Sunday, August 01, 2021

Drexciya Day 2021, Arpanet re-press and more

EDIT: There will be a Drexciya Day event in Rome, Italy on 3rd September 2021.

I've just been contacted by the first fan wanting to organise a Drexciya Day this year so I guess it's time to remind people of what this is all about.

The 19th anniversary of James Stinson's death will be in about 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. Due to COVID-19 last year there was only two physical events (Rome & Weimar) and no doubt this year will also be very different due to restrictions, so perhaps some people might want to organise online or radio events instead or get more creative. Whatever you do please stay safe!

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 five years there have been events in Tallinn, Vienna, Cambridge, London, Dublin, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Reykjavik, Grenoble, Rome, Manchester, Turin, Thessaloniki, Weimar and on radio (hope I didn't leave any out). 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 #drexciyaday2021 for your events. Thanks

France's TV Showw has made a rather remarkable Drexciya and Yellow Magic Orchestra mixtape. I've commented here before how they both have a lot in common and that YMO must have been an influence on both James Stinson and Gerald Donald. Elecktroids, Clarence, Dopplereffekt, Japanese Telecom and even JS phone interviews also turn up in the mix, obviously a lot of work went into this one.

This is a very fascinating new piece by John Eperjesi for Selector that connects Drexciya with Herman Melville's Moby Dick. It has useful Drexciya video links for those new to the band as well.

There is an exclusive new Heinrich Mueller track 'Plasma Field' on a limited boxset from Vinylograph. Available on Bandcamp here.

You can now pre-order both Wireless Internet (2LP & CD from 2002) and Inertial Frame (2LP & CD from 2006) by Arpanet at a brand new Bandcamp page. It must have been set up by Record Makers and will be very useful for those of you who prefer to get your music this way (all the tracks can be sampled or downloaded too). Physical copies will be ready to ship on 6th September. 

"We sold a lot of music to Europeans that we couldn't give away during the rest of the year...Tearing up bins like flesh, I actually filmed the bins, people grabbing titles. Drexciya, UR, Transmat, KMS, Metroplex. It was nuts." 

-Mike Huckaby (RIP) and many other Detroit luminaries remember Detroit Electronic Music Festival aka Movement 2001-2009.

Alex Wilcox is back with a brand new Drexciya breakdown video, this time for 'Species of the Pod' from Neptune's Lair

This is an excellent Drexciya long read I missed from 2016 by Patrick Langley.

I've never seen this press release for Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe by The Other People Place before but it has probably been on Discogs for ages. It's actually from a four track promo 12" EP. It's very interesting to see the date of release, which by chance would turn out to be just eight days before the 9/11 attacks but even stranger is that it's exactly a year to the day before James Stinson's very tragic early death (he was about to turn 33).

This album was the start of what he called the Storm Series, seven albums (there would actually be eight in total) that would be released around the world in one year. As it turned out, the final album (Lab Rat XL) would be released on 27/10/03 (just under two years since the release of TOPP).

These promo copies of TOPP were available a month before in August. The opening typeface of the press release/info sheet looks like something Warp might have already used for Autechre. It's also made very clear this is a solo release and there are so many hints that it's something to do with Drexciya.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Dark Matter: A History of Afrofuture, BBC4, Black Assembly, Dopplereffekt and K1, The Quest poster and more

Along with many other artists, Drexciya are included in Dark Matter: A History of the Afrofuture on BBC4 on Sun 23rd May 9pm (details here). The series producer was in touch with a question back in January so I'm glad to see it's ready for broadcast. This is some high profile recognition, which I'm really looking forward to. 

'Told in four acts, Act 1, The Door of no Return, explores the collision of technology and blackness, focusing on the devastating and transformative experience of enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage across the Atlantic. Featuring enigmatic Detroit techno supremos Drexciya, along with visual artists Ellen Gallagher and Hew Locke, we see how each has taken the Atlantic Ocean – a site of violence, pain and loss – and through their work, imbued it with hope, beauty and new possibilities.'

Dopplereffekt and K1 (Keith Tucker) have collaborated on the Star Gazing EP on Puzzlebox Records. You can purchase and sample both tracks here.

You can now listen to all six of the shows Dopplereffekt curated for NTS recently at this handy link.

Drexciya's 'Black Sea' got the breakdown treatment from Attack magazine here.

I only recently found out that back in 2016 LA's Dublab had the mystery girl from Black Replica and a new producer partner (Carlos Hinojosa of Additiv) in for a live session and interview. They were using the name Black Assembly but I don't think they still exist. I did find one studio track, 'Time Stands Still', on their Soundcloud. Their section starts about 47 min and they play about five tracks and then there is a short interview. Cool to hear this and see the new pic too. The mystery only ever deepens with Black Replica!

There are currently 15 tracks up on the daughter Produkt Bandcamp. Keep an eye for new material there.

Mixmaster Morris recently created a new Drexciya themed mix here.

I found this photo of the rare promo poster for The Quest by Drexciya. It features text not included elsewhere, even on the CD booklet. I think it was up in UR's Somewhere In Detroit record store (might even still be there).

'A liquid product of years of toxic waste dumping in Detroit's Rouge River?

An aquatic cousin of the cell from hell?

Or an amoeba of society?

These and many other type of questions that 'You Don't Know' may become apparent in the forthcoming 28 track double CD 'The Quest'.

Also available on double vinyl are 9 tracks of Detroit's most vicious Drexciyan jams.

Both vinyl and CD feature unreleased underwater terror.

This is Drexciya's Final Transmission.’

It sounds like UR's The Unknown Writer coming up with more alternative theories about Drexciya. He would continue these questions of their origins in the CD booklet.

I've seen one of these posters just once before and it was signed by James Stinson. It hung in the offices of Dublin's D1 Recordings. Label boss Eamonn Doyle told me it was given to him while at the UR offices in 1997 and that James Stinson himself had been there and signed ‘Drexciya’ in large silver letters right in front of him. There were also three luminous green paint spots which look like thumbprints pressed into the bottom left hand corner, a kind of mark of a Drexciyan, which had already been placed there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Open letter to fans and listeners of Drexciya from Andrea Clementson-Stinson

 I have been sent this message from Andrea Clementson-Stinson...

'Open letter to all fans and listeners of Drexciya:

We are writing to you to express our gratitude for your support through the years and to provide clarity. 

The concepts and ideas of Drexciya as you know came from a basement in Detroit, Michigan in the early 90’s. Some have attempted to take Drexciya's original concept and tried to make it their own or use it for their own agenda.  However we can no longer remain silent as we like you to know that no one person is capable of relaying or expanding on the myth/story of Drexciya other than its creators. 

Drexciya's music was never supposed to be associated with race or a race war. Techno and Electronic music brings all types of people from all world’s together. 

To those who seek to put a divide, we are asking you to stop/ cease and desist. Outside of the music there is no other  product under the name of Drexciya. This applies to comic books and any apparel baring the name Drexciya. 

James Stinson's legacy is his own and it is original to him. He did not sample nor steal or exploit anyone or any music. All he did was leave an expression of his inner outer emotions through his music and his world of Drexciya. 

The mystery of Drexciya will remain a mystery and  I have never and will never provide authority to anyone to reveal the mystery. It is the way the creator of Drexciya left it on September 2, 2002 there was no end, no matter how many try. There were two agents of Drexciya and if it does not come from the two agents then please know that it is not legitimate. 

To the record labels, UR, Clone, Tresor and Warp who have been supportive of Drexciya and both of their agents in life and in death, we want to thank you for assisting in keeping the music and legacy alive. 

“L.I.F.E = Life Is Fast Ending…… live!"'

You can read the recent article in Ars Technica this message partly refers to here.

Drexciya interview, Etronik (Oct 1999)

After literally years of searching online and asking the writer Richard Brophy about it more than once I can finally bring you the James Stinson interview from Ireland's now defunct Etronik, an online electronic music magazine. It dates from 29th October 1999 and focuses on their current album of the time Neptune's Lair. Richard Brophy interviewed James Stinson twice and his second interview dates from 2001 and can be read here. You can read the original Etronik text here on the always useful Wayback Machine (up to now it could not open the link for some unknown reason). I've added the quotes to my master post of all James Stinson's known quotes here. In 2017 Richard and I were in conversation about all things Drexciya at Dublin's Hugh Lane Gallery, audio here. I'd also like to thank him for allowing me to archive it here. 

Drexciya by Richard Brophy (Etronik #10 29th Oct 1999)   

Its been two years since we last heard from mysterious Detroit techno-electro outfit Drexciya. The Quest double album, released at the tail end of 1997 was their parting shot to an industry they clearly wanted no part of. Refusing to do interviews, have their photos taken or indulge in any part of the media circus, Drexciya believed that The Quest was the final chapter in a story which began when the act were spawned from African slaves brought to America hundreds of years ago. The act had found their own “Atlantean utopia”, and there they would rest for time immemorial.

However, in true renegade fashion, the act has returned, with a new album, Neptune’s Lair on the German Tresor label. Surfing effortlessly between experimental gurgles, gritty G-funk, clinical electro and classic Detroit dancefloor depth, Lair stands tall, proud and polished above all the second-rate electronic muck currently clamouring for our attention. It’s a bold, adventurous and clinically futuristic return to form from Motor City’s original purveyors of hi-tech funk.

Strangely, a ‘spokesperson’ for the group admits that the healthy state of modern music that has heralded their return. “The music scene has started to pick up again,” he confirms. “There’s some really good ‘pieces of music’ out there at the moment, stuff we’ve heard in clubs or on the radio that has impressed us and made us go wow! We always hoped people would listen to Drexciya and become influenced to make their own music, and now it’s happening. We try and keep away from everyone else in Detroit, avoid picking up on other people’s energies and do our own thing. At the same time, we’ve come to realise that we’re all into this, we’re one big family. Drexciya are as guilty as anyone of putting people down back in the day. Now we try and encourage people to do what they do best.”

It sounds like Drexciya have mellowed out considerably in their old age. That they even consented to be interviewed, albeit without any names or photographs, shows signs that they’ve dropped their guard slightly, and a willingness to even mention the ‘D’ word further proves that they’ve shed their legendary reticence. So, what do they make about all this so-called nu-electro?

"The music we make is electro,” answers the spokesperson. “Others tried to make it because it was deemed ‘hot’, but electro comes in so many different flavours." he continues. “Electronic music, whatever you want to call it needs this kind of music to give it variety, instead of just hearing a 4/4 beat, instead of just having potatoes, we’re saying why not have a steak as well?

In their absence, the rest of the underground finally caught up with the act. Producers who swore by house and techno doctrines started making electro, and the sound has permeated into and become an integral part of other genres, witness its influence on the nu-breaks scene. More a development on their existing game plan than the creation of a whole new rulebook, Neptune’s Lair is still puts the original breakers way ahead of the opposition. So did it take the full two years to make?

”Yeah, it took two years on and off to make it,” comes the reply. “Some of the tracks were old, and there’s a track on the album called ‘Draining Of the Tanks’, which represents Drexciya shedding our old ideas and injecting new sounds and experiments. That’s the whole foundation of what we do: making things people don’t think will work work. We also had some personal stuff we had to deal with, but the album was done at our pace. In the future we’re going to be more steady with our releases instead of taking long breaks. There is a reason why the album took so long which we’ll reveal at a later date. As always, we’re gonna go with the water, whatever way the tide flows. It’s the way we work, but we certainly ain’t gonna be cranking out a record every month.”

The mention of water and the tides brings us neatly onto that other Drexciya topic, their fascination with water, mythology and tracing their heritage back to some long lost water bound race. All Drexciya releases including the artwork, sleeves and track titles – Neptune’s Lair boasts gems like ‘Oxyplasmic Gyration Beam’ and ‘Quantum Hydrodynamics’ - refer to the act’s background and their struggle in an ongoing struggle against an unknown enemy. Do they still believe they are “Drexciyan Warriors”?

"It’s just an ongoing situation, we’re just trying to bring a new perspective to our music," the spokesperson somewhat cryptically offers. “It’s not radical or political, more of a history lesson, and the whole fantasy goes with it. The intelligent listener will weed out the real meanings though. Our music works on the same principle. We’re trying to give something to all our listeners, that’s why we chose not to put any vocals on the album, to let the music give people the vibes. Think about it, humans don’t even use half their brainpower, let’s see where we can bring them. Who knows, if you keep on knocking on our door you might even develop telepathic powers! We’re all about making people happy through our music, and not painting ourselves into one corner. We want to remain as free as the water and the wind.”

More than the sometimes goofy talk about their relationship with the ocean, it’s this independent, underground spirit that’s central to Drexciya. Still holding down regular day jobs so they can retain 100% control of their music, the act still equate the lure of the big buck with a cessation of all creativity. Let’s pass the mic to their spokesperson for the final word.

"It's never been about the money,” he confirms. “We could have signed a deal with Sony no problem, but that’s not the foundation or priority with us. Sure, you need funds to keep operations going, but even if you have money you still have to stay on ground level. If you believe that the money makes you, then you’re in big trouble. There are things we do that make us money, our jobs, but that helps us stay ahead, remaining at the cutting edge. We have very high standards, and are never satisfied with our music. We’re always trying to come up with something new, we’re never content with what we do. The day that happens is the day we all die."

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Japanese Telecom, Grava 4 and Black Replica reissues and more

Heinrich Mueller's debut self titled 12" EP/mini album as Japanese Telecom is to be reissued and remastered for the first time since 1999 on Clone Records' Aqualung label (in fact there was a very limited re-press in 2007). As you can see it comes with new artwork. It first came out on Detroit's Intuit Solar on both vinyl and CD and contained seven tracks. Hopefully this means the other release under this name, Virtual Geisha (2001), will be next!  It's available for pre-order from Clone now and will be available from about 4th June. 

Drexciya's Grava 4 is also due to be reissued again on vinyl, available from usual outlets from 7th May on Clone Aqualung.

Dopplereffekt curate a day (20/4/21)  on NTS Radio. Details here (all six hours archived here, or search NTS' website).

Metaphysik have a limited re-press of the Black Replica album on vinyl and for the first time on cassette. Check their Bandcamp and Big Cartel sites.

There is now an official Soundcloud page for Daughter Produkt. There are 11 tracks there now with 13 on their Bandcamp. 

Roland have included Drexciya's 'Rublick's Cube' in their 'Sound Behind The Song' series. 

You will find the Transllusion releases on a new Tresor Bandcamp.

There is a book in Spanish on Drexciya. You can order it here.

I made a new DRL themed mix for London's Morley Radio, archived here.

I've decided to archive a post (1/3/21) from the DRL FB page to make my feelings known about the article by S. David on Ars Technica (which has yet to be corrected). Since writing it the thought occurred to me that just before he died James Stinson himself settled the matter of the Drexciyan origins in the artwork of Grava 4 (in the CD booklet only) and clearly states that the Drexciya Home Universe lies in space. 

"Drexciya live in two different worlds, what Drexciya does and what UR asks it to do on certain missions"  -James Stinson talking with Tsutomu Noda for Ele-King for Straight No Chaser in 1999

By sharing this new piece by S. David about Drexciya I want to point out that I don't agree with his assessment of Clone Records. I personally think their presentation of Drexciya's music from 1992-1997 in the Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller series is in line with the mystery surrounding those original 12" EPs as they first appeared but this is a community and we are all free to hold our own points of view. 

I would also like to point out that the author makes the mistake of accrediting UR's The Unknown Writer aka Cornelius Harris' sleeve notes from The Quest (1997), only found on the CD, to James Stinson. These sleeve notes of course are the bedrock on which the whole edifice of Drexciya as 'offspring of pregnant African slaves' comes from, which S. David thinks Clone should have referenced in the packaging of Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller

This is an issue that comes up time and again in journalism about them and I totally understand why. I've written about this here before a few times. I love Harris' poetic and very compelling interpretation of where Drexciya come from and it's no wonder this is the version that has been most widely embraced and known around the world. However, if you read his text closely he is careful to pose his words as questions/possibilities only. Drexciya were over about late '95 due to Stinson's health but unexpectedly returned in 1999. I would imagine James saw The Quest sleeve notes and map artwork and was consulted by UR/Submerge about it and approved (we don't as fans know this for sure).

Like any great piece of art, I believe Drexciya's music has been left open to be interpreted in any number of different ways. Perhaps I am wrong, I did not know him personally of course. In all of James' eleven interviews I've archived he has never commented on The Quest sleeve notes or talked in those terms and in fact only directly mentioned slavery once in a different context. He has been vocal about the exploitation of Black culture which S. David rightly brings up and I think his piece raises some very important points in general. Gerald Donald has similarly never talked about the origins of Drexciya. Even Abdul Haqq has acknowledged this in the past, "What's funny is most people don't realize that Drexciya themselves didn't write the most famous story (myth, legend) that they are known for! It was the Unknown Writer!" (in an interview with DRL in 2008).

Clone I believe are essentially just like all of us, fans of James Stinson's music and have been doing a brilliant job keeping it alive and available for new generations of fans. I can only assume they continue to work with the blessing of James Stinson's Estate (his wife and children) as Clone have put out unreleased projects since the original Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller series and I hope there is more to come. 

I would recommend Marcus Barnes' recent piece for Mixmag as I think it manages to successfully address the admittedly complex origin of the Drexciya myth/story.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Victoria Lukas' Final Release - Vita ALTAR'

Victoria Lukas' final project, Altar' under her Vita alias, is now available for the first time to see and hear. In total there are six tracks, this link will bring you to five of the videos that were all directed by her regular collaborator Julia Pello (the other video by Anaïs Boudot is linked here). 

It's quite an experience to listen and view them all together, she really was making her best work right at the end of her life. She had been writing on her FB page about this project in the year before she died (see below). Also be sure to check out the Altar' website, as this was approached as a multi media project. 

It's fantastic to experience this new work and see her living on like this. She was a member of Zerkalo with Heinrich Mueller, I wrote a post here to mark her passing. You can find some of her other music here.

'hi everyone,

Its been months that we are polishing a project called the VITA Alta'r Ep. It is a multimedia project which has its own site where some medias and writings are posted frequently:

We are intensively working on the videos actually, there is one directed for each of the 6 tracks of the Ep...under my alias VITA i release some very personal electronic music which is experimental, sentimental and dark, so don't expect any electro following the codes. w/ Julia Pello and an unique and marvellous participation of Anaïs Boudot, for the astounding video intro of the project, the song called "The Awaiting". Alta'r is a multimedia project about dedication, love, and eternity ...

The 6 tracks has been recorded and produced by Victoria Lukas. 

It contains collaborations with Pierre Bastien and Christoph De Babalon.

The videos have been directed by Anaïs Boudot & Julia Pello.

The poems have been written by Julia Pello.

Before selling the tracks we would like the videos to stay online to be seen as a whole.'


1 The Awaiting 

2 I wish 

3 Muse

4 Let's have no more nights

5 As long as I stay 

6 Oblik

Monday, February 01, 2021

New James Stinson interview uncovered from Lotus magazine 2002 and more

One of my readers has very kindly sent me a copy of a short interview with James Stinson from the US music magazine Lotus (#36 March 2002). You can click on it and it will open in a bigger size to read. I'm told it was a mag from Los Angeles and the piece was written by Thomas Kelley. I was not previously aware of it so it was a real surprise when it turned up. I'm trying to archive whatever I can here so please keep an eye out in old magazines from about 1992-2002 and you never know what you might find (particularly in the final two years). I've now added the interview text to Drexciya Speaks (all of James' interviews compiled) and below. 

Asked about his move to Atlanta 

"It's the weather. The weather up here in Michigan is really getting to me. I have to get to a warmer climate, but I really don't want to move to Florida because I don't want to deal with no damn hurricanes."

On the Storm Series

"It's like a whirl storm, all of the music was done within one year. It was one helluva storm brewing when all of this music got made. That's the best way to describe it. So we decided to release our music in different spots around the world and whatnot. The last three (albums), I'm not going to say when and what they are. I'm leaving it as a sudden storm that brews up on you! It's on a need to know basis. But it's also like the release of one of our recent records, 'Wavejumper'. The definition of 'Wavejumper' is what we're doing with Dimensional Waves. We're going from record label to record label around the world and jumping to different portals. There is a mystery to a lot of the things you an follow in each project, looking for little things, reading the track titles for clues. Linkage."

Drexciya have been cited in this piece by the Guardian as an influence on a plan for an underwater memorial for slaves lost during the middle passage.

Following on from a recent post on the DRL FB page about a cartoon James Stinson used to watch as a child, Abdul Haqq was in touch to say he consulted with Tyree Stinson and found out that the cartoon was Battle of the Planets. BOTP ran from 1979-1980 and totalled 85 episodes. Its story has roots in an earlier Japanese anime series. Most interestingly, G-Force had an underwater base called Centre Neptune. 

Dopplereffekt were interviewed for Azimuth 2020, an online event they played live at recently. You can listen to the interview here

There is now a new Tactical Airspace FB page. TA is described as, 'Audiovisual and educational program founded and develop by H. Mueller, Ruben Benabou, Christina Vantzou, Dr. Katarina Markovic, Philip Washington. This program's goal is to educate on the military Aeronautical and Aerospace fields.'

You can listen to one of the tracks Dopplereffekt created for The Book of Drexciya vol. 2 fundraiser here

On YouTube I came across a copy of the a capella/skit version of Doppereffekt's 'Scientist' from their debut 7". 

You can listen to Dopplereffekt's recent live show from Vilnius, Lithuania (6/11/20). It was streamed on radio for one time only last night. Quality is excellent

Adult. have two recent pieces online where they cite Drexciya as an influence. The Quietus and London in Stereo.

On Ebay I noticed that someone is selling a copy of Hard Sync #5, a US electronic music zine from 1995. Luckily one of the pages they scanned was a full page advert from Dopplereffekt (looking for a female collaborator). 

By now they would have already released their Fascist State EP. I'm not sure how serious the advert is, it may have been meant to be humorous, provocative or totally sincere (I wonder if anyone got in touch). 

They obviously had some kind of theme going on as previously, from the same zine (#3), I've previously scanned another full page Dopplereffekt advert (Fascist State 4018). Click on image to read at larger size.

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