Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Wire Primer

In the current issue of The Wire there is a primer article on the projects of James Stinson and Gerald Donald. I know this because I wrote it after they very kindly asked me to. It took two weeks and about three drafts to arrive at something we were all happy with but get there we did. Thanks to Derek Walmsley, Rob Young and Chris Bohn for their help and input. I hope it gives a worthy overview of their history to date with enough detail and speculation to satisfy both fans and otherwise and should help keep all of their projects on the radar. More on this subject below next paragraph.

As this is my 150th post (pure coincidence) and I expect some new readers will be landing here for the next while I thought I’d explain the impetuous for setting up DRL in 2005. It was to simply compile and archive all of the James Stinson interviews in one place as they were quickly disappearing online. I would also check out this link for a post I did awhile back which details many of my posts here and where to find them. Once I had compiled all of those interviews (9 to date) I decided to set myself the task of reviewing all of the Drexciya projects in chronological order and then moved onto Gerald Donald’s work. This took over three years and was an intriguing and revealing process. Just to state the obvious but the speculations are my own and never the final word. I also began archiving anything related to them I could find, including any Gerald Donald interviews. As this process continues, it also became the only place on the web to centralise all information on the musical activities of Gerald Donald and his many projects. Since 2008 I also began generating new information with my own interviews, having so far spoken with Kombination Research label head Cisco Ferreira and Drexciya cover artist Abdul Haqq. I did a website version at some point to try and make it easier to locate all the articles, which I must admit I have not updated in a long time. This version does have the all important stuff from the first three years and the all important interviews though. There is a DRL MySpace too which is what it is.

My piece in The Wire follows the usual Primer format of telling their story through chronological releases and I thought the most obvious tie in to the article I could do here was helping people locate them. Sometime ago I made one of those Listmania things at Amazon of all of their work to date on CD and this is a good place to start, check it here. By the way I must sincerely thank those of you who investigated my wishlist from that page and actually bought me things, I am really touched by that. You can tell from the prices there which are still in press or remain in reasonably substantial numbers. If I was starting out again a part of me would love the challenge of tracking it all down online and in second hand shops etc and lucky you if you are in that position. So hopefully this list will help you. Failing that, Bleep or Discogs are good places to start but sometimes nothing beats trusting your subconscious and allowing real world serendipities to occur in second hand sections as, like life, discovering this music can be as multi layered a journey as you want it to be.

The area where you will struggle with Drexciya are the UR 12”’s compiled as The Quest. This compilation is as out of press as the original 12” releases it comes from. I’m not aware of any legal or otherwise site to download these tracks at either, a repress is long overdue.

Drexciya’s Grava 4, Lab Rat XL, Dopplereffekt Gesamtkunswerk, Der Zyklus Biometry, Der Zyklus s/t 12”, Glass Domain, and L.A.M. all look to be out of press right now but you can download them all from Clone. One of the points I made on this subject which didn’t make it from my first draft of the primer I believe is worth stating here. I know with downloads we might well be entering an age when repressing the original format is no longer desired but in artists like Stinson and Donald’s case, due to the importance of the artwork and those little but important details in the packaging, if we lose the context of how it was originally presented we sacrifice an important part of its artistic depth. There is an argument then to be made for the conservation of these artifacts in my opinion.

International DJ Gigolos
Again it looks like all of their Der Zyklus and Dopplereffekt releases are not available but Linear Accelerator can be downloaded from their site.

Not sure from their site if they have anything but downloads there anymore but Bleep still list Dopplereffekt Calabi Yau Space and Arpanet Quantum Transposition as in stock.

Tresor, Warp & Record Makers
These are the current stars at keeping their records out there. Neptune’s Lair, Transllusion’s Opening of the Cerebral Gate and Shifted Phases can all be bought direct from Tresor while The Other People Place and Elecktroids albums can be sourced from Warp via Bleep. Downloads available there too. Record Makers list the two Arpanet albums as available.
Wow, that was fast, Juno is listing Harnesssed the Storm as just reissued on CD and double LP.

There are also loads of 12” releases and odds and sods to collect as well, an up to date discography I did sometime ago can be viewed here. Good hunting.


Anonymous karl said...

congrats stephen and a huge thanks for this website!

4:26 PM  
Blogger Milorad said...

wow! congradulations! you must be very proud :)

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope you realise that your article can only inspire people to find out more about drexciya, and help destroy the feeling of smug superiority - that their secret is safe with me - i have cherished for so long. the reference to their sense of humour (re; "i am count dracula...") made me laugh in itself, because i have always felt that there is a joyous playfulness in some of their work. the imagery and mood that tracks like "beta particles" (and others whose titles escape me for now) conjur up definitely posses traces of humour.

p.s. do you know a track called "dungeon ship", by prince far-i ? if not, do check it.

p.p.s. there are very few artists whose works mark them out as original visionaries with something to add, drexciya's does (ditto coil, but i'd have to write an article like yours to properly elucidate).


10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good work stephen

1:54 PM  
Anonymous E said...

Thanx man, I just discovered Drexciya because of your Wire Primer! Great job!

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With ref. to the Tresor re-issue of Harnessed the Storm. They are also re-issuing this with a Mueller remix (dig and vinyl)

11:38 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

nice article - well done

and it's the first Wire Primer in which I've actually got all the records :)

(well, apart from the Clarence G anyway)

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great stuff mate!

10:29 PM  

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