Sunday, September 18, 2022

UR/Tresor Drexciya faxes archived

In July and August this year Tresor staged an exhibition in Berlin to mark 31 years of the legendary and ground breaking label and club. The exhibits featured two historic faxes sent by UR to Tresor regarding Drexciya. I was kindly sent the images by a fan and am not sure if they have already been shared by others online but now that the exhibition is over I thought it would be okay to archive them here.

 As you can see Mike Banks was writing to let Carola Stoiber at Tresor know that Drexciya were reunited after their hiatus/break in late '95 (this break was only made known with the release of The Quest in '97). It's interesting to note the date of the first fax was 12th January 1999 as Neptune's Lair was released by Tresor in November '99. It's also interesting that even at this stage they were offering a multi-album deal. The 'Storm Series' is not mentioned but it might already have been in James' mind. We don't know if Tresor signed just NL first or went ahead and did the multi deal. Regardless, Tresor would release multiple albums in the coming years, including Drexciya's Harnessed The Storm, the first Transllusion album and the Shifted Phases album along with 12" EPs from all of these albums. I love the excitement evident in Mike's message and even in the writing and exclamation points of Carola's response.

The second fax is more detailed and obviously in response to the first (or Tresor's follow-up with details of the deal) and again Mike is writing and even appears to be seated with James Stinson at the time. Again the language Mike uses is infectiously enthusiastic. It's interesting to note that even at this early stage they had the artist in mind for the artwork (Abdul Haqq). The British based labels Mike mentions could be Rephlex and Warp but whatever issues James had with them must have been resolved as both he and Gerald Donald would go on to work with both again (Transllusion, The Other People Place, Dopplereffekt, Arpanet etc). Unless he is referring to UK labels that licenced a track for a compilation or something?

When Carola Stoiber was interviewed by Red Bull Music Academy in 2018 she spoke about travelling to Detroit and meeting James at Belle Isle Park. If this was still concerning Neptune's Lair the visit must have happened later on in 1999 or if it concerned the multi-album deal it could have been the following year or later. 

It's great to see these faxes and to get a sense of the times and how they returned as Drexciya.