Sunday, August 18, 2019

Drexciya Day 2019 and new information

The first of the Drexciya Day events has been confirmed and for the first time there will be one in Reykjavik, Iceland. It happens on Friday 30th August and they will be starting with a special Drexciya quiz and then there will be DJs playing Drexciyan music. The venue is the perfectly named Vinyl Bistro, sounds perfect, hopefully this will give some of you ideas too. There are a few more in the pipeline, I will add them to this post as soon as I have details. 
Manchester's Eastern Bloc Record shop are now on-board too with an event planned for 6th September.

Latest Dates

More details behind Drexciya Day below...

The anniversary of James Stinson's death will be in just over a month's time, 3rd September. He would have been 50 this year! Since 2017 fans around the world have been celebrating his music on or around that date on what has become known as Drexciya Day. As previously I am very happy to promote any events that people feel like organising this year.

As before, they don't have to be something big, just a party in a bar or cafe will do. So far over the last two years there have been events in Tallinn, Vienna, Cambridge, London, Dublin, Birmingham, Glasgow, Rome, Manchester and on radio. There is no guarantee that the same people will do it again in these places, best to go ahead and organise it yourself if you want (as soon as I get confirmation of one I will post details).

Search online for previous Drexciya Days to get ideas. If anyone wants to organise such an event 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. Thanks. Life Is Fast Ending, So Live!

I was sent a faxed promo sheet for Drexciya's debut 12" EP on Shockwave Records. You can make out a lot more detail of the label image. I may be wrong but I think it's the underwater statue of Christ near Cozumel, Mexico in Chankanab park. Statue number 5 at this link and below.

I also found this pic (below) on Instagram of a very rare fax sent out by Robert Hood's Hardwax label in 1992 to promote the pre-Drexciyan project, L.A.M. (Life After Mutation). I can spot a few more Drexciya/Submerge faxes in the shot as well and possibly the other side of it would have been the record's promo sheet/press release. Before email, sending out faxes was another way to help promote sales with record shops and magazines.

On a hunch I contacted Stewart Caig of the now defunct English label, Digital Soul (2001-2005), because in 2002 its website was linked on James Stinson's Dimensional Waves website. I was wondering if James had ever made contact, perhaps about giving them some of his music to release.

This is part of Stewart's kind and prompt response (he hadn't been aware of the link on the DW site), "...that was so long ago. I remember getting an email from James who said he was reaching out to smaller labels and wanting to put some music out. We exchanged a few emails, but it didn't come to anything and then soon after that he passed away. Since then I'd questioned whether it really was him and certainly at the time I remember thinking that he might have mistook my label for something bigger than what it was, but I was obviously not aware of the full circumstances back then. Good to know I didn't imagine it at least. I certainly got the impression that he had plenty of music he wanted to get out and often wondered how much of it ever saw the light of day."

It's great to get this insight to how James was still wave jumping right up to the end (the term he used for working with different labels around the world) and quite tantalising to note he had lots of unreleased music he wanted to find an outlet for (some of which has now been released by Clone Records).

By chance I had actually heard of Digital Soul around this time as Irish producer and DJ Derek Carr released a 12" EP on the label in 2002. I wonder which of the label's releases had come to James' attention for him to reach out? Quite possibly it actually was Carr's as Anthony Shakir was to work on a remix of 'Synapse 136' (Stewart has been in touch to say that in the end Shake remixed another track but it was never released) and Andrew Duke (who interviewed James in 1999) had included the original version in one of his DJ sets. So this (very Detroit sounding) track had already made a strong impression with at least two people connected to James.

Also, according to Mike Banks' talk with Red Bull Music Academy, James was working at UR's Somewhere in Detroit record shop (not sure exactly when) and I can imagine every vaguely techno record in the world must have been sent to it. Making this a perfect location to discover potentially sympathetic labels for his music. Stewart has now let me know that yes he did send a copy of all his released to Mike Banks care of SID, so quite likely James got to discover Digital Soul that way.

You can stream many of Digital Soul's fine releases on You Tube if you check out their Discogs listing.

This is a new 20 minute documentary about Detroit Techno and how it spread to Berlin and the world. Drexciya feature right at the beginning and end.

New Arpanet date confirmed for Berlin, Solar One Music label night, awesome line-up too, 20th September. There are currently two Dopplereffekt shows upcoming as well.

Buying this remix record is another great way you can help Victoria Lukas (Zerkalo) fight cancer, full details at this Fundamental Records link. You can listen to the new remixes of 'Skylar' here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

New Dopplereffekt website, Hydro Doorways re-press and more

What appears to be an official Dopplereffekt website has just materialised online (their first). It has some nice graphics and a release history, contact page and upcoming events. If you click on 'Multimedia' there are samples of two new tracks, 'Stellar Optika' and 'Quantum Flux' to download as video files. I've just done this and they are very impressive indeed, this all looks like a new release is on the way.

There is a new re-press of Drexciya's classic 12" EP, Hydro Doorways (2000), available now at places like and Juno Records. It's hard to keep up with these Tresor re-presses, 2014 was the last time it got pressed as far as I know and I think this latest one was announced last year but is only available now.

Just a reminder, as far as I know even if you don't have a Facebook account, you can still see my often daily post on the DRL page. You might get annoying messages on the screen to join FB but I know that if you are accessing the page using a computer you can still read the posts (maybe not with a mobile device). I am still posting the new and important news on this site and will continue to do so but you will hear about it first on the DRL FB page.

This is a great Drexciya tribute track by Italian producer 051 Destroyer aka Mattia Trani. Released in 2018 it's available on 12" and download from the UK label Lunar Orbiter Program.

This is a very beautiful Sleeparchive track from 2006, which was inspired by The Other People Place. You will find it on Hospital Tracks double pack.

'Xternal Pulse was a project done by myself and Gerald Donald it was my first project when Ultradyne was in its beginning stages.'

Dennis Richardson of Ultradyne has been in touch with DRL to clarify the personnel behind this project. This one-off track was released on Dan Bell's Accelerate label in 1993 (Various Artists - The Silicon Ghetto EP Vol.3). You can listen here.

'[Ghettotech producers] used to sample a lot of the Drexciya stuff and our stuff (Aux 88)...They would sample Drexciya, or especially Dopplereffekt once Gerald [Donald] went solo.'
-Keith Tucker

Fascinating account of Detroit's Ghettotech scene.

New Drexciya/Heinrich Mueller mix from Kogemoti, some great selections.

In Mike Banks' (UR) Berlin lecture for Red Bull Music Academy in 2018 he mentioned The Abyss (1989) as a possible influence on James Stinson's concept behind Drexciya. I got curious and have been on the look out for a secondhand copy ever since. I probably caught it on TV almost 30 years ago but had no memory of the story.

I've now gotten to watch it and basically it's a cold war science fiction love story and at the very end you do get to glimpse the underwater city of a previously unknown species with advanced intelligence. They may be aliens but I think they are primarily deep sea dwellers from our own planet. James would have been about 20 when this played in theatres, it could have sparked his concept but we might never know for sure. Check it out if you can. 1989 has also been called, 'the year of the “underwater” sci-fi film,' with Deep Star Six, Leviathan and Lords of the Deep all released then as well.

By coincidence or not there are also two Drexciya tracks with 'The Abyss' in the title, 'Beyond The Abyss' on Bubble Metropolis (1993) and 'Sighting in The Abyss' from Aquatic Invasion (1995), both on UR. Was he trying to tell us something?

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Drexciya Special on Bass Agenda and more

This is a link for Bass Agenda's 3 hour Drexciya Special on Deep Space Radio. It was great being interviewed by Andy Barton and reminded that DRL has now been going for 15 years!

Part 1 - Interview & selections from Abdullah Qadim Haqq, the man behind the artwork for the seminal Neptune's Lair album and the forthcoming Book of Drexciya Vol 1.

Part 2 - Interview & selections from Stephen Rennicks, the man behind Drexciya Research Lab - the 'go to' resource for all things Drexciya and James Stinson/Gerald Donald related.

Part 3 - Interview with James Stinson, conducted and recorded by Andrew Duke in 1999, remastered by Alavux for Bass Agenda.

This is a new piece on Bandcamp, an excellent introductory guide to Drexciya's music by Albert Freeman.

I found the Aivina Vishnu Soundcloud, there are four tracks there not on the album on WeMe.

I asked a question on the DRL FB about who William Scott is (he is listed as 'liaison' and presented as a full member in the early Dopplereffekt records). One reader suggested one very interesting possibility. While it may just be a coincidence, a William Scott is said to have been the spark for the infamous Detroit riot of 1967, the legacy of which is still felt there to this day. It's a fascinating piece of Detroit's social history anyway.

Check out upcoming Dopplereffekt and Arpanet shows.

Great interview with DJ and producer Elena Sizova (Der Zyklus Renormalon collaborator).

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Heinrich Mueller & Aina - Transforma album on WeMe Records and more

There is a new collaborative album, Transforma, between Heinrich Mueller and Aina upcoming on WeMe Records. It will be available as a double vinyl set on orange vinyl. I'm not sure who the other artist is (send me a link for their music if you know) but collectively they are using the name, Aivina Vishnu. You can listen to clips of all the tracks and pre-order direct from WeMe only. Artwork is by Annika Hippler. Shipping on 2nd May. 

There is a re-press of Drexciya's Digital Tsunami 12" EP from 2001 in the works by Tresor. Clone are listing it as in stock as well as the usual places too.

There are a few Dopplereffekt and Arpanet live dates upcoming, check links for each group.

'Victoria Lukas, our common and cosmic friend, received a few days ago the announcement of a cancer recurrence, which had already visited her body three years ago. The multiple chemotherapy and surgery sessions killed that first cancer ; but could not prevent its alarming return.'

Sending Victoria (Zerkalo) best wishes for her recovery. There is a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for her expenses, full details at link.

Fans of Zerkalo can also now join this new Facebook group set up by Victoria Lukas. Some great insights to their working process and concept so far.

James Stinson and Gerald Donald met each other while students at Charles Kettering High School on the east-side of Detroit. Don't expect any plaques to commemorate this however as since 2012 its become one more of the cities many abandoned buildings. It was quite an impressive and sprawling campus in its day though as this link explains. Also check out the amazing video of the school today in comments.

It's not often that one of Heinrich Mueller's remixes/remodels gets a re-press but its been 10 years since the quite exceptional 'Celestial Sphere Mix' of Jason Fine's 'Human Need'. Available again on 10" with a mix by A Made Up Sound, on the Swedish label, Kontra-Musik/Ulf Eriksson. It's already in-stock at Juno.

You can find an excellent homage to Drexciya by the producer, Caltrop, on a cassette compilation from the Polish label, Laral Tapes.

I've been slowly updating and editing one of the very early posts on DRL from 2005. I have now compiled 10 interviews with James Stinson plus various quotes from other sources and divided them into various topics. It's quite long but is now easier to see where each quote comes from and there are links for his two zine Q&As and other stuff too. The interviews are...

Dave Mothersole (Melody Maker/Muzik 1995)
Tim Barr (Muzik 1997)
Tsutomu Noda (Ele-King/Straight No Chaser 1999)
Andrew Duke (Cognition Audioworks 1999)
Nick Phillips (Groovesmag 2001)
John Osselaer (Techno Tourist 2002)
Tim Pratt (Detroit Free Press 2002)
Derek Beere (Future BPM 2002)
Richard Brophy (Clubbing Dot Com 2002)
Liz Copland (Detroit Public Radio 2002)

Lastly, there are more great new characters and illustrations by A Qadim Haqq on his Drexciyan Empire FB page. I particularly like Shauqo, who is 'one of the top students of Dr. Blowfin. Head of R.E.S.T. Laboratories', which was very kindly based on me! See image below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Drexciya graphic novel target reached, Afrofuturism and the Myth of Drexciya film and more

This video interview with A Qadim Haqq from an Afrofuturism event in Greece in 2017 is really excellent. If you have the time the whole interview is worth watching but he talks quite extensively about working with Drexciya at 11mins and 26mins (this is the longest section on them). His Indiegogo campaign for a Drexciya graphic novel reached its target too. Thanks to all who contributed.

This is a link to a new and really excellent and informative 15 minute documentary type film, Afrofuturism and the Myth of Drexciya, about Drexciya and their link to Afrofuturism.

Heinrich Mueller and Beta Evers' new project, Dark Body Parameter, continues to bubble with a new video on their YouTube channel (now 5 in total). This project is really starting to grow on me.

"There's a few Drexciya/Stinson related tunes I love to open with but I think this one gets played the most, so full of emotion and anticipation, excites the crowd and makes it easy to follow with the next tune."

Glasgow based DJ and producer Maya Medvesek aka Nightwave picks Drexciya's 'C To The Power Of X + C To The Power Of X = MM = Unknown' for this great Clash Magazine piece about what tracks she uses to open a set with.

The line-up for Dekmantel has been announced and they have bagged a rare appearance by Arpanet. This festival happens in Amsterdam from 31st July to 4th August this year.

This is not your average mix featuring Drexciya, but one that uses their music and other artists to tell a story (English and Italian text and images available as a PDF at link in comments). The podcast was created a year ago by Ashed Thought. Text below...

'The idea of using the songs titles, to build a text that would illustrate the emotive tension of the podcast, derives from a Discogs review of The Other People Place’s album Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café, written by user Ron242 on the 5th of September, 2008. The Practice Of Death is the title of a drawing designed by Architect Prof. John Hejduk, taken from his book Soundings: a work by John Hejduk and published in Italy by Rizzoli in 1993, of which I am appropriated. Drexciya and John Hejduk have been two of my biggest inspirations over the last years.'

New all Drexciya mix from Brazil on Rádio Live Canoas.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Book of Drexciya: Volume One

Volume One of the Drexciyan graphic novel, The Book of Drexciya, by A Qadim Haqq is open for pre-orders. There are also T-shirts, prints and even original paintings available from this link too. They are trying to raise $10,000 and 50% of the money raised is pledged to support James Stinson's mother. Be sure to read their link for all the details about this very worthy project. There is now a picture of James Stinson on the Indiegogo page from 1979!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Dark Body Parameter and more

Dark Body Parameter is a new collaborative project between Heinrich Mueller and Beta Evers begun in 2016. There has been a track, 'Nichts Ist (Test Mix)' online since about August 2018 on Soundcloud, which has only just come to my attention. They have a YouTube account with five short teaser tracks and videos. A Bandcamp page has also since been discovered with four digital tracks for purchase. Keep an eye on their official  Facebook page, more is promised in 2019.

Techno: Ritmi Afrofuturisti (Afrofuturist Rhythms) by Claudia Attimonelli is now in its second edition and features chapters on both Drexciya and Dopplereffekt. Currently available only in Italian (purchase here), I am told it is to be translated into French and English as well. I'd love to read this, interested publishers should get in touch with the author.

'Now in the second edition. Techno: Afrofuturist Rhythms traces the cultural comparison between Africa and the West through the stages that led techno, born from the metropolitan tribes, to spread from North America to Europe, from Icelandic ice to the Far East and the islands of the Indian Ocean, between the farms of Southern Italy and the metropolitan landscapes of the metropolis.'

"When it was time I started hooking up with friends trying different styles until one night I could not sleep, cold sweat, tossing and turning and around 3 am September 18, 1989 I stood up and said Drexciya . It felt like a tidal wave rushing across my brain. All kinds of ideas were coming out. I could not stop it and I would not stop it. For the next three years we worked hard to perfect Drexciya before we would release it onto the world. Getting into production was not quick. It took a year of experimenting."

This is what James Stinson himself very specifically said about the beginning of his concept for Drexciya when he spoke with John Osselaer for Techno Tourist in 2002. I've been thinking about what Mike Banks said in the recent Red Bill interview about this subject and how the movie, Dagon, had been an influence. It turns out that this horror film about underwater sea creatures was only released in 2001, a year before Stinson died. More promisingly, he mentions The Abyss (1989) as well, this much more widely seen film features a mysterious and cipher-like deep sea dwelling entity that possibly could have been the very beginning of James' concept.

If you are wondering where the pregnant African slaves thrown overboard story fits in, Mike explains that he (plus UR's The Unknown Writer) came up with this text for The Quest compilation in 1997. While I assume James gave his blessing to this interpretation at the time, if you read the original text closely, it's clear that they were only presenting this scenario as a possibility as to where Drexciyans come from (note all the question marks). As we know, this has become the most widely known and accepted interpretation of the mythology but it is only one of many, as infinite as there are listeners and I think the connection to The Abyss give us more to consider.

Also in the Mike Banks interview for Red Bull (at 1hr 23 mins), he tells the story of how he initially met Drexciya through Derrick May (they came to audition their music). Surprisingly he names four people from that first meeting, James Stinson, Gerald Donald, Dennis Richardson and James' brother, Tyree Stinson ('the four young sons of an electrician'?). We may never know the true combinations of who produced the early or even the late music of Drexciya etc but in case anyone is wondering who these other two people are; they are Dennis Richardson of Ultradyne and Tyree Stinson of Aquanauts (2003-2005).

It was very interesting to learn as well from the Mike Banks interview that he credits Rephlex Records for the start of Drexciya's popularity. He said very few people outside of Detroit were buying their first two EPs but once Rephlex released the material for Drexciya 3 aka Molecular Enhancement (1994), orders in the 1000s suddenly began to come in. A year later UR/Submerge would release the EP themselves with two extra tracks.

Connected to this, he also told a story of Ed DMX (DMX Krew) hearing Drexciya at their Somewhere In Detroit record store and flipping over the music and tipping off Rephlex about them (at 1hr 23 mins here). I'm sure this visit must have happened at some point in the 90s, but in 2016 Ed spoke with Boiler Room Collections (at 1hr 15 mins here) and explained how he first heard their music through people like Mike Paradinas and Clair Poulton of the Clear label and initially bought things like the Glass Domain EP at London's Fat Cat Record shop. Which makes me think that Rephlex would have already been aware of them at this stage.

You can watch the trailer of The Abyss here. It's worth noting that this film was released in theatres just a month before James had his Drexciya epiphany at age 20.

Drexciya have even inspired Jazz musicians, Lars Danielsson & Paolo Fresu, to name a track after them on their new album, Summerwind. It appears that, Italian Paolo Fresu (trumpet & flugelhorn) wrote the piece. Very nice it is too.

The UK's Perseus Traxx aka Nigel Rogers included 'Destination Drexciya' on his debut EP on Bunker Records in 2010.

In 2017, Die Kartoffel contributed the darkly infectious 'Welcome To Drexciya' to a various artist EP on Mélodies Souterraines.