I noticed an article that mentioned Drexciya in an end of year round up which bemoaned how every white kid that comes in to the Dope Jams shop in New York “talks about how great he is yet can’t show us what dope track they have done.”
I can actually understand why this might be the case (there is so much material and there are tracks that only work in the context of an album or 12" or are just plain weird but enjoyable). The full text of their gripe went, “$100 Gift Certificate to anyone who can tell us what the good Drexciya track is!!! (Hallstrom that includes you!) I know this one is going to ruffle some feathers but I don't care. I don't understand the infatuation with Drexciya. Every white kid that comes in here talks about how great he is yet can't show us what dope track they have done. I've listened to the comps. I've listened to youtube videos and mp3's people have sent me and I don't get it. It just sounds like mediocre techno to me. I will never understand why they get the praise they do.”
Link to original article here
I decided to help these “white kids” out by doing a top 3 for not only Drexciya but their offshoots, Heinrich Mueller solo and his remixes. So you can expect 3 more posts on this subject to follow when they are ready. I did consider a top 10 but sadly I realized this is way too many to really register with people, even 5 is probably too many as well but 3 is the magic number and it meant the real essential stuff in my opinion got listed (although as you will see I did manage to kind of do a top 5 anyway). The criteria I used in selecting these “dope tracks” was that it had to work on its own, grab your attention, sound kind of timeless and might make you want to know more about who did it. My selections are obviously very subjective but it made me revisit my collection and I’m already looking forward to delving into the rest of the material for my next choices. Feel free to send in your own in the comments box, I know they will all be very different from mine but we all get another excuse to delve back into their work. It’s a bit of fun but an interesting subject they raised nonetheless, you might even be able to claim that $100 gift certificate from them!
‘Sea Snake’ (1992)
Right back to the first Drexciya 12”, Deep Sea Dweller
, for this one. Already 20 years old but I’d feel very confidant playing this one out anywhere. It is primitive but very loose and playful with loads of the Drexciya signatures already in place. I love it when the high frequency stuff comes in. In the current issue of The Wire Ricardo Villalobos talks about music you can either listen or dance to and I think this is one of those tracks. I couldn’t find a single version of this on YouTube that didn’t have static or else had transfer issues so best to listen to your own copy to appreciate it best. Also available on The Quest
(1997) and Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller III
‘Lost Vessel’ (1999)
From the Neptune’s Lair
album. This track just leaps right out of the gate and attacks and is one tune you have to move your body to. If I’d limited this to just one track (which I thought about) then it may have been this one. It’s been included already on a few significant compilations including True Spirit
on Tresor in 2002 and by Miss Kitten on her Bugged Out
mix in 2006.
‘Birth of New Life’ (2001)
This is the closing track on Harnessed the Storm
and is quite simply the lost pearl of their catalogue for me. Possibly their most fully realized and elegantly constructed track that can again be danced or listened to and I can’t really say much more about it except listen.
‘Hydro Theory’ (1995)
Mention must also go to this track from The Journey Home
as it now has a combined viewing of almost 350000 on YouTube (their highest rated video) which has got to be recognized as some sort of democratic vote on what the public think. I like it too. Available on Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller I
‘Hydro Cubes’ (1994)
While it’s a little extreme all 7 minutes plus of ‘Hydro Cubes’ from Molecular Enhancement
12” has got to be a contender too. Maybe more of a fan favourite though as it just might scare a lot of other people off but it is certainly a dope tune, one of their best. Also available on The Quest