The Fantastix

1st Bass – Slam Me Down

I remember when this one dropped back in 2001, in my recollection suddenly every techno dj was playing it.

From the release statement on the old Novamute site:

‘Slam Me Down’ / ‘Trails Of The Unexpected’ is the first single for novamute from 1st Bass aka Jan Van Janssen a young Dutch producer from Utrecht.

Discovered amongst a batch of demos in the novamute office, the record is a stunning mix of Techno and Moroder-esque grooves and follows similar one-off releases on the label from the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Hans Weekout and Tim Wright.

Reading the label I noticed that it’s supposedly produced by “Jan van Janssen”, which sounds odd to me, “Jansen” is a common name in The Netherlands, “Van Janssen” is not. A quick Discogs check shows that it’s the only release by 1st Bass, and it’s producer “Jan van Janssen”.

So it’s safe to say the story is fake and someone else is behind it.

If I were a betting man, my money was on Luke Slater. Both the tracks have his fingerprints on them and sound like a continuation of Planetary Assault System’s Coad Warrior series that were release just before and around the time of this one. Off course this is pure guesswork and I have no proof to base my claim on.

Anyway, totally in love with the title track “Slam Me Down” and glad to have it back in to my box.

Resident Advisor visits Roland in Japan

Resident Advisor visits Roland in Japan. I Love the story from Atsushi Hoshiai, who has been working for Roland for 33 years and was involved with developing the 909. After trying and trying to synthesize a sound similar to a real cymbal they couldn’t get it right. So Atsushi brought a cymbal from home and they just sampled it.

Hoshiai still hasn’t wrapped his head around the impact Roland’s machines have had, though he’s philosophical about and flattered by their immense popularity. “The fact that people are using the sample of the sound of me drumming a long time ago—it means that we are playing together. So I feel amazing about being able to play with all sorts of musicians from all around the world. But at the same time, if you ask me if that means I listen to the music using those sounds, well”—he lets out a laugh—”actually, I haven’t really.”

Dave Clarke – Archive One

A while ago I finally found a copy of Dave Clarke’s Archive One on vinyl. This one had been on my wantlist for over a decade.

The first time I heard this album was back in 96 or 97 when I borrowed it from the local library. They had a copy of the cd digipack. I picked it up because I recognized Dave’s name from the remix he had done for the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Chemical Beats’, and the fully red cover triggered to me. I copied it to minidisc and kept it on repeat for days. It has been a standard on every music player I have owned ever since.

Once I found out the album was available on vinyl, I had been searching for it (mind you, this was before the discogs days). I even had my local ‘vinyl dealer’ on the lookout. Unfortunately he could not deliver. Later on I got the CD, but not the digipack, which I would have preferred, but the urge to get the vinyl version came resurfacing every now and then.

I remember the design of the digipack cd, and am pleased to find out that the the vinyl is designed in a similar way. The CD, and in this case the vinyl, is ‘locked’ by a perforated orange tear-away strip giving access to disc(s). You had to break the seal to get to the music. When you open it, it folds out like a ‘folder’, or an ‘archive’ so to say. Typography is in a ‘get your glasses’ size helvetica font listing the usual things like a tracklist and a list of “thank you’s” categorized by country. I used to study this list trying to find clues to what and who’s next in techno for me.

Even though I already have heard the music a million times, and I still listen to it every now and then, it does feel like something special finally having the records in my hands and going over the design.

Silly thing is that a picture of dave and his record boxes is inside the sleeve, you have to peak through the side to get a glimpse of it. Also worth noting that on other pictures from the same session he is wearing his ‘don’t suck corporate cock’ shirt, but on the album artwork the decision was made to remove the text from the shirt. Which sounds to me like something Dave himself would not have decided to, but someone else pulled the trigger on. Also inside is a glimpse of the back of Dave’s head, actually the same photo was used in full on the ‘Southside’ single artwork.

Derrick May live at Chemistry On 3 (Amsterdam 1996)

Live mix by Derrick May on Dutch radio back in 1996, shared by Joris Voorn. I can relate to the words Joris writes about it, I think we all had/have recordings like these that stick with us and define our music taste for years to come.

Joris Voorn:

Since my early dj days, I consider Derrick May as a huge inspiration, and in particular this dj set. Broadcasted live in 1996 from the legendary Chemistry night at Escape, Amsterdam. It was recorded from midnight radio by my partner in crime Edwin Oosterwal who borrowed me the cassette tape which I never gave back to him, which reminds me I should do that sometime soon.

In this mix, Derrick May shows us that in 1996 dance wasn’t pigeonholed to one style or sound. He mixes Moodymann’s groovy deephouse with Jeff Mills and Surgeon’s raw techno. He goes from Donna Summer’s disco to Tyree Cooper’s jacking electronic funk, from Masters of Work’s new york house to Ian Pooley’s epic chord techno. All of this is mixed in a fast and skillful pace, a style that so clearly carries Derrick’s signature.

There’s some truly magical moments in this mix, how he get’s out of Surgeon’s ‘Syllable’ into Global Communication’s ‘Sensorama’ at 1:09 leaves me speechless..

Even though by now I know most of the record he plays here, there’s still a few I’ve been looking since the very first time I heard this mix. Would be great to get the tracklist completed, any help is greatly appreciated!

Benny Rodrigues on his track Anindica

‘Anindica is a track I made in 2012, a real acid banger. I’m mostly proud of the way this track came to be. When I saw Nina Kraviz and Ben Klock in the boiler room they both played a lot of acid. I got so inspired I immediately jumped in the studio and finished the track within an hour. I sent it right away to Kraviz, Klock and Marcel Dettmann, whom all replied me within two days wanting to release it on their label. Nina sent me another emotional email that it was her favorite record. If you pay attention to the title, Anindica is acidnina backwards. It was a working title, but I kept it. Eventually it was released on Ben Klock’s label Klockworks.

I love stories like this, I wonder when Nina found out about the track name, and what she thought when she did.
The full interview is in Dutch, but here’s a Google translate link.

Technasia’s Future Mix

I still remember the first time I heard a Technasia track, it was “Future Mix” in a mix by DJ Hell  I had recorded from a radio show called “the 12 inch show” on the now defunct Slam FM back in probably 1998.

The minidisc I recorded it on was lost along the way, but I still vividly remember some of the tracks that were in the mix. Among it were Cubango by Jeff Mills, Yo Yo by Basement Jaxx, Moskow Diskow by Telex and Future Mix by Technasia. The titles I off course learned on later hand.

One of the tracks that stood out the most for me was Future Mix, after learning what track it was it must have cost me at least another year before I actually found the vinyl somewhere. I was listening to it the other day and it totally took me back and made me reminisce about the past.

If someone who reads this might have made the same recording of DJ Hell, I doubt it, but please let me know, you would make my day.

Boy oh boy, I tell you, I’ve had just about enough of all this noise.

I’m Tired Of These Punks Coming Through My Neighborhood Blasting Their Late-1990s, Ghettotech, DJ Godfather–Inflected Hip-Hop

This is a residential community, for crying out loud, not an East Side jit party with Starski and Clutch holding court on the turntables. The noise they make is unbelievable! You can hear them coming from a mile away with their up-tempo rhythms that meld sounds as diverse as electro-funk, techno, and house. Do they not realize there are families living here?

‘Eugene Mullins’ vents about ghettotech on the.. onion..

America just isn’t interested in what I’m doing

Audio interview with Jeff Mills in the light of last years Exhibitionist 2 project. It’s gets interesting when the (American) interviewer asks Mills why he doesn’t come to America to perform his new project. He draws an interesting paralel between techno artists from Detroit and jazz artists from America, who often found they were better known and more respected in Europe that they were at home.

Read the Detroit chapter of Laurent Garnier’s book

I found that you can actually read the chapter on Detroit techno from Laurent Garnier’s book on Vice’s Thumb. This was actually one of my favorite chapters, and is partially made up from interviews with Jeff Mills and Mike Banks.

Mills about hist first steps into dj-ing:

‘In 1979 I was 16. My older brother had been a DJ for several years. He let me practice at his place, on his gear. At around the same time we both began sending mix tapes to radio stations in Detroit. It wasn’t really something people did back then. On my brother’s advice I must have sent about 15 tapes in just one year to the station WDRQ, but never got a reply. When my brother decided to stop DJ-ing he gave me all his records and his equipment. I set it all up in my bedroom and started practicing for several hours a day.

And about his first gig:

My brother arranged a meeting at a downtown club called Lady so I could audition. As I wasn’t yet the right age legally (21) to be allowed into the club I had to sneak in through the back door and scramble up into the DJ booth without being seen by security. It wasn’t yet 10pm and the club was already packed. The bosses and the resident DJs came into the DJ booth, “OK, show us what you can do.” I started off my set with a move that they had never seen before. I put the needle on the first record in the middle of the break and then played a second copy of the same record from the beginning. I won my ticket to play the week after.

The chapter also tells the story about how he became ‘The Wizard’ and landed him his radio show.

These stories by Jeff were a joy to read and makes me wish he would take the time to write down his stories and follow in Laurent’s footsteps writing a book.

What Detroit Cabbies Say During Movement Festival

Thumb talks to a number of cab drivers during the Movement Festival. Fun to read opinions and impressions about the Movement Festival and Detroit Techno from ‘regular’ people… some are surprised to hear about the Detroit legacy, some don’t care and others have their own stories…

Nice quote from one of the cabbies, Jess aka Basel:

I wish techno had more of a presence in Detroit—more than just Movement. That’s not big enough for the size of what techno has done to the world.