Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Dopplereffekt's Calabi Yau Space reissue, Arpanet's Hydrostatic Equilibrium EP and more

WeMe Records are reissuing Dopplereffekt's Calabi Yau Space album on vinyl. There is a special limited edition silver double vinyl from this link only. Black vinyl edition is also now available to pre-order from most online shops including Clone. It will be available to ship about 11th Feb 2022. This has not been available since 2007 and was originally released on Rephlex Records. In 2020 WeMe reissued Dopplereffekt's Linear Accelerator in a similar way. Great to see this album available again for new and old fans.

Arpanet will play a live show on Fri 8th April 2022 at Liverpool's very cool IWF Substation venue (Invisible Wind Factory). 

If you prefer getting your music from Bandcamp, the new Arpanet 12" from 30D Records is now available there on vinyl and digital. Available from most online shops too, press info below...

'Arpanet needs no introduction for those who know. Hydrostatic Equilibrium EP is a reissue of the 2 tracks released by 30D Records from the Detroit artist back in 2018 (cat# 30D-006), now presented together in a special limited edition single sided 12" vinyl. The EP includes the original tracks Supernova Remnant and Main Sequence Star, being the only two tracks produced by Arpanet since 2006.

Presented with a new artwork, designed by Arpanet himself, and this time on 30D Records sub label ExoPlanets, Hydrostatic Equilibrium EP becomes an instant collectors must have, especially after the quick sell out that followed the 2018 release and the numerous reissue requests received since then.'

One of my readers tipped me off about this excellent interview with Helena Hauff for OpenLab (Escape Pods hosted by Ralph Lawson & Ben Randm). She selects some incredible tracks for her journey through space including Transllusion's 'Bump It', which sparked an hilarious conversation about high pitched alien voices. This section starts about 49min but you will definitely want to listen to the whole thing, recommended.

DJ Bone tells some Drexciya stories on this radio show he made: Mutated Machines - A Journey Through Detroit Techno. Starts at 9 min, but the whole show is worth a listen.

If Drexciya were fans of Star Trek it's quite likely they enjoyed  Seaquest DSV (Deep-submergence vehicle), an underwater sci-fi show from the US which ran from 1993-'96 (the period of The Quest compilation). This video compiles the intro to all three seasons and some of the lines are very Drexciyan indeed. 

'The series follows the adventures of the high-tech submarine seaQuest DSV 4600, a deep submergence vehicle operated by the United Earth Oceans Organization (UEO), a global coalition of up-world countries and undersea confederations, similar to the United Nations.'

"I never thought for one minute that Drexciya would inspire Afrofuturism. Me and James thought this one thing up about the slaves getting tossed overboard and having a baby underwater and never thought it would be the catalyst. So I learned to just keep my mouth shut and never tell people what the record really is about because sometimes our view is too dark. Other people took it and saw it another way. That was cool, we needed that, we needed them to do that because our shit was fucked up."

Mike Banks speaks a little about Drexciya (51 mins) in this panel interview from 2021 and sheds a bit more light on the collective nature of what has become their most well known and loved mythology. The whole interview is of course worth your time.

If you are interested in tracing and understanding the development of what has become the most well known and dominant mythology associated with Drexciya you will enjoy this link to a PDF of Kodwo Eshun's More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (1998). 

As many of you know, originally the 'pregnant African slaves thrown overboard' mythology was written only as a possible origin story by UR's The Unknown Writer (with input from Mike Banks and James Stinson) in the CD sleeve notes of The Quest in 1997. Mike Banks refers to it above and how its been embraced by so many others since then and become more of a collective mythology.  

On page 102 of the PDF (pg. 83 if you have a physical copy) you will find 'Liquid Dystopia'. For years this text was also one of the very few available about Drexciya online at Phinnweb and Global Darkness. 

With so little information about Drexciya and so few interviews, right up until the Storm Series really, these pieces in physical and online form of what Eshun called his sonic fiction would have been a major influence on other journalists and fans at the time. 

In 2017, Mike Rubin in Infinite Journey to Inner Space: The Legacy of Drexciya, talked to Eshun specifically about this subject and he explained his sonic fiction process in relation to Drexciya. This is something that fans have been doing ever since (including The Unknown Writer and of course myself). His full answers are worth reading (article linked in comments) but I thought this section gets to the core of it. 

“It was a world that was only being filled in partially, track by track, and you were doing a lot of that navigating, with the help of the music and the track titles. In a sense, to be a Drexciya fan was to build the mythos by yourself.”- Kodwo Eshun

This powerful and poetic mythology has given a key to so many people to understand (or misunderstand) Drexciya but most importantly to discover their music and then decide for themselves what it might be all about. 

Drexciya themselves did appear to settle their origin once and for all in the Grava 4 (2002) sleeve notes. 'Earth has finally discovered Utopia (Drexciya Home Universe).' I like to think this more deep space rather than deep sea origin still leaves space for interactions with African slaves thrown overboard from their underwater base on Earth but like Eshun, it's up to all of us to figure out how the narrative/sonic fiction fits, everyone will find their own meanings and do it differently.