Friday, October 28, 2016

'Fighting Talk' - James Stinson Muzik interview June 1995

I'm very happy to see that the newly unearthed James Stinson quote above, from the first ever issue of Muzik magazine (June 1995), has caused something of a stir online with 70 shares and almost 250 likes after just 24 hours of being on the DRL Facebook page. You can read the whole issue here (quote on page 75). Initially I wasn't sure where the cutting originally came from (I think the scan first began to appear just a few weeks back on social media) but hoped if I posted it on the FB page first, someone might know and they did (thanks for that). It looks like the journalist, Dave Mothersole, was responsible as he edited the Muzik techno singles page that issue and the Drexciya piece ran underneath. A few months previous to this he also had an interview with James Stinson (where very similar sentiments were expressed) in Melody Maker (January 14th 1995), so this must be more from the same interview (read here).

It's 21 years ago now and it's great to hear James's voice and opinions breaking through so clearly to today's world. I have transcribed the quote below for easier cutting and pasting. 

Muzik Magazine Issue 1 June 1995

James from Drexciya hits out at what he views as the current lack of invention in techno

"Techno was supposed to be about the future, but its been going backwards not forwards over the last couple of years. It's too easy now. People read about what equipment to buy and, because it's so advanced, all they have to do is push a few buttons and they've made a record. There's no focus, no direction, no understanding. It's meant to be an intelligent music form, but the only intelligent thing about it now is the equipment. 

I wish more artists would cut out the sampling and the loops, go back to scratch and programme the shit themselves. I've heard some good ideas, but there are just too many samples. We need sounds we haven't heard before, we need different rhythms and patterns. That's what electro is about. I mean, do you want a fine home cooked meal or do you want to go to some fast food joint and eat a bunch of chemicals and shit?

Too many people focus on what label a record comes out on, rather than what the track actually sounds like. To me, that means there's something wrong. I remember the days when nobody cared if you were on Warner Brothers or Booty Up, just so long as what you were doing was good. When you throw a party, what are you spinning? Are you spinning the middle of a record where all the writing is or are you spinning the wax? You know what I'm saying.  When a group comes to perform, who's up on the stage?  Is it the business people punching their little computers or is it the artists themselves? 

Drexciya won't be putting records out for a while now. We'll still be making music, but not records. We won't allow this form of music to just stop where it's at, but we're not even satisfied with the quality that we are producing. And I have to say that I really wish people wouldn't follow us. Be inspired, sure, but please don't follow. The minute we hear footsteps following us, we switch our style. We'll totally abandon what we're doing. We won't release any records or perform anywhere until things change." 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dopplereffekt Live, Underwater Montreal Show, Drexciya on UR's 'Cyberwolf' ? and more

There is a very special and unique Drexciya related event being held in Montreal, Canada on 23rd October as part of the RBMA Montréal festival. It's happening in an Olympic sized swimming pool and Dopplereffekt will be playing live and DJ Stingray will be playing what looks like a Drexciya only set. There are other artists on the bill and they will be using underwater speakers and you can be in the water and everything. It all sounds like something Drexciya would have dreamt up themselves, plus it's free. Click here to book tickets and details. Here is the blurb

'A custom-built Wet Sounds soundsystem will diffuse a specially commissioned work by Lorenzo Senni, a live set by Dopplereffekt and an all-Drexciya DJ Stingray set through a network of speakers located under the water, at the surface of the pool and – for those who don’t want to get their feet wet – a dedicated dancing space. We invite you to step inside the Aqua Worm Hole.'

Just before this there is another unique sounding show with Dopplereffekt playing live inside Bristol's Planetarium on 19th October. More details here.

There are two more upcoming Dopplereffekt live shows, one in Amsterdam 22nd October and London on 5th November.

Lastly for now there is a rare Arpanet show scheduled for Edinburgh, Scotland on 25th November.

One of the great things about Drexciya is that even after 20 years and more there are still things to discover about them. One of my readers just spotted that they are mentioned in the label artwork (see comments) for UR's Acid Rain III Meteor Shower 12" from 1993. While I can't hear any Drexciyan type signatures on the track in question, 'Cyberwolf', they must have been involved to some degree if you go by the text. Listen to track on YouTube here and decide for yourself.

"Cyberwolf" -The hunt continues; after landing on asteroid 909, with its liquid nitrogen based eco-system which have for eons been a stronghold of the Drexciyan forces, due to their being the only lifeforms capable of withstanding 909's violent, harsh weather conditions. The resistance teams, with their old allies Drexciya join forces and launch "The Cyberwolf" against the programmers. This hunter, killer designed by "generator" has had great success for the UR forces in their raids against the programmers in the void. Cyberwolf will aid UR's crossing of the asteroid belt by seeking out and destroying enemy probes launched from Jupiter. Launched 02.22.94

This is a link to a new 3 and a half hour radio show about the music of James Stinson and Drexciya. If you can understand Spanish you are in for a treat; the appeal of Drexciya is larger than ever and truly international.

The first recorded interview with Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller can be found on the 'Fireside Chat' series by Red Bull Music Academy Radio. It's from August 2010 and previously it had a different link but now you can find it in full here.

Sometimes you just have to sit back and listen to a master. DJ Stingray with a brilliant new mix, with lots of Drexciya and Mueller tracks. There is also a short interview with him about the mix here.

If you are a fan of Zerkalo, then Victoria Lukas has a solo project, Inkamera, that you will probably really like as well. Last Known Trajectory are releasing, Time Rewind, a six track 12" EP, soon and you can listen to a preview of all the tracks and order it here.

This super smooth track, 'Drexciya Is Playing at My House', is from Beat Detectives 2013 album, Music 2. Available on cassette and download only. Links to purchase and sample its other tracks on Bleep here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Zwischenwelt vinyl, Dopplereffekt live shows and more

The much delayed first ever vinyl edition of Zwischenwelt's Paranormale Aktivitat album is available now to order through Clone on their Drexciya related sublabel, Clone Aqualung (also available from Juno). Rephlex originally released it on CD only in 2011 and initially did advertise a vinyl edition, which was never released.

Dopplereffekt have two shows coming up in Australia in September. The Sydney show on 10th September had already been announced but now they will be playing the night before in Melbourne. Xosar from Germany play live support at both nights. The shows are sponsored by Red Bull Music Academy.

It looks like another of the Dopplereffekt Entropy shows is now scheduled for The Hague, Netherlands during the TodaysArt festival from 22nd - 25th September. They are listed as Dopplereffekt + Antivj + scientists and artist-coders [INT]. See link for more details.

Dopplereffekt are also live special guests of Dave Clarke at his Whip It club night at the Melkweg, Amsterdam, Holland on 22nd October. I've always felt that Dave Clarke's inclusion of Dopplereffekt and Elecktroids on his now classic compilation, X-Mix: Electro Boogie, in 1996 must have won them a massive new audience at the time. Nice to see them hooking up again, the show has a really great line-up too. Details and tickets at this link.

By the way, this is a useful link to one of Dopplereffekt's live booking agents, LittleBig. They are listing most of their upcoming dates on their page there.

If you are a fan of Zwischenwelt's Beta Evers you may like her vocal contribution to 'Zunächst' by Italian producer Federico Leocata on his latest 12" of the same name on Central Processing Unit. Listen to all tracks from his EP at this link.

A new and very focused Der Zyklus only DJ mix (2004 and onward) with very high quality audio and loads of rarities, from UK producer DKSD50. Recommended.

Check out 'The Stinson Effect' tribute from the new CN 12" EP, Obscure Fragments, on the Sleepers label. 3rd track in player.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heinrich Mueller and Robert Witschakowski on Project STS-31 - Spiralgalaxie

The split album between Heinrich Mueller and Robert Witschakowski aka The Exaltics, Project STS-31 - Spiralgalaxie, that was announced back in April is now available here for pre-order from Solar One Music and you can listen to samples of all the tracks at this link. In the image you can see what a very special and lovingly produced package this is and the various versions it comes in, including a limited Box Set, vinyl and CD. Full details on formats etc and samples of each track are available at this link. While all of the tracks are incredible, from DRL's perspective the Mueller tracks and his aliases are as follows.

Rudolf Klorzeiger - 'Globular Cluster'
Heinrich Mueller - 'Adaptive Optics'
Der Zyklus - 'Ionospheric Delay'
Der Zyklus - 'Ionospheric Delay' (extended) (CD bonus track only)

There is one surprise however as Project STS-31 appears to be a collaboration between Mueller and Witschakowski. The name comes from the Hubble Telescope itself and there are four tracks under this name, 'Density Waves', 'The Super Massive Blackhole', '5000 Light Years Away' and 'Spiralgalaxie'. Full label blurb below, ready to ship about 5th September. If you can't wait that long XLR8R are giving away one of the tracks from it, 'Messier 81' by The Exaltics at this link.

Project STS-31-Spiralgalaxie (Hubble Telescope Series Vol.3) A clash of the Titans! Celebrating Solar One Music's 40th release and 10th anniverary, this split LP sees two stars under various disguises, Heinrich Mueller (aka Der Zyklus and various other projects) and German producer Robert Witschakowski aka The Exaltics, back to back in a no return odyssey through the depths of the Galaxy. Expect nothing but contemplative and cosmic electro beats using original outer-space sounds from the Universe. Closing the Hubble telescope trilogy which brought to you Luxus Varta and more recently E.R.P. (respectively with the "Everything Is Nothing" and "Ancient Light" EP's), trippy "Spiralgalaxie" will mark a new step in SOM's History. As usual, the final chapter of the series dedicated solely to Hubble and all the great scientists and engineers at the NASA and ESA, comes with a beautiful cover print picture taken by the Space Telescope.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Clone Aqualung re-press, Dopplereffekt's Entropy live show and more

In case you missed it there is a new re-press of Drexciya's 'Black Sea'/'Wavejumper' 12" on Clone Aqualung. The record just came out and you can order it now from Juno or the Clone site for instance. I am not getting anything from Juno for this but just to let you know and perhaps save you some money, here is a link to bring you to what they currently have in stock for Drexciya. The retail prices are much lower in some cases than what some of these items can go for currently on Discogs.

This is a blurb about a new live project Dopplereffekt are involved with: 'Entropy is a collaboration between artists and scientists which aims to frame a public lecture by professional astronomers staged as an immersive live audio-visual performance. Original music composed and performed live by mysterious sonic pioneers Dopplereffekt, will be integrated with a unique set of scientific visualisations of real data staged and directed by Antivj artists.' There has already been one show in April 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia which I must admit got past me. The concept reminds me of Dopplereffekt's Neutrino show of 2011, a synthesis of music, visuals and lectures on the subject of Astrophysics. Keep a look out for more upcoming shows. Link for more info on this project here.

Dopplereffekt will be playing live at Visions 2016 Festival in France, 5th-8th August. The event takes place this year on a tidal island near Brest in Brittany. There is another Dopplereffekt live show announced for 10th September in Sydney, Australia as part of a Red Bull Music Academy Weekender. Arpanet will be playing live on 21st July at 25 Years of Tresor in Berlin, Germany as well.

An electronic music festival calling itself Digital Tsunami can't be bad! Fittingly it is to be held at a secret location in Lithuania this coming August and featured in the line-up is DJ and producer Elena Sizova, who collaborated on Der Zyklus's new album, Renormalon, on WeMe.

This DJ mix, from nearly 10 years ago now, features Drexciya, Der Zyklus, Arpanet, Dopplereffekt, Transllusion and various other artists as well. You can also check out the album, Nautilus, by the DJ, Captain Johnson, as well, which has some really good tracks with a Drexciyan influence

This is also a great mix of music by Drexciya, including many classics as well as some of their 'Unknown Journey' tracks. Listen here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

L.A.M. & Glass Domain reissues on Clone Aqualung

Clone via their Drexciya related sub-label, Clone Aqualung, will be reissuing the L.A.M. (Life After Mutation) Balance of Terror 12" (1992) and Glass Domain's s/t 12" (1991) at some point in the near future. Both releases are currently listed as upcoming on their website (L.A.M. and Glass Domain). L.A.M. (new label artwork above) was the first work together of James Stinson and Gerald Donald and originally came out on Robert Hood's Hardwax label. Glass Domain was the first production of Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller, which he released on his own Pornophonic Sound Disc Label. Both of these key early releases have already been reissued once already by Clone in 2003 but since then have become scarce all over again. I have previously written articles detailing both the L.A.M. and Glass Domain releases.

It looks like the long flagged vinyl release of Zwischenwelt's Paranormale Aktivitat on Clone Aqualung is also getting closer with a release date of 18th July, although one online retailer is saying 30th June is when it will be ready to ship.

Arpanent will be playing live at a very special event, 25 years of Tresor at the Tresor club in Berlin on 21st July. Juan Atkins, DJ Stingray and Moritz von Oswald, Vainqueur and more are also included on an outstanding bill and that's just Day 1! More details and the rest of the mouth-watering full weekend line-up at this link.

I came across a kind of home movie made by some Drexciya fans back in 2011 (not sure if I've linked this here before). As you will see they used their titles to plot out a story, their music and some special effects. It looks like it was a lot of fun to make too. Part 1 & Part 2

Friday, June 10, 2016

Drexciya, The Ocean After Nature, YBCA, San Francisco

Drexciya are featured in a very prestigious travelling exhibition, The Ocean After Nature, which opens at the YBCA, San Francisco on 17th June. Alongside an international selection of established and emerging artists they will be represented by a vitrine, with four of their albums and a playlist of songs drawn from their EP releases. The Otolith Group's Hydra Decapita (2010) film, which references the Drexciyan mythos, will also be screened (image above). In the exhibition catalogue there will be an excerpt from Drexciya as Spectre by Kodwo Eshun from Aquatopia: The Imaginary of the Ocean Deep (2013) and a short essay/poem by Virgil Taylor about Hydra Decapita. I was contacted by the curator, Alaina Claire Feldman, and the producers of the show, Independent Curators International, early this year and answered some questions about them and am very pleased to see all of their efforts come to fruition and the direct recognition of Drexciya in this context. Details of other featured artists, full programme etc here.

“Our premise is that the sea remains the crucial space of globalization. Nowhere else is the disorientation, violence, and alienation of contemporary capitalism more manifest, but this truth is not self-evident, and must be approached as a puzzle, or mystery, a problem to be solved.” — Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, 2013

The Ocean After Nature considers the ocean as a site reflecting the ecological, cultural, political, and economic realities of a globalized world through the work of twenty artists and collectives. These internationally established and emerging artists explore new ways of representing the seascape as a means to identify and critique the various interrelated and chaotic systems of power, such as land-sea divides, the circulation of people and goods, and the vulnerabilities of our ecosystems.
-from description of show

In the past fifteen years, technological, scientific, and economic shifts advanced through globalization have prompted new considerations of the ocean. Instead of fetishizing the ocean as separate from humanity, it is now understood that nature and culture are physically and representationally equivalent in power and influence. How we speak about the ocean and what we do about the ocean have become inextricably intertwined.

The international selection of established and emerging artists featured in The Ocean After Nature explore these recent shifts and reflect on the complicated planetary effects that humanity and the oceans have on each other. The exhibition features more than twenty works of art in a wide variety of media—including photography, video, sculpture, music, and design—that propose new representations of seascapes. The works span not only personal themes of identity and migration, but also more universal concerns regarding tourism, trade, climate change, and the exploitation of natural resources.
-from curator's statement