Saturday, December 12, 2020

New tracks from Tactical Airspace, XOR Gate, Daugther Produkt, Drexciya research and more

This incredible artwork is by Abdul Haqq and ties in with the exclusive Dopplereffekt music which was made available as one of the perks for The Book of Drexciya Vol. 2. 

There is a brand new Daughter Produkt track, 'Anisotropy', hidden away on this new ambient compilation from !K7 Records. You can see it in this YouTube video. There are also 13 tracks up on the DP Bandcamp page.

In case you missed it, at the end of October 2020 'Boolean Logic Gate' by Heinrich Mueller's XOR Gate was included in a 5 12" box set from Berlin Atonal. It can also be downloaded as a single track from this link.

Tactical Airspace now have a YouTube channel and have posted their 'Technical Demonstrator' video. There is something so sad and melancholic about this melody. 'Tactical Airspace is not endorsed by nor affiliated with the United States Department of Defence.'

The first new music from Aquanauts in 15 years is now available. You will find it on D.J. Di'jital's Bandcamp. The other members of the collective were last listed as Tyree Stinson (James' younger brother), DJ Skurge (UR) and Bileebob (UR). Good to have them back! More info in comments.


This is a real treat for you from Issue Project Room. The first 11 minutes of this 47 min long video is brand new music from Dopplereffekt, illustrated by images from The Book of Drexciya. Then there is a fascinating interview between DeForrest Brown Jr. and Abdul Qadim Haqq of The Drexciyan Empire.

Following on from a post I made on DRL FB page, Record Makers made a very welcome statement in the comments: 'For your information, we are working on re-pressing both "Wireless Internet" and "Inertial Frame" on vinyl in 2021.' That is great news for new fans as prices for Wireless Internet are currently around 100eu and Inertial Frame is not far behind. You can download and even still buy a CD copy from a Record Makers main website. 

The new 12" EP, Hidden Forces, of rarities by Ultradyne is out now and available from online retailers. It includes a new mix of 'Dr. Blowfin's Experiment', 'Crossphaze' by X-Ternal Pulse and more. Samples and purchase here.

The below is some DRL research I've been doing...

Drexciya's The Journey Home EP (1995) on Warp Records was their fifth EP and release. Up to then (barring their debut, Deep Sea Dweller) there was always 'Drexciya 2', 'Drexciya 3', 'Drexciya 4' somewhere clearly on the label artwork. It's missing on The Journey Home until you look at the label's small print, '(Epsilon Aquazone We're Going Deep)'.

Epsilon is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet and can be used to donate the 5th in a series of items, eg. in astronomy the fifth star in a constellation would be written as ‘Epsilon Carinae’. 

'Aquazone' was a word Drexciya had used before (Unknown Aquazone) and actually created themselves or made their own at least. It could be seen as referring to a deep undiscovered and uncharted region of the sea ('We're Going Deep').

In 1995 there were still only four recognised oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic) so maybe they were thinking of a fifth ocean/aquazone? Not until 2002 was the Southern Ocean officially accepted as being the fifth ocean. 

'He (Gerald Donald) said that he and James Stinson used to imagine themselves in a submersible descending to the bottom of the ocean, the absolute depths of the Mariana Trenches – absolute silence, blackness, crushing pressure, the creaking of metal. He said that they would think themselves into this space and then they would start making music from this perspective of insulation and isolation. '

- Afrofuturism, Afro-Pessimism and the Politics of Abstraction: A Conversation with Kodwo Eshun by Christoph Cox (2014). Full text and more Drexciya and GD references at this link.

This very revealing quote appears in Marcus Barnes' new piece on Drexciya in Mixmag. The Mariana Trenches are located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the deepest part of the world’s oceans at 10,994 metres. It is a mark of crescent shape in the Earth's crust, which is considered 2,550 km long and 69 km wide.

Lastly, after 15 years of doing DRL it never ceases to amaze me how new and unexpected information continues to come my way. One of my readers recently brought LEGO's 'Aquazone' theme to my attention. They had a series of these underwater themed kits from 1995-1998. There was even a Neptune's Discovery Lab and the characters were Aquanauts. This phrase was first used by Drexciya the previous year on 1994's The Unknown Aquazone double pack. While this could well be just a coincidence, I like to imagine one of their designers or marketers was a Drexciya fan! 

What makes this even more strange is that 'Lego blocks' are the subject of Glass Domain's 'Interlock' from 1991. The lyrics sound like they come from an actual Lego catalogue. Perhaps James Stinson and Gerald Donald had been big Lego fans as children? More details about LEGO's Aquazone here

Friday, November 13, 2020

Victoria Lukas RIP

Yesterday the sad news reached me that Victoria Lukas had died from cancer. Reportedly she fought a long and brave battle against it. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. I didn't know her personally and would only have exchanged a few messages with her over the years. I really only knew her from her music and videos. She first came on my radar in 2006 when she began to collaborate with Heinrich Mueller as Zerkalo. In those early days their music could only be heard on MySpace and YouTube so there was still a lot of mystery around them. At this time I did backtrack to her previous project, Weltgeist, with long-time collaborator Julia Pello. Again, this was a project with an online and live presence only. She soon became very prolific and released music on vinyl and digital as InKamera, Vita and under her own name. There always seemed to be lots of collaborations too, with artists like Jauzas The Shining and Alek Stark to name but a few. It strikes me that someone could easily start a DRL type project to solely concentrate on her output and interests. I always liked how she brought her passion for the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, poetry and art etc into her music. It was an education along with amazing music. She will be very missed but like any great artist will continue to live on in many different ways. RIP

You can investigate her music through these links but this is just the tip of a large iceberg.

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Book of Drexciya Vol. 2, Mixmag, Tactical Airspace, Drexciya French radio doc and more

There will be second volume of The Book of Drexciya by Abdul Haqq and other collaborators. The first one was great and this one should be too. You can only get it by pre-ordering here. This is a crowd funded project like last time and there are other exclusive Drexciya and even Dopplereffekt themed perks to sign up for. There is an interview about the latest volume here

There is an excellent new long read about Drexiya in Mixmag with new interviews with Abdul Qadim Haqq, Carola Stroiber and even myself. You can read it here.

Tactical Airspace is a new Heinrich Mueller plus collaborators project, check it out on their Facebook page and on Instagram

Phase Fatal selects Dopplereffekt's 'Cellular Phone' as one of his favourite B-Sides here.  

Alex Wilcox has made an epic breakdown of all the tracks from The Other People Place album. You can find it on his YouTube channel along with other fascinating Drexciya and Der Zyklus breakdowns. 

Drexciya were the subject of a major French radio documentary

I've just added a donate/tip button to the website. While I have no plans to stop doing DRL or any of my other creative online projects (my art, daily DRL FB pageAbstract Analogue, Searching for The White Room, Time Travel radio show etc) I thought I should give people an option if they would like to show support for my time and efforts. I would be very grateful, thanks. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Drexciya Day 2020, reissues of Dopplereffekt's Linear Accelerator, Gesamtkunserk & Cellular Automata and more

A Drexciya Day event had been organised for Weimar, Germany on Thur 3rd Sept, details here.

There will also be an event in Rome, Italy on Thur 3rd Sept, details here.

The 18th anniversary of James Stinson's death will be in just under 3 weeks 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. This year will no doubt will be very different due to Covid-19 restrictions but perhaps people might want to organise online or radio events instead or get more creative.

As ever there is no pressure from DRL as this concept originally happened spontaneously from fans and I simply remind people about it and promote whatever anyone feels like doing that year.

So far over the last three years there have been events in Tallinn, Vienna, Cambridge, London, Dublin, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Reykjavik, Grenoble, Rome, Manchester, Turin, Thessaloniki 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 here).

Search online for previous Drexciya Days to get ideas. 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 #drexciyaday2020 for your events. Thanks

Alex Wilcox has been doing a track by track breakdown of Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe by The Other People Place on his YouTube channel here. He has also made videos for Drexciya ('Andrean Sand |Dunes' & 'Black Sea') and Der Zylus ('Elektronisches Zeitecho').

The last few months have been incredibly busy for Dopplereffekt reissues. If you missed it, a third vinyl pressing of their Cellular Automata (2017) is now available. You can now also get copies of the new vinyl re-pressing of Dopplereffekt's Gesamtkunswerk (1999) from Clone Classic Cuts. WeMe Records also got the rights to reissue Linear Accelerator (2003) for the first time on vinyl. It is available in two editions, clear double vinyl and regular black.  

There is a new track on the Avina Vishnu (Heinrich Mueller & Aina) Bandcamp, 'Samhita', which makes two there now. They have a new FB page  and website as well.

You can now watch the video for 'Spiderweb Symmetry' by Black Replica at the 13 minute point on this episode of Monomer TV. This was a new track included on the s/t release on metaphysik in 2018. The video was made by Hectic Laboratory and has been nominated semifinalist in the best experimental film category at the Toronto's Alternative film festival.

In the current issue of The Wire you will find an articles about Drexciya by DeForrest Brown Jr, a look back at The Quest, a review of The Exaltic's & Heinrich Mueller's Dimensional Shifting and even a review of the Drexciya graphic novel. Deforrest has tweeted about it here with images of the text.

'(Drexciya's 'Lardossen Funk') This is the pure essence of Detroit electro. I get very nostalgic about my days growing up in Detroit and hearing it takes my mind back to a warehouse party where I got to hear Drexciya live; still one of my fondest memories. I never heard such pretty, spaced-out electro before and it’s been a big influence on me since.'

Magda 'opens the contents of her psychic record bag' for The Guardian in 2017. Wow, I guess she saw them play their only known live show at DEMF in 2001.

Four Four magazine selected their five favourite Drexciya tracks in a new piece. 

This is an excellent and recently published short essay about Drexciya by Mick Harvey M.Sc.

I made a Time Travel radio show special which focuses on my favourite Heinrich Mueller remixes/remodels for Dublin Digital Radio. 

Remember, even if you are not a member of Facebook you can still read my daily DRL posts there. Direct link to the FB photo archive here (loads of rare press cuttings like the one below etc).

It seems very strange to see Drexciya at number 8 in the UK Indie Singles Chart (Melody Maker 11/3/95) but it really happened! In fact at the height of Britpop they were in the top 30 for at least a month with The Journey Home EP on Warp Records. Sales of the 12" and CD must have been very strong and consistent (8 was as high as it went).

While still remaining very underground, 1995 was certainly Drexciya's breakthrough year as far as recognition goes with this EP, the Aquatic Invasion 12" on UR and the Elecktroids EP and album also on Warp. Of course sales of their back catalogue would also have been increasing from this year on. This same year Dopplereffekt also released their debut EP, Fascist State.

The MM indie charts at this time were compiled from sales from the Subterranean chain of record shops. According to a comment on Discogs, Drexciya also appeared in the NME's Indie Singles chart for the same period but I don't have any copies. To my knowledge their charts were compiled from a different source. Nice one for the archive anyway.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Exaltics & Heinrich Mueller - Dimensional Shifting review

Dimensional Shifting
The Exaltics & Heinrich Mueller
(Solar One Music / 2020)

On Spiralgalaxie (Hubble Telescope Series Vol. III) (2016) on Solar One Music, Heinrich Mueller and Robert Witschakowski last paired their own separate music together as a collection. There were also a few collaborative tracks to be found as well under the name Project STS-31. This must have paved the way for Dimensional Shifting, a whole album of them working together. Going by the superb artwork and the track titles it appears to be a concept album about the possibilities of a wormhole (an Einstein-Rosen bridge). On Bandcamp it's described as, '...stripped down layers mixed with chunky synthetic bass lines and stellar melodies over pounding 808 drums on this future classic tinted with nostalgia. Built as a journey through unknown territories...oscillates between moments of bravery on the dancefloor and moody sequences...' (a fair enough self-assessment). In fact they have been building a working relationship since at least 2015 with a few one-offs collaborations and Mueller remixes (check the Solar One Music discography).

I have here reviewed the tracks found on the standard double vinyl album and then move onto the bonus 12" and the extra tracks on the CD (both found on the special editions of the album). It's also worth stating (the obvious) how much of a positive difference is made to the musical frequencies here from being pressed on vinyl and heard through a half-decent hi-fi compared to listening to them as MP3 files through computer speakers/headphones.

'Temporal Matrix' opens the album and is a moody short introduction which sets the scene very well. 'Hologram Universe' really stood out for me and cheekily samples or recreates the bedrock of  'Superior Race', Dopplereffekt's debut 7" from 1995. This is a very unexpected move and obviously that wormhole goes back as well as forward! If you have been waiting for a return to this sound your hopes have been rewarded here. As the track evolves new sounds get added to the mix which do noticeably take it elsewhere but it's a nice 25 years later reboot for sure.

'Signal Filtering From Interstellar Noise' has a real cool bass line and synth sound and might actually be my favourite track. It ricochets along and gradually relaxes for a breather. The sounds are very dreamy and it keeps your attention throughout. 'Encoding' uses a signature Mueller bass-line (circa 2000) which propels it to the outer limits. The creeping atmospherics easily ignite the imagination too.

'Time Aperture' is another favourite for me, bouncy, light and very accessible, one of those tracks you would feel compelled to find out more about if you heard it at a club or party. I think this is one of their best efforts and will hopefully find a wider audience (one for those 'best of' Mueller radio mixes). '3.26 Parallax Seconds' is uptempo and really engages. It has at least three melodies complementing each other. One of those tracks which should manage to always sound fresh due to the surprising ways its sections work together.

'Search For Artificial Intelligence' is similar to the template and even some of the sounds used for 'Encoder'. Another fast pitched number, it really rockets along. In a classic Electro way, this will always be the sound of the future. 'Dimensional Shift' features Paris The Black Fu on vocals (by this stage the human element is welcome). This may be a leftover vocal track from a previous collaboration he did with The Exaltics on the We Exist (Chapter One) 12" (2020). A very uptempo back and forth track with a great change just before the vocal kicks in, edge of the seat stuff.

'Microwave Photon' again uses 'that' Mueller signature bass-line from both 'Encoder' and 'Search For Artificial Intelligence' but luckily the rest of the elements sprinkled around easily make it sufficiently different to function in its own unique terms. Another real standout for me.

In a fitting way the 'Closing The EPR Bridge' could also have served as the start of this time travelling and dimensional shifting journey. It's a more experimental sounding 3 minute movement you could enjoy on an infinite loop. It's a strong album but in the classic double pack tradition, a few real big ones for the feet and enough to satisfy the mind also.

Moving onto the generous bonus coloured vinyl 12" (available in the special editions) you find 'Wissenschaft der Zukunft' ('Science of the Future'). This is another track featuring vocals by Paris The Black Fu who in this case repeats the phrase, "Future and Science" in the way only he can. A good uptempo track with loads of nice atmospheric tones which keeps you listening. 'Dimensionsformel' is the other track and is another uptempo jumpy track which smoothly moves along and even though not a lot happens, somehow by the time you get to the half way point I got really into it.

There are three bonus tracks on the CD as well, also from the special edition and they are all short and more experimental (2-3 mins).

'Anti Proton Engagement Field' boldly stakes out some new ground. It's a bit short for me and could easily have evolved. I like where 'Dark Matter Radiation' was going as well on its slow, sinister, spacey, out of control orbit. 'Non Synchronised Multiverse (Hologram Updating) is quite beautiful and shimmers along in a detached standalone sort of way. 

You can order the digital and physical formats here and at all good record shops. Sound samples here.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Heinrich Mueller & The Exaltics' Dimensional Shifting, Dopplereffekt live video and more

There is another truly amazing package from Solar One Music, Dimensional Shifting by The Exaltics and Heinrich Mueller. Available to pre-order from Bandcamp on 12" vinyl and digital download now (the box set version has already sold out). It will also be available as a double black vinyl gate-fold from Clone (with sound samples) and all usual record shops. You can also listen to the full length 'Signal Filtering From Interstellar Noise' here. Promo text below.

'Four years after their almighty collaboration on “Project STS-31 (Hubble Telescope Series Vol.3)”, Solar One Music’s cofounder Robert Witschakowski and half of Dopplereffekt duo Gerald Donald return with another cosmic album of their instantly recognizable trademark. Featuring ten detailed and luminous cuts of beautifully crafted emotional music, with deep narrative over tough machine groove, the opus takes you on a moody trip across craggy soundscapes made of abrasive tones, crossing the red line between tight-strapped melodic waves, subaquatic underground electro, and intricate structures. Expect nothing but stripped down layers mixed with chunky synthetic bass lines and stellar melodies over pounding 808 drums on this future classic tinted with nostalgia. Built as a journey through unknown territories, much anticipating “Dimensional Shifting” oscillates between moments of bravery on the dancefloor and moody sequences, keeping intact the aesthetic signature of the Jena-based electro emissary and the legend from Detroit.'

Dopplereffekt played a special one hour concert for the Balance - Club / Culture Festival recently and it has been made available on YouTube. They were due to play this festival but due to the Coronavirus it had to happen online instead. Loads of new and unreleased material to enjoy.

There are also five short 15 sec tracks up on the Dopplereffekt Bandcamp. They all include '...= ringtone object' in the title and yes they would make for some pretty cool sounding ringtones. Don't forget that their debut single in 1995 was 'Cellular Phone'.

The hardcover of The Book of Drexciya is available to pre-order now. Abu Qadim Haqq's and other contributors interpretation of the Drexciyan myhos as a graphic novel. Available from Tresor.

New interview from Haqq's The Drexciyan Empire of James Stinson's younger brother Tyree.

There is a new track, 'Filter Schematic', up on the Daughter Produkt Bandcamp. There are now 13 tracks to explore.

Some early Ultradyne productions are getting reissued on this new EP, including a new mix of 'Dr. Blowfins's Experiment' and 'Crossphaze' by X-Ternal Pulse. For those who know. Available to sample and pre-order now at this Clone link.

Random Fact: The first Drexciya track released by Tresor was 'Positron Island', which can be found on their second EP, Bubble Metropolis (1993). It was originally selected by Juan Atkins for his Magic Tracks: Deep Detroit Volume Two compilation, which was a CD only release that Tresor co-released in 1994. I knew about that but until I saw an old Subterranean Distribution advert (Sept '95) I wasn't aware that there had been a limited 12" on Tresor as well which selected just four tracks from the comp and included 'Positron Island'. Someone at Tresor must have liked what they heard, although by this time Drexciya were becoming quite well known in Europe This was four years before they would release Neptune's Lair.

There is a new Zerkalo digital download from Victoria Lukas and Heinrich Mueller. Great to see these tracks get a proper release 'The Lake' and 'You, Whose Sleep Is Without Awakening' were previously only available as videos on YouTube.

Good to see Drexciya included in the so-called 'New Skool' Electro revival of 1995. This chart comes from NME (13/5/95) and was compiled by Ben Willmott. They are in some good company too. Electro never goes out of style!

Legendary Detroit DJ and producer Claude Young has been going through his record box and discovered this previously unknown record. It's a 10" dub-plate made at National Sound Corporation with handwritten lettering, 'Pornophonic Prototypes'. The pre-Drexciyan Glass Domain used the one-off label, Pornophonic Sound Disc for their self-titled EP in 1991. It's actually not this record according to Young. What he said on his Twitter posts below.

'10" Dubplate of the original Drexciya material before the group even had that name. Given to me in the early 90's. Found in my crate. Hate to say goodbye to it but everything must go...' He also later said to a question, 'Yes all the tracks have been released but this was cut to give me something to play on my radio show before any of those records even existed.' To a question as to whether it was the Glass Domain EP he said, 'Definitely not that EP. Project names were interchangeable. There was a pool of tracks that became different things. This was given to me before all of that that stuff existed.'

Saturday, April 18, 2020

New Heinrich Mueller collaborative tracks, Opening of the Cerebral Gate artwork, Fascist State 4018, cuttings, tribute mixes and more

The brilliantly minimal artwork for Transllusion's The Opening of the Cerebral Gate (2001) and its accompanying 12" on Supremat/Tresor was designed by the UK based Semiconductor. It doesn't appear they did much or any sleeve design before, I wonder how Tresor came across them?

They became established in 1997 and consist of the artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. You will find some images from their film, Linear, which dates from the same time period and appears to have some pleasing similarities to their Transllusion design. They also made the related artwork for the other release on Supremat, Sing Sweet Software! by Trurl and Klapaucius aka Cristian Vogel.

Update: When I posted this on the DRL FB Semiconductor commented, "We loved doing these designs!! Cristian Vogel asked us to be involved."

'Mummy, what's an Elecktroid?' I was sent these great pics of a very cool looking promo postcard that was originally sent out by Warp Records in 1995. It went to people on the mailing list. The text is on the back

The Trilogy Tapes site have shared a scan of issue 3 of the US electronic music magazine Hard Sync. I haven't seen this before, it dates from 1994 and features an advert/page given over to Dopplerffekt and a review of their debut 7" single, Superior Race/Cellular Phone.

The text for 'Fascist State 4018' appears to have been written by the band and as you will see is very dystopian. To some degree it reminded me of George Orwell's 'Sex-Pol' from his novel 1984.

There is a new track, the 32 minute 'Immunoflourescence', up on the Daughter Produkt Bandcamp page. I'm told it is the work of Ruben Spiel and Christina Vantzou from the collective. There are now 12 songs there in total.

Dark Body Parameter (Heinrich Mueller and Beta Evers) have added a previous collaborative project, Gedankenexperiment's Experiment Defined EP to their Bandcamp page as a digital download. This was previously available from WeMe Records on 12" vinyl in 2011.

Dopplereffekt have just made a third track available on their Bandcamp page. 'Dyson Sphere' was originally included only on a limited various artists double LP, Festival Electrónica En Abril (2012). It's over six minutes long and a real hidden gem from their catalogue.

This is the first time I've shared this review of Drexciya's Aquatic Invasion EP, which I scanned from Melody Maker (11/2/95) and was written by Ben Turner. The same week or the one before their Black Sea EP had been released on Warp (nice to know the month these came out). With the Elecktroids album and EP also on Warp that year (August), 1995 was a huge year for Drexciya.

I realised I hadn't shared this 2012 interview on the DRL FB page and it got a great response so am sharing it here gain too. It's with Alden Tyrell and is about remastering the music for Drexciya's epic Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller series on Clone Records. It was written by Richard Brophy (First Cut) who interviewed James Stinson twice.

Amsterdam's Interstellar Funk selects Transllusion's 'You're Holding Me Up' as one of his favourite B-sides for Telekom Electronic Beats TV. It's his first selection but it's well worth watching the whole video, great taste.

'The festival’s name is inspired by an act vital to that history: Detroit electro-techno pioneers Drexciya.'

DJ Stingray was one of the highlights of the Dweller festival in New York at the start of February. Hopefully more great things to come from them next year.

This is a fascinating article which contrasts the Drexciyan mythology with that of HP Lovecraft's 'Cthulhu' stories, which feature fantastical underwater creatures. These science fiction stories were written in the 1920s.

Fans of Zerkalo will enjoy Victoria Lukas' latest release, a soundtrack for Les Apocalyptiques.

This is a great new Drexciya/Mueller mix from Glasgow's Fear-E. Love the track selection.

The third and latest Drexciya themed mix on The Beat radio show on the French station Canal B.