My favorite housey album along with 'Pansoul'.

Simply one of my classics.

Ian Pooley - 1998, Meridian
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.


Sean Deason presents here his first album as Freq.
His productions are a bit rough and not so high-quality as those of others from Detroit, still he's one of the more multi-faceted artistic personalities, while keeping a relatively low profile. Musically this shows a lot as he easily flows from funky techno and Chicago loops to ambient and deep electronica, with also a real taste for drum'n'bass (I even remember somewhere a 12'' collaboration with CiM). One reason more to go for the albums as they're not just track compilations like the average tech LP. Unsurprisingly !K7 released him very early, while one year later this one came out in compilation-based Substance (of Distance). Soon I'll post some more Detroit stuff from there.
Since the early '90s Sean Deason owns Matrix Records , a label who has been recently rejuvenated by crucial Convextion and Arne Weinberg releases.

Freq - 1997 Heaven
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

Links In The Chain

Random Noise Generation are the Burden brothers aka Octave One. They came with the second wave of Detroit artists, they own 430 West Records label, they play groovy techno, freaky electro and soulful house with synths and drum machines. They talk funny and they look weird and possibly they're the best guys around. And is there someone who really doesn't know them? If yes, this is your chance, don't miss it.

RNG is the hardest one of their projects, focusing on energetic funkiness UR style, with all of the above influences of course. This is a CD compilation of early tracks (1991-2000) previously available only in 12'' releases.

Random Noise Generation - 2000 Links In The Chain
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

Moments of Joy

It's been some time since I REALLY wanted to go to a gig.
In a few days Dopplereffekt and Stingray are playing in my town.
I can't really believe it. I can't wait.

It's the simple things in life that make you the most happy.


Mikael Stravoestrand presents himself here as Vita, a name I learned from this Force Inc. release.
Though later he became famous by his own name for his ultra-thin and clicky experiments and lately for good but typical minimal techno, here his influences are obviously Germany's minimal classics of the '90s (BC, Studio 1, Mille Plateaux, etc.). Expressed through a rather clinical perspective, digitally distorted loops and scarce crispy drums combine to present an accurate glimpse of the future to come for electronic dance music. Even though to my ears it sounds a bit sterile, it has its moments. Mostly I upped it here as a postcard of the tendencies of the time (which have now become reality).
Currently, the Vita project is revived with female vox by Erika Alexandersson, who actually adds a lot to his music with her tender voice (check here), taking a deep house/ jazzy turn while retaining his minimalistic touch. They already did a release in Kindisch.

Vita - 2001 Ena
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

Liquid California

Summer is coming and the sun shines bright. Let's move on for warmer climates.

'Liquid California' is a Subversive Records compilation of tracks initially released on Rampant, a trancey Los Angeles label representing the (largely ignored) rave scene of California. As I gather, San Francisco developed a strong network supporting this sound and many artists come from there, as Scott and Gavin of Hardkiss, Tony Hewitt and Simon Pearson do. Similar or related artists are Paul Grogan, Uberzone, Bassbin Twins, Benny Blanco (downloads here), Eric Davenport, Deepsky, Doc Martin, etc. Labels are City Of Angels, Bassex, Sunburn, Mephisto, Slinkey and of course Moonshine. Also Instinct Records supported these guys.

Though house music is the basis of the scene's sound, equal proportions of acid, electro, breakbeats, techno and dub create a blend with character and its own dynamics, that played with commercial standards as easy as it went underground and banged. It's in the middle between the interesting side of US trance sound and an intelligent yet freakin' branch of non-Chicago house, yet because of its deviation from the 4/4 norm, it was promoted and characterized as a 'breakbeat' album.
This compilation impressed me for its many different styles represented, its mood changes, its open air psychedelic sound (that strangely also fitted in a club environment), mostly though cause it was daylight dance music, a concept uncommon in Europe back then. Jacking acid tracks into wonderful sloppy techno elegies, breakbeat electro to dubby house, it's a bumpy trip but you won't want it to end.

Most of the above artists turned to deep and progressive house or trance forms. I haven't followed this scene in the least, I hardly have other stuff from them (except the first Hawke and some Rampant vinyls, I think) - Rampant proved to be too trancey for me. The only current dance stuff I know from California are from the Dirtybird/ Mothership and Sentrall guys, just because of Claude VonStroke and Broker/Dealer. But this old one is a winner and I still listen to it from time to time. Let the sun shine...

VA - 1996, Liquid California
The Sound Of The West Coast

Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

For Soledad Miranda

This one's for Soledad Miranda , a modern demi-Goddess.
There are no words. Watch her and weep.

And this is a tribute album.

VA - 1997, The Spirit Of Vampyros Lesbos
(13 drops between good and evil)
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

More info and photos here, here and here.
Some funny songs here.

Blaou, thegreatesthits

Blaou was a weirdo label, a kind of Berlin-based small clubby Ladomat. This CD is of the label showcase type mixed by Mitja Prinz, famous long-time resident of Globus Club (the house side of Tresor) and Dixon, best known for his connections with Sonar Kollektiv and his Innervisions label.
Including many big (or gonna be big) names in their roster (Schaffhaeuser before Ware, Erobique, Arc-En-Ciel, Pierre Deutschmann, Kissogram, Larsson, Kid Q & more) and with the support of a lot of Berlin's underground, they released mostly house music with indie mentality, paving their way since the mid '90s and managing to score a few hits and release some wonderful 12''s in the meantime. They stopped releasing at 2005 in the middle of a rather ambitious project, the release of ten 12''s of KLF covers/remixes by 'contemporary' artists (Villalobos, Deichkind, etc) of which only the first three circulated. Actually, they were rather disappointing.
Which had nothing to do with the other Blaou releases, half of them showcased here. From the hypnotic '6 Uhr Morgens' to the manic 'Jus', from deep and minimal house to distorted guitar electro, from Woody's remix on Kissogram's debut to Erobique's vandalism on I-F's 'Space Invaders', it's a sound still fresh and relevant even today. A decade later, many of those artists (then mostly newcomers) are considered artistically successful, they make a living of their music and hopefully they'll continue to do so.

By the way, the success of key Berlin free-of-style house labels (like !K7, SK, etc) also proves that the Berlin attitude on purism I've mentioned before is not adopted by everyone there. Probably it's a result of the last 5-6 years' wave of 'cultural immigration' on the techno/club scene, or something. Purism in art is the equivalent of death and stagnation, cross-breeding implies growth and evolution. And not just in art, actually.

VA - 2001, Blaou - thegreatesthits
Mixed by Dixon & Mitja Prinz
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

Ignition Key

Epic/introvert, fierce/soulful, cold/tender, surprising/soothing, a masterpiece by Adam Beyer, the first release on his own Truesoul label. For me it may be the best european techno album of its time, Beyer took a turn here from the Drumcode blueprint, daring and establishing a distinctly new sound beyond clubland's needs. Comparable only to very strong releases coming from Detroit.

Also, Beyer is one of the best techno DJs I've ever heard.

Adam Beyer - 2002, Ignition Key
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.