This release is the first of a few to come from legendary german label Source (not to be confused with the british or the french one), run by David Moufang and Jonas Grossmann.

One of the Ableton efforts of showcasing its software, it gathers some sacred monsters of the german minimalistic and clicks 'n' cuts scene (Monolake, Brinkmann, Jelinek, Lippok, etc. and the mighty Sun Electric) plus some already established of the new blood from across the sea (Sutekh, Akufen) and of course the label owners in various disguises. Techno, experimentation, ambiances and minimalism in one nice package.

VA - 2002 opensource.code
Info here.

Many, many thoughts

This post is following the thread that started in the last post's comments. My reply got too big, so I'll take it from there.

A lot of good music is indeed published today, as it always was. I don't believe there has ever been a Golden Age of electronic music on global terms. There were creative outbreaks here and there during specific periods, but not for the whole world at the same time and they were always surpassed very soon by the next wave. So I am not gonna go crying about the end of it or something. It's just that I have an idea, a concept, something I'd like to share. I hope that through my DJ sets, my writings and my everyday attitude I have a tiny chance of influencing the world around me, even for a little while, even for a night. On a level, every creative person does that, 'artistic' or not. We all are here shaping the music scene for the next big change and everybody is pushing towards where it feels better for him. (And that's why I don't keep my mouth shut anymore, I've done it for a long time and it now feels stupid.)

It's obvious to me that a great change signifying a new era has happened about five years ago when vinyl distributors started closing down one by one (EFA was the first big one), dragging down great labels with them (Force Inc./ Mille Plateaux, for example). I don't feel it's a coincidence that at the same time specialist e-shops like conquered the European scene, lowering the purchase cost while putting local vinyl shops out of work. People learned to buy vinyl through the net, even though they might live in a big city and had direct access to stores. Since then the constantly growing digital market became stronger and stronger, as it makes better use of (and has more direct influence on) the media. Profits for the e-shops (not the artists or the labels) are bigger than ever, with apparently very small cost (promotion, mainly). Overthrowing the previous distributors' trusts, they've grown to be cartels, whether we like it or not. That's the story, as far as I'm concerned.

Whining about 'Minimal', 'electro house' and related commercial genres has not much to do with the music itself (which I can easily ignore). But it has a lot to do with what it represents, as well as with the people who promote that music. The above mentioned businessmen, who define the future of music as it was only done before the rise of indie labels, usind the same strategies the big corporations used. Or the opportunist producers, who constantly jump on someone else's train as the old guy used to say, while forerunners and pioneers are drowned in this media directed digi-flood of releases and superficial info. They are re-designing modern culture through the distorted prism of commercial success, cashing on the DIY network and the 'underground' credentials they so easily abandoned when they finally had the chance. Good for their pocket, not for our souls, but we are letting them do it.

I'm going to disagree with the view that good stuff floats (mostly shit does). It doesn't, unless it has marketing behind it. For example, watch Get Physical. Good music (not ground-breaking at first) made by professional producers/ sound engineers (Booka Shade), spread by good DJs (M.A.N.D.Y.), backed by the maturity of DJ T, a DJ for 20 years and Groove editor for 15 years. And they have a full company, managers, publishers, accountants and all. They had the media by their side from the beginning. They have the potential to succeed, but they also have the power to do it. They're pros. Same with the BPitch Control posse, same with Cocoon, for me the ultimate example of non-commercial music having success through commercial tactics.

Now imagine a techno freak, some half-crazed trash making music in bedroom with two synths and a drum machine or a humble PC, living on dreams/ drugs/ noodles/ inspiration/ thin air. If s/he happens to write the best techno track ever, will YOU be able to listen to it? It might be out there in a net label, buried under tons of uninteresting stuff. It's the label's A&R man work to find it, but it might be lost in a small label. Big ones sign mostly famous names to keep their sales up, very few dare to try new shit. It's also the media man's job to find the next good one, but he has to listen to this year's 182nd release from the current hip Mini Label and its Beatport exclusive remix. Techno is mainstream in many places, taken over by pros to replace euro-trance and progressive house in the commercial scene.

All we need is a break.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The only way to cancel this mediocracy crap is to stop supporting it. Stop listening to stuff you find average, it's shaping your mindset. Fully support what you really like and spread the word. Most artists give up because they feel that what they do doesn't have any effect on people because some clown sells more than them. Go to gigs, communicate with the artists, buy from the labels directly if you can and say 'thank you'... Show that you care.

We shall overcome.

P.S. I should be a motivational speaker. Do this. Do that...
I am not
now, nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party.

Minus 61 in Detroit

I always hate that in every presentation or review I read lately, I find the same cliche expressions like "sure floorfiller", "a real burner", etc. Mostly they apply for tracks that you couldn't stand to listen unless you've blown a least half a g of ketamine, obsolete by next month. Which mentally brings me to the reason I started avoiding clubbing per se (the empty-eyed, self-entangled 'dancers').
Well, to borrow, this is a real slow burner from 1995. It goes for 9'22'', which used to be an enormous amount of time then but now is rather typical, so don't you dare press the pause button until it's finished.

David Holmes - minus 61 in Detroit

Few days ago I played in a small yet very friendly club, where I've been a customer and guest DJ of old. Due to the imminent rain I thought nobody would show up, yet at about 2-3 am it was packed and we kept it up till morning. Mostly over thirty years old, people were drawn in by and surely danced to the more modern stuff but again went crazy over some older classics with which I sticked to after 5 am. I even dropped 'Acid Trax', some BC, 'Amnesia' and old Cologne stuff and the point is, they had better fun with them than with the adorably perfect productions and almost scientific percussive trickery of the new school of rave music. Instinctively companies started to mingle and people started dancing with other people instead of next to other people. Very few drugs were going around, so I know it was the fun (and not the drug) factor that moved and kept them there.
And I remembered the time when through the unholy combination of many nice people, some open space, unprescribed medication and good music (in whatever amount one would choose to sample them) I sometimes felt that yes, the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

Recently I was informed that in Switzerland good old acid is used again in medical research, concerning its therapeutic uses, trying to decide if a (slightly bigger than) normal dose will effect more profoundly some patients than the 1/10th of it that they now take as a test (it will).
By the way, read this.

I'd finally like to grab the opportunity to strongly recommend to everyone into DJing or clubbing to read Jeff Noon's 'DJNA' story from the infamous 'Disco Biscuits' compilation, both an allegory of the late '90s UK scene as well as a sadly prophetic vision of the future to come (the one we're living in).

Berlin Calling

I'd like to watch that one when it comes out.

Might be cheesy, like a Berlin reply at "It's all gone Pete Tong". Still, Paul dB+ is the man.

More info on

PS. The OST is the new album of Paul Kalkbrenner in BPitch Control.

Parasols 02

Plink Plonk was a label run by Richard West, better known as Mr.C of The Shamen, co-founder since 1995 of The End club (and label) in London.

Not much I know about PP as I wasn't quite following back then when it started (1992-3), still it's rather obvious that it played a pivotal role in the enrichment and development of UK techno. I bet it was due to the combination of Mr.C's love for music and his business skills, as in its roster appear some of Detroit and Chicago's finest while many british acts presented there were or later went really big. Using the club as a base has also been useful, I guess. Anyway, along with Irdial (*), Mark Broom's A13 and Pure Plastic, Ferox and Ifach they defined in a big way the course of England's underground techno scene, totally underrated and almost subdued by the whole mid '90s commercial UK club crap. Just listen to this compilation, or even check the artists' list. To give you a clue, in order of appearance, there they are:

LA Synthesis is Carl Grant and Tony Gallagher. (*)
Kosmic Messenger is Stacey Pullen.
Innersound are The Advent. (*)
Urban Groove (Alliance) is Hope Grant aka Envoy of Soma.
Underground Science is Krypto and Laggy Pantelli of Megalon. Who appear here as a stand-alone act and in their legendary collaboration with Irdial's Lee Purkis aka InSync.
Ansicht is Ian Pooley. (*)
Tone Theory is Derrick Carter.
Kasm are Mark Broom & Dave Hill aka Rue East.
God Of The Machine is Derrick Thompson of Soiree.
Hiroshi Morohashi had some 12"s out in DjaxUpBeats, Shield, Acacia.
Kumo is Jono Podmore, sound engineer and d'n'b-breaks oriented producer.
Interloper is Jon Ryman, and Stranger is Ian Tregoning, unknown yet respected engineers for the post-industrial scene in UK.
Music For Freaks is of course Luke Solomon of the Freaks and Derrick Carter.

People from the Plink Plonk roster not participating here are the famous (of Layo &) Bushwacka!, Pluto, the Somnabulist, Christopher Benjamin, Michel De Hey vs Literon (=Gerd) and many more less known. Many aliases are collaborations or cameos of Mr.C.
Is it a wonder the End went so big?

Lately he's running the Superfreq label, working a lot with Adultnapper as the Sycophant Slugs with an eminent release in Get Physical... Which seems to copy Mr.C's tactics really well, when it comes to inviting big names with good networks behind them for a release.

VA - 1996 Parasols 02
. a Plink Plonk compilation
CD 1 - CD 2
Info here.

I just read that The End is gonna close in a few months.

Branches and Routes

Some more from the FatCat label, .

Following the already posted 'Across Uneven Terrain' were 'No Watches, No Maps', a demos compilation (which regrettably I don't own) and this 2CD showcase out in 2003, And yes, they do have a landscape/mapping fixation concerning titles, but as a metaphor it's on the spot when it comes to describing the compilations' character. The label sound was slowly turning towards more electronic pathways as well as getting more noisy/glitchy, still mood and tendencies are more or less the same: experimentation, acoustic sources through digital proccessing, organic development in songs' structures, the melting of all influences into an undefined amalgam where the unexpected is... well, eminent.

Even though some of the FatCat stuff was too far away from me to get it, there were certain artists and releases that I value among the best of my techno collection (Various Artists, Ultra-Red, Grain) while others have provided me with a lot of listening material. Many people went for the more abstract or the DSP stuff, while others got to know FatCat through Sigur Rós and múm. What I really mean is that this is not your average electronica label. It's something in there for everyone. Respect.

VA - 2003 Branches and Routes
a FatCat records compilation

CD1: Part 1 - Part 2
CD2: Part 1 - Part 2

Info here and here.


From time to time I spend some- no, a lot of time wandering aimlessly around the net, as I'm sure you all do. Occasionally I come upon something really good which I instantly bookmark and then forget for some months, until I finally come back checking what it was that I spotted and liked in the first place and if it's still there.
I spent last month trying to gather a disco and italo set for a special occasion I happened to DJ to and I was approximating at least 12 hours per day going through CDs and hard disks, listening to tracks (some I even didn't knew I had them), organizing everything, etc. It was really fun but I had nowhere to practice, still it went rather well. But I got tired.
The thing is, I'm bored of music now ("HERESY!!! HERESY!!!"). It's only dub and some ambient stuff I can tolerate at low volume. So I'm looking for books as well as films, clips, visual stuff in general. Whenever I find something exciting, instead of dumping it in my bookmarks I'll just drop the link here. I still have some posts half-ready, by the time I finish with them and post them I hope I'll be able to cope with music again.


I'm sure some of the older ones remember Salz, or else Emanuel Geller & Axel Erbstößer, oldschool Cologne duo that through the late '90s and early '00s quietly but distinctly left its mark in the yet still developing local scene. Their sound epitomized what was to become one of the trademark styles of Cologne, a cross between BasicChannel-like dub and Studio1 minimal tech with quirky pop ala Yellow Magic Orchestra, UK synth pop and Thomas Dolby (with whom they later worked together and had a relative hit). Their own releases were not few but almost exclusively published through their own label (Salz, again); they also did remixes for some of the scene's most important labels - while their tracks are seemingly always included in every compilation. Moreover Emanuel Geller is a mastering engineer, responsible for the final sound of many good records out during this decade (check his 'Appears On' list in Discogs), which also explains a lot the respect of less-experienced producers he enjoys. Still, due to the ultra low profile they kept, not a lot of people know them. I had them in the same mental folder with BC artists, anonymous, consistent and legendary, as it was extremely hard to find Salz records here (I only have a couple) and info on them was scarce.

Recently I decided to gather what I can find of them, 2nd hand of course, in Discogs. eBay, etc. And I came upon this one, not by Salz (the duo) but on their label. Turquoise is Gerd Türke, obviously a friend of theirs as he published exclusively there. I know almost nothing about him, except that he seemed to be in the group Les Immer Essen with a certain Joerg Burger (*) during the '80s and '90s, with whom they're still exchanging remixes and obviously share the same sensibilities when it comes to pop vocals or synth techno.

To my ears this is more of a pop record than a techno one, in the sense that it's more influenced by wave pop than by Jeff Mills and has more 'songs' than 'tracks'. Oldschool, you might say, but that also goes for most of the Cologne releases of those years, there's more emphasis on melodies and song structure than in percussion trickery or sparky programming. As you can assume, it fits well besides releases by The Modernist. A similar music-wise release is the earlier posted 'Du Bist Die Stadt' compilation.

Turquoise - 2002 selftitled
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

A Salz track can found here. More here.


Infinite OZ

The Zoom World