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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Mike Banks interview 2018

This is an amazing and very frank interview with Mike Banks (UR), Dimitri Hegemann and Carola Stoiber (both Tresor). They speak about Drexciya about 1hr. 23mins for well over 15 mins (more about Gerald Donald during the Rob Hood section too).

This is an awesome reboot of Andrew Duke's 2001 interview with James Stinson.

Great new Stinson/Donald mix with some obscurities. New edition of The Beat dedicated to them also.

The Black Replica 12" is now available from Metaphysik's Bandcamp as a digital download and from their site on vinyl (w/download code).

Drexciya are included as one of Adult's influences here.

The debut EP from Ectomorph, Subsonic Vibrations (1995), is being re-pressed on Interdimensional Transmissions. Gerald Donald was involved with this right at the beginning with Brendan M. Gillen. While his name does not appear on the credits, 'Skin' appears to have his fingerprints all over it. Available for pre-order now at Bandcamp.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

James Stinson 2002 phone interview w/ Derek Beere (Future BPM)

Derek Beere has kindly sent me the phone interview recording that he made with James Stinson back in early 2002 for Future BPM. This tape has not been heard before and been in Derek's safe keeping for the last 16 years and we both felt it should be heard by fans. It's a fascinating, often humorous and quite inspiring listen. You can still read the text version at this link too.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Discography 2018

Its been five years since the last DRL discography (James Stinson/Heinrich Mueller) and quite a few new releases have been added. As previously, its been designed as an 'at a glance' list for quick consultation. If you want more detail please click on the Discogs artist links. 

Due to all the recent reissues and even new and unreleased projects, I have listed the first and last time the record was pressed as well. Handy for labels checking what is due for a reissue! I've only listed projects with stand-alone releases and not unique project compilation tracks (eg. Intellitronic). You can check my most recent list of Heinrich Mueller's remixes or these other oddities for completeness sake.

As always I'd like to think that some of you will get to discover new projects and music you were not previously aware of. Now with well over 80 releases, there is plenty to collect and experience, enjoy! If you notice any errors pleae let me know.

Hyperspace Sound Lab 12" (Fluorescent Forest 1991/Clone Aqualung 2015)

Glass Domain

S/T 12" ( Pornophonic Sound Disc 1991/Clone Aqualung 2016)


Balance of Terror 12" (Hardwax 1992/Clone Aqualung 2016)

Deep Sea Dweller 12" (Shockwave 1993/UR 2003)

Drexciya 2 12” aka Bubble Metropolis (UR 1993/UR 2003)
Drexciya 3 12” aka Molecular Enhancement (Rephlex 1994/Submerge1995/Submerge 2003)
Drexciya 4 dbl 12” aka The Unknown Aquazone (Submerge 1994/Submerge 2003)
Drexciya 5 12” aka The Journey Home (Warp 1995)
Aquatic Invasion 12” (UR 1995/UR 2003)
The Return of Drexciya 12" (UR 1996/UR 2003)
Uncharted 12” (S.I.D. 1997)
The Quest CD/2LP (Submerge 1997/Submerge 2002)
Neptune's Lair CD/2LP (Tresor 1999/Tresor 2018)
Hydro Doorways 12" (Tresor 2000/Tresor 2014)
'Fusion Flats' 12” (Tresor 2000)
Digital Tsumami 12" (Tresor 2001/Tresor 2014)
Harnessed The Storm CD/2LP (Tresor 2002/Tresor 2014)
Drexcyen R.E.S.T. Principle 12" (Clone 2002)
Grava 4 CD/2LP (Clone 2002/Clone Aqualung 2017))
Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller I CD/2LP (Clone Classic Cuts 2011)
Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller II CD/2LP (Clone Classic Cuts 2012)

Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller III CD/2LP (Clone Classic Cuts 2013)
Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller IV CD/2LP (Clone Classic Cuts 2013)

'Black Sea' 12” (Clone Aqualung 2015)

Kilohertz 12" (Warp 1995/Clone Aqualung 2018)

Electroworld CD/Cass/2LP (Warp 1995/Clone Classic Cuts 2018)

‘Superior Race’/’Cellular Phone' 7" (Dataphysix 1994)

Fascist State 12" (Dataphysix 1994)
Infophysix 12" (Dataphysix 1995)
Sterilization 12" (Dataphysix 1997)
Scientist 10” (Gigolo Records 1999)
Gesamtkunstwerk CD/Cass/2LP (Gigolo Records 1999/Clone Classic Cuts 2007)
Scientist 12” (Gigolo Records 2001)
‘Myon-Neutrino’/’Z-Boson’ 12" (Gigolo Records 2002)
Linear Accelerator CD (Gigolo Records 2003)
Calabi Yau Space CD/2LP (Rephlex 2007)
Tetrahymena 12” (Leisure System 2013)
Split 12” w/ Visonia (Last Known Trajectory 2013)
Split 12” w/ Objekt (Leisure System 2014)
Cellular Automata LP (Leisure System 2017)
Athanatos 12” (Leisure System 2018)
Subsonic Vibrations 12” (Interdimensional Transmissions 1995/IT 2018)

Rotoreliefs 12" (Planet E 1995)

Nausicaa 12" (Planet E 1995)

Der Zyklus
S/T Der Zyklus 12" (Gigolo Records 1998)

Der Zyklus II 12"(Gigolo Records 2001)
‘Biometric ID’ 12"(Dub 2004)

Biometry CD/2LP (Dub 2004/Clone Aqualung 2015)
S/T Der Zyklus 12" (Frustrated Funk 2006)
Cherenkov Radiation 12" (Frustrated Funk 2008)
Split 12” w/ Albert van Abbe ‘Von Neumann Replicator’ 12” (No Comment 2012)

Krypton 84 12” (WeMe Records 2012)
'Elektronisches Zeitcho'/'Mathematische Modelle' 12" (Clone Aqualung 2013)
Axonometric 12” (The Vinyl Factory/Zone 2015)
Renormalon LP (WeMe Records 2016)

Japanese Telecom
S/T 12" aka Rising Sun (Intuit Solar 1999)
Japanese Telecom Remixes 12” (Intuit Solar 2000)
Virtual Geisha CD/2LP (Gigolo Records 2001)

‘Are You Wireless?’ 12" (Record Makers 2002)

Wireless Internet CD/2LP (Record Makers 2002/Record Makers 2006)
Quantum Transposition CD/2LP (Rephlex 2005)
‘Reference Frame' 12" (Record Makers 2006)
Inertial Frame CD/2LP (Record Makers 2006)
Split 12" w/ 30drop (30D Records 2018)

Mind Over Positive and Negative Dimensional Matter 12" (Supremat Records 2001/Tresor 2014)

The Opening of the Cerebral Gate CD/2LP (Supremat 2001/Tresor 2018)
Don't Be Afraid of Evolution 12" (Rephlex 2002)
L.I.F.E. CD/LP (Rephlex 2002)
A Moment of Insanity 12" (Clone Aqualung 2018)

The Other People Place
Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe CD/2LP (Warp 2001/2017)

Sunday Night Live at the Laptop Cafe 12" feat Mystic Tribe A.I. (Clone 2002/Clone Aqualung 2017)

Abstract Thought
Hypothetical Situations CD/2LP (Kombination Research 2002)

Shifted Phases
The Cosmic Memoirs of the Late Great Rupert J Rosinthrope CD/2LP (Tresor 2002)

Lab Rat XL
Mice or Cyborg CD/2LP (Clone 2002/Clone Aqualung 2017)

Heinrich Mueller
Drexciyan Connection 12" (WeMe Records 2009)

False Vacuum 2LP (WeMe Records 2018)

Stoi Storoni Zerkala Part 1 12" (Clone Aqualung 2009)

Stoi Storoni Zerkala Part 2 12" (Clone Aqualung 2009)
Experiment Zero 12" (Frustrated Funk 2010)

Experiment Defined 12" (WeMe Records 2010)

Paranormale Aktivitat CD/LP (Rephlex 2011/Clone Aqualung 2016)


S/T 12” (WeMe Records 2012)

Commodified CD/2LP (WeMe Records 2013)

Spiralgalaxie (Hubble Telescope Series Vol. III) LP/CD (Solar One Music 2016)

Laptop Cafe LP (Clone Aqualung 2017)

Conic Sections LP (Tresor 2018)

S/T 12” (Metaphysik 2018)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Dopplereffekt's 'Hayflick Limit' video from Athanatos EP

DRL was offered an exclusive premiere of the video for Dopplereffekt's 'Hayflick Limit' from their Athanatos EP on Leisure System. It went up today on the FB page at this link. The video was created by Michael Tan. The track itself is a collaboration with Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) and Olaf Bender (Byetone). The EP can also be ordered from Bandcamp.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Der Zyklus interview for Superfly magazine (2004).

This interview was kindly sent to me by Andrea Benedetti, who interviewed Heinrich Mueller about Der Zyklus' Biometry album in 2004 for the Italian print magazine, Superfly.

Why do you choose byometrical identification as the leading topic of this new album?

We now live in precarious times, terrorism and other forms of malignant acts are rampant in global society. Biometric technology will become ever more ubiquitous as a fundamental security measure across the world. Its presence and importance cannot be ignored, this is what prompted the integration of electronic music and biometry. Biometry influenced the development of this project.

Do you have a positive approach about technology applied to every day life or do you feel that there is a dark side of the thing (control of the masses, less humanity)?

I am neutral in this regard. Technology is just what it is, tools created by man to enhance his very existence. It is neither evil or good, it only does what its human masters wish for it to do. Humans can make rational decisions and choices,machinery cannot do this just yet, even though artificial intellects are very advanced at this time and breakthroughs in this field are being made we are still some distance from this as of now. The masses are controlled because they allow themselves to be controlled, most people do not think profoundly and let a handful of others do this for them. Their political leaders.

Listening to this last work, I've felt a more digital approach than in the past. I mean less analogical gears (or anyway 'classical' synth/drum machines) and more virtual synth and dsp. Is it true? If yes why this change? A new musical direction for your music?

One should never rely on one type of method in order to create, if so stagnation and repetition will gradually take root and limit growth. The operational aspects of a device is immaterial, it's the end product. People place too much emphasis on particulars of the production procedure, when in reality they should be focused on the result of this process.

In my opinion this album is more focused on atmosphere and sounds than on melodies and rhythm like you did in in your previous works. Do you agree? Is it a special approach only for this album or do you continue to produce material like this?

Every project should have its own characteristics. The approach and outcome should always be different. If ones uses the same technique every-time, results become predictable and the element of uniqueness is muted. A new set of conditions must be in place for each project. Everyone has his or her own definition of rhythm and melodic structure. One may say percussion is rhythm and the other may say time delay reflections are rhythm. It's all individual interpretation.

Can you explain better your collaboration for this album with the company Byometric Group in Germany?

It was not really a collaboration in a technical sense. It was only an act of courtesy on their behalf in allowing us to collect imagery for the concept. That was the extent of their involvement.

Why did you choose the name Der Zyklus?

The concept of a cycle or periodic motion is fascinating, repetition, repeat a sequence of operations time and time again has a certain charm.

The scientist has been always an important figure in your music. Why?

We use the scientific method in our work, hypothesis-theory, experimentation, conclusion. The scientific image is more than ornamentation it's how we function. If test results are in accord with theoretical projections it becomes fact, if the opposite occurs we disgard or reconfigure the theory.

Which is your favourite scientist ever and why?

There is no favourite, many men and women have contributed to human progress. They are all important for their contributions.

Which are the artists you like more in the past? And now?

There have been many interesting developments from all eras so there is not a particular time point which is more interesting than the other but I will say that integrity today is a rarer find than in the past and this in turn has a tremendous impact on the music itself.

It's a long time you don't make a live act. Why? There will be new performances in the next future?

This requires extensive preparation and forethought but we will see what the future holds.

After almost twenty years do you think that techno has made its 'revolution for change' ?

If innovation is the prime directive the revolution will never have closure and it will remain a continuum but if stagnation and backwardness grip the form you can confidently say that its revolutionary intent has come to pass.The concept of a Golden Age is when there is a period of highly advanced research and breakthroughs, this age can sustain indefinitely as long as people are pushing the boundaries of scientific theory and these theories materialise into something practical.