gerald Donald guide on Accolades, The Otolith Group in Galway preview and more

A video interview with DJ Prime Cuts of Scratch Perverts talking to Crate Records about the music of Gerald Donald for their Accolades series (12 mins). Worth book-marking and watching when you can. 

Dopplereffekt are on the bill for this festival in Mongolia, 10th June 2023.

New Drexciya related work from The Otolith Group at Galway Arts Centre, Ireland (13th May - 1st July). The opening includes a talk with The Otolith Group and DeForrest Brown Jr plus a DJ set by the latter. Full details at link

‘A Sphere Of Water Orbiting A Star’, conceived by The Otolith Group in collaboration with sound designer and composer Tyler Friedman for Galway Arts Centre, features unreleased recordings of conversations between Gerald Donald of Detroit Techno duo Drexciya and Kodwo Eshun, along with films made in Galway at the mouth of the River Corrib as it enters the Atlantic Ocean.

‘A Sphere Of Water Orbiting A Star’ is an immersive audio visual environment, conceived as a guide to the imagination, exploring a liquid world orbiting a binary star system through the sonic portal of Drexciya.'

You can also watch the trailer and rent Hydra Decapita (2010) by The Otolith Group at this Vimeo link. The particular section used for the trailer (1 min) is actually really interesting because you can hear Gerald Donald talking about the origins and nature of Drexciya/Drexciyans. 

I've updated the Discography post on DRL and have now included official stream and digital download links as well. Its been designed as an 'at a glance' guide to Drexciya and all the other related projects I cover here. It's everything I'm aware of and when it was first and last pressed. If there's anything I've missed please let me know, enjoy.

"Between ’98 and ’06 I was working menial jobs and doing minimal production, but nothing that was released with the exception of a mix I did on Ken’s first 12″. It was a strange period for sure. I was a little too focused on chilling. It took the DEMF and a meeting with James Stinson to snap me out of a malaise that I was in."

Great 2010 DJ Stingray 313 interview in Little White Earbuds (full interview here). 

The new Nativist EP from Ultradyne is now available on vinyl at various places online and elsewhere and digitally from their Bandcamp.

Anders Wimpelman has made another great Drexciya and related themed mix. I like how he includes so many different projects of James Stinson and Gerald Donald as well as interview snippets as well. Part 2 of mix here.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Heinrich Mueller False Vacuum Vol. 2, DJ Mag Drexciya long read, Gedankenexperiment reissue, Dopplereffekt live in Berlin and more

WeMe Records have been in touch with an exclusive, they will have a second volume of Heinrich Mueller's False Vacuum available by the end of the year (WeMe313.33). They have been compiling the cream of his remix/remodel work since 2018. Vol. 1 is sold out but you can check it out here.

DJ Mag has a new long read about Drexciya. It was written by Ben Cardew and he takes his starting point as The Quest and gives an excellent overview of their career as well as putting their music in the context of today. He also looks at the development of their mythology and includes plenty of James Stinson quotes, well worth your time.

Dopplereffekt have a live show at RSO, Berlin on 27th April with visuals by Maria Mendes (who made the cover art and more for Neurotelepathy). For the record they also played  a show in Oslo on 31st March. 

Gedankenexperiment's Experiment Defined 12" EP is now reissued on vinyl with one extra track, 'Radiation Vacuum', on Spain's Apena Records. This collaboration between Heinrich Mueller and Beta Evers was originally released on WeMe Records in 2011. You can sample all the tracks on the Juno player and at many more other online shops. 

A New York show by MIROVAYA LINIYA and others was streamed and you can watch it at this link. Their show starts around 17 mins.

I came across the rare 1994 Mike Banks/Underground Resistance cover story for Jockey Slut at this link.

DeForrest Brown Jr. has made an impressive two hour Drexciya themed mix ('The Myth of Drexciya') with an interview to go with it for Carhartt Work In Progress. At the end of the mix there is a brief excerpt from Hydra Decapita (2010) by The Otolith Group where you can hear ‘The Author’ aka 'Remnant of a Hydrogen Element' aka Gerald Donald speaking about Drexciya which is followed by the rare Dopplereffekt track 'Ascension of Genetic Intelligence' (preview edit of track here).

I thought this part of Brown's interview was also important to note and archive here:

'From what I understand, James Stinson was very intentional when he talked to journalists and how that interacted with the maps, liner notes, and track titles of each release. In my conversations with Gerald Donald, I found that the scientific potentiality of Drexciya was a philosophical theory similar to how Plato used the lost city of Atlantis as a way of thinking about societies outside of Athens on a kind of game board. This type of game theory and speculative fiction is what initially attracted me to techno – as a writer, avid listener, and musician, I wanted to explore the world that they built together while jamming in Stinson's mother's basement.'

One of my readers kindly brought these early Drexciya reviews to my attention. They both come from Music Week. The Deep Sea Dweller EP review was penned by Loftgroover aka Tony Collins and Bubble Metropolis was reviewed by DJ and producer Steve Bicknell. The date of the magazine can also give us a better idea of what time of the year they were released. Assuming these were new when reviewed I would now put DSD at about Oct/Nov '92 and Bubble Metropolis at May/June '93.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Abstract Thought and Shifted Phases albums reissued after 20 years

Clone Records have announced they are reissuing and are now taking pre-orders for Hypothetical Situations (2003)  by Abstract Thought. There seems to initially be a limited orange double vinyl edition exclusive to (one per customer). They say it's also possible to pre-order regular black as well (promo text below). Expected release date is 27th Feb. Order from them here and on Bandcamp.

This is very long awaited reissue and was one of Drexciya's Storm Series. Back in October DRL ran some posts about the album (scroll down) and maybe this got a dialogue going with the original label Kombination Research or else it has been in the pipeline for sometime as this is its 20th anniversary, either way it's great to have the album widely available again for new and old fans.

On I think the same day Tresor opened the pre-order for the equally long awaited Shifted Phases album, The Cosmic Memoirs of the Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope (2002) (more info below). That makes all but one (Tranllusion's L.I.F.E.) of Drexciya's Storm Series to have now been reissued since first release and some very recently. This is great news and it has been a long journey for the fans who year after year created the demand which the labels have fulfilled.

'Re-issue of Drexciya's 4th storm! Another seminal work of 6 Futuristic deep & Drexciyan Electro/Techno tracks. Hypothetical questions translated into music by one of the visionaries of contemporary electronic music. ''Music beamed through Dimensional Waves by Abstract Thought...''

Remastered from the original session tapes.

Limited exclusive on Orange Flame coloured vinyl in premium glossy jacket with heavy weight color innersleeves. First come, first serve! (Please ask specifically if you want a black vinyl copy when ordering)'

Tresor Berlin are also now taking Bandcamp pre-orders for the very long awaited reissue of Shifted Phases' The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope (2002) in special edition form. It comes with new artwork by Matthew Angelo Harrison and the vinyl is now in triple with CD extra tracks 'Alien Distress Call' and 'Crossing Of The Sun-Ra Nebula' included. It comes in silver and regular black vinyl editions as well as CD (available 31st March). They have also written notes just for this release which I've included below.

'In early 2023, Tresor Records will reissue the sole output from Shifted Phases entitled The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope. Initially released in 2002, soon after James Stinson passed away, this LP plays a mysterious and compelling role in the Drexciya journey. While other records of Drexciya and related projects have received numerous reprints and editions, The Cosmic Memoirs... has remained out of print since its release. This rarity leaves it more open to interpretation with its place in the Drexciyan storm series, as it became increasingly hard to find and underexplored.

Track titles Solar Wind, White Dwarf, and Lonely Journey of the Comet Bopp reveal a focus on cosmic realms, suggesting a link with the Drexciya LP Grava 4 that moves from the underwater to the galactic. As it launches with mechanical blows on a precise orbit, each repetition entrenches the gravitational pull in the galaxy of Shifted Phases. In many places, it sounds like the readout of frequencies harvested from outer space, pockmarked with packet loss from the millions of kilometres distance travelled.

The music is hard to contain, intuitively restless in motion through its unfolding universe and achingly resonant. It shapeshifts across affectedly melodic sequences such as in Lonely Journey..., to the sparse, hard-hitting timbres found in Alien Vessel Distress Call and the mangled reverse vocals in The Freak Show, somewhat reminiscent of another Drexciya side-project, Glass Domain. The mythology of Drexciya is evident in how keenly James Stinson and Gerald Donald created their imaginary worlds. In Crossing Of The Sun-Ra Nebula, there is an undisputable reference to another Afro-futurist who delved deep into a galaxy of their own making.

This reissue does not merely close the loop on Tresor's reissue series of the Drexciya catalogue but brings Shifted Phases to fresh ears more than other records. Accompanied by newly commissioned artwork from Matthew Angelo Harrison, the 3xLP vinyl reissue also features the tracks Crossing Of The Sun-Ra Nebula and Alien Vessel Distress Call, which were previously only on the original CD release.'

Julia Pello and Heinrich Mueller's Mirovaya Liniya have a rare live show in New York on 5th February. Full details here. EDIT: The show can now be streamed here. You can listen to some of their music so far at this Bandcamp link.

'The title of the piece for this performance is “ETHICA: Book 1”; utilizing multiple projections, live vocals, and electronic sound, it takes up Spinoza’s ontology from Book 1: On God. Please note that Heinrich Mueller will not be performing at this event....A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing.'

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Transllusion special editions on Tresor, The Other People Place Muzik 2001 interview, new Doplereffekt track and more


You can now pre-order Transllusion's The Opening of the Cerebral Gate (3LP, clear vinyl 3LP, CD & digital) and the Mind Over Positive and Negative Dimensional Matter 12" on Tresor Berlin's Bandcamp. You can also check out the new artwork by Matthew Angelo Harrison for these special editions. Both available from 10th Feb 2023. 

There is a brand new and rather beautiful Dopplereffekt track, 'Bat Ray (Myliobatis Californicus)' on a cassette/digital compilation from Obsolete Future. 

Arpanet have one live show coming up, 3rd Feb 2023 in Newcastle.

Clone Records have just re-pressed their 2021 reissue of the self-titled and debut 12" by Japanese Telecom. You can find it at usual places.

One of those 'Blind Test' youtube video features a track by Drexciya, check it out here.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to get my own equipment.’ I didn’t have any money. The equipment I had was pawn shop equipment that I got for like $100, $125 dollars. I found a blue [Roland] SH-101, a [Roland] Juno 2, and I bought a [Roland TR-909] from one of the guys from Drexciya [Gerald Donald].”

Robert Hood speaking in this very in-depth 2019 article about his classic album Minimal Nation (1994). 

I came across a review/interview with The Other People Place in Muzik magazine (Oct 2001 pg. 106). It is a very short box piece but it's revealing in more than one way. The magazine emailed them and got some kind of response and perhaps even a video.

I have the full text below but essentially they are treated like a pair of lunatics, even though the album is called 'rather cool'. If you know this is a member of Drexciya speaking it does make more sense but I don't think this was explained to the writer. I have no idea what they emailed back (would be great to know full contents) but I guess this is the big risk of being enigmatic, mysterious or just playful with the press. TOPP was the first of the Storm series albums to be released and coincidently or not from now on James Stinson would do straight forward interviews and get his points across and be treated in a serious way. 

'Who The Hell Are...
The Other People Place
They all live in a mellow submarine.
Who indeed?

TOPP, as they're not known in vibey chill out cyber bars across the United States, proved to be some of the most elusive creatures Muzik has ever encountered. The gloopy, loopy valium tech-gnosis of their rather cool 'Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe' album gives little hint of the lunacy that lies at the heart of the People Place machine.  

When we eventually tracked them down, it was via a now defunct email address whose user claimed to be at a console deep beneath the ocean waves somewhere off the coast of Malta. When quizzed the Peeps (as they are also not known) sent an Mpeg clip. This showed a flying saucer landing on what appeared to the coast of Hawaii. Out step two smartly dressed gentlemen, faces wrapped in the style of The Invisible Man, who flip open attache cases, take a seat beneath the palms and then walk into the sea. 

"You will never find us now", reads their closing statement. "Take heed and learn, for this will be our last communication to your lost planet."
That and their album, presumably. More power to the weirdo's we say...'

Monday, November 14, 2022

Harnessed The Storm reissue, Der Zyklus remix Tiga, Abstract Thought info and more

Tresor Berlin have revealed the new artwork and are now taking orders for Drexciya's Harnessed The Storm (orig rel. 2001). They also have the accompanying 12" Digital Tsunami available as well (both can be found at their Bandcamp). The album is available on digital, CD, regular double vinyl and limited white vinyl too (out on 11th Nov). The new artwork for all of these Tresor reissues has been designed by Matthew Angelo Harrison.

Arpanet have a live show confirmed for Newcastle on 3rd Feb 2023.

Heinrich Mueller is one of the collaborators (electronics) on No. 5, the latest album by Christina Vantzou. It's available on LP, CD and digital. She is also a member of Daughter Produkt and collaborated on a track on the new Dopplereffekt album.  Bandcamp link here.

There is a new Der Zyklus remix of 'Easy' by Tiga. You can get it on digital and a 12" of remixes on Turbo Recordings (stream here) . Tiga said this about it on his Instagram.  

'This is why I have a record label. For this feeling. You fall in love with an artist. You dream of one day working with them. Just somehow getting close to their sound, finding a way to combine your visions or just hang out. Either one will do. In this case, the artist was Gerald Donald aka Der Zyklus, aka one half of Dopplereffekt and Drexciya and Arpanet. Nobody is more foundational and inspirational to what we all do. It simply does not get more legit. Or more mysterious/elusive/harder to reach. Specifically I don’t even think I would make the music I make without hearing records like “pornoactress”. THEN…. The real thrill of the conversation, the back and forth, the real A&R of starting with “holy shit imagine a Der Zyklus mix of Easy” and then GETTING exactly what you dreamed of….. the absolute funkiest, dopest, zero bullshit, godfather, ground zero electro funk track. GAME OVER. None more badass. Thanks G. Out now on turbo. Link in bio. The saga continues 24years deep. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ t'

One of my readers kindly sent me a pic of a note attached to what seems to be a promo copy of Hypothetical Situations (2003) by Abstract Thought on Kombination Research (from their own collection). The text was probably written by Cisco Ferreira of The Advent who runs the label or perhaps the distributor. I have never seen it before but there was a white label sent out a few months before the album was actually released. This is one of Drexciya's Storm series and has never been re-pressed and is of course most highly sought after. Nice to have this additional message archived anyway.  

'Important: Please try to respect that the members of "Abstract Thought" are not willing to be profiled in a feature because they want their music to be the centre of interest. Nevertheless, articles about the Detroit electro scene in general or reviews of the album "Hypothetical Situations" are welcome. Thanks'

Following on from the above, when I posted this on the DRL FB page Cisco Ferreira left this comment.

'Thanks for the Post. We treated this release with the upmost respect. And only did a 2000 unit limited run. So anyone who has this in their collection 👏🏻👏🏻, Kombination Research (KR) was originally a label I started to releases only my The Advent solo music, I became very good friends with Drexciya over the 90’s and my KR B-sides were very much Drex Influenced. This ‘hypothetical Situations’ project was a complete honour when I received the Demo for release. Recently during the pandemic I was approached to maybe re releases this from last remaining Drexicyian, but unfortunately the master DATs are completely destroyed with Tape erosion....The CD’s were all in MP3 format, This was an early time in digital that MP3 were mostly used instead of WAV files at CD pressing plants.'

"I talked to them (Drexciya), we argued about some things. One of their first pieces, I think it was Glass Domain, I was telling them the count from the beginning of the song wasn't even. You know, it didn't come in on like an eight or even a 16, it came in on like a five or a seven." 

Archived from a DJ Stingray 313 interview with Derek Walmsley in The Wire (April 2010). He could only be talking about 'Shatter Prone' (1991), which just seems to jump into life mid bar and continues to rip along in the same fashion.

I made a Dopplereffekt special for Dublin Digital Radio. It concentrates on their music post Gesamtkunswerk (1999) as this is when they radically changed their sound. There's an introduction by me at the start and then it's a mix of my favourite music up to their latest album.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

UR/Tresor Drexciya faxes archived

In July and August this year Tresor staged an exhibition in Berlin to mark 31 years of the legendary and ground breaking label and club. The exhibits featured two historic faxes sent by UR to Tresor regarding Drexciya. I was kindly sent the images by a fan and am not sure if they have already been shared by others online but now that the exhibition is over I thought it would be okay to archive them here.

 As you can see Mike Banks was writing to let Carola Stoiber at Tresor know that Drexciya were reunited after their hiatus/break in late '95 (this break was only made known with the release of The Quest in '97). It's interesting to note the date of the first fax was 12th January 1999 as Neptune's Lair was released by Tresor in November '99. It's also interesting that even at this stage they were offering a multi-album deal. The 'Storm Series' is not mentioned but it might already have been in James' mind. We don't know if Tresor signed just NL first or went ahead and did the multi deal. Regardless, Tresor would release multiple albums in the coming years, including Drexciya's Harnessed The Storm, the first Transllusion album and the Shifted Phases album along with 12" EPs from all of these albums. I love the excitement evident in Mike's message and even in the writing and exclamation points of Carola's response.

The second fax is more detailed and obviously in response to the first (or Tresor's follow-up with details of the deal) and again Mike is writing and even appears to be seated with James Stinson at the time. Again the language Mike uses is infectiously enthusiastic. It's interesting to note that even at this early stage they had the artist in mind for the artwork (Abdul Haqq). The British based labels Mike mentions could be Rephlex and Warp but whatever issues James had with them must have been resolved as both he and Gerald Donald would go on to work with both again (Transllusion, The Other People Place, Dopplereffekt, Arpanet etc). Unless he is referring to UK labels that licenced a track for a compilation or something?

When Carola Stoiber was interviewed by Red Bull Music Academy in 2018 she spoke about travelling to Detroit and meeting James at Belle Isle Park. If this was still concerning Neptune's Lair the visit must have happened later on in 1999 or if it concerned the multi-album deal it could have been the following year or later. 

It's great to see these faxes and to get a sense of the times and how they returned as Drexciya.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Drexciya Day 2022, Dopplereffekt Recomposite and James Stinson tribute by Scape One

Drexciya Day Events

Manchester 3rd September

Helsinki 3rd September

Humpty Records Saarbrücken, Germany 3rd September

Spin Beer & Record Shop, Rome, Italy 3rd September 

The 20th anniversary of James Stinson's death will be in less than a months time, 3rd September. Since 2017 fans around the world have been celebrating his music on or around this date on what has become known as 'Drexciya Day'. 

As ever there is no pressure from DRL as this concept originally happened spontaneously and I simply remind people about it and promote whatever anyone feels like doing that year. Previously fans have organised DJ nights, radio shows and online events.

If anyone wants to organise something please let me know and I will be very happy to share it. Email or contact me through the DRL FB page with an FB event link or whatever. Please use #drexciyaday2022 for your events. Thanks

The only confirmed event I'm aware of so far will be happening at Manchester's Eastern Bloc Records on 3rd September. They have an amazing line-up and it also ties in with two artists (All Trades and Prieste5s) being commissioned by Brighter Sound to produce new music. I will add any new event into this post.

There is what is called a 'Dopplereffekt Recomposite' of 'Cameo', the new single by Kavinsky. It's almost a conventional remix in that the vocal is very much intact but the music is very Dopplereffekt. It doesn't seem to be available on vinyl but can be streamed and downloaded at this link and others. Kavinsky is label-mates with Arpanet on Record Makers and back in 2006 Arpanet reworked 'Nightdrive'.

One of my readers pointed out an early tribute to James Stinson by Scape One aka Kurt Baggaley. You will find the rather beautiful 'The Light Of Other Days (Atlantis) (For James)' on his 2003 Planet Funk Express: Journeys 3 & 4 12" for Electrix. You can listen on YouTube here.

As ever keep an eye on Resident Advisor for the latest Dopplereffekt live dates (six at this time)..