Lazyfish & Mewark

Another one from k2O Records (*). A deep record, at times cosmic, glitchy, abstract and/or cosy, balancing through ambient atmos and weird beats. It sounds a bit similar to some Merck stuff.

Alexander Potekhin aka Lazyfish and Alexander Petrunin aka Mewark are Russians; so very few things I could tell about them I won't even try. I just knew Lazyfish from the early Trapez and Salo days. Nowdays they seem connected with the Lagunamuch Community, where Selffish and Alexandroid also release.

About 8 years ago I also knew SCSI-9 and Nooncat. And Nikakoi. And I can remember no other artists from the ex-USSR, in any kind of music outside psy-trance. I can't figure out the exact conditions that held them back that much. I blame the long distance from the rest of Europe and the difficulties of the post-communism era most; possibly some russian friends might enlighten us more on that. Yet apparently at that time some few managed to break out of their (vast) borders and the first target was Germany. The music I got to know, through a series of moody deep and trancey techno 12"s, was mostly directed to the dancefloor (call it tech-house, if you like).
Later, with the boom of the net-based labels and free downloads (and the share-net and piracy) millions of bedroom musicians flooded the world with their fresh stuff, listening electronics, hard techno, 8-bit electro, post-rock amalgams, modern classic stuff, neo-goth and electro-house. Everything, actually. Still, I believe their strong spot is their idiomatic electronica, abstract enough to be cerebral but also dipped in melancholy and sentiment, something rare in these days of fast produced club hits. It's no wonder that some of the best artists on the best of the netlabels' circuit (check the end of this post) are from the ex-soviets.
I also think that there should be a medal or something for labels like this one that discovered and promoted certain artists like these here.

Lazyfish & Mewark - 2002 selftitled
Info here.


Alexander Neumann aka Alex Cortex first appeared in the mid '90s. The passage of time showed that his creativity was endless as his releases became a flood (without compromises in the quality or diversification of the material released). I first encountered his name in the first Kanzleramt CD compilation (curiously named 'Five'); through other established labels like Source Records (*), Klang Elektronik and recently Platzhirsch/ Kahlwild, he built a solid underground reputation even though commercial success eluded him (and still does).

I could only define his style as close to Move D or similar crossover artists, a bit more Detroit than deephouse oriented (for a smart dancefloor though). Collaborations with Lopazz in his early crucial 12''s and now as Bad Cop Bad Cop and releases in other labels are scarce compared to his output in his own Pathmusick netlabel, where the main volume of his work is offered free.

In these fifteen unnamed tracks you'll find everything you can expect from a Source record. Sweet ambient, Detroit references (Carl Craig mostly), jazzy electro, minimal deep techno, laidback grooves, acid, it's all there solid and sound for your pleasure. More sweet and smooth than some of his future releases. Grassy like the knoll, I'd say.

Alex Cortex - 2000 Laconic
Info here.

The Quest

I thought I had lost this one.

In this Drexciya Research Lab post you'll find more than I would even dream to write.

Drexciya - 1997 The Quest
CD1 - CD2
Info here.

Sunday Island

I had promised this one. Michael Peter and Martin Retschitzegger aka Hi-Lo aka Rhythmiker vs Ratio aka The Memory Foundation present themselves here as Glory B, releasing this one in Minifunk(*).

Hailing from Vienna, now living in Berlin, they're giving us here some tough and deep dubby ('90s style) minimalism with that extra hallucinatory factor that's always appreciated. Beyond the typical Salz and Berlin influences, Detroit references are more than enough and at times they bring me to mind Bandulu or Bushflange. There are deep moments as well as hard tracks, all with that extra special something; its head-on mentality must have made it a sure hit in the spanish techno dens. Personal favorites are 'Glory Morning' and 'E-Dub', while 'Multiple Suns' can only be compared with Brihka's 'Groove La Chord'. And if you're a fan of the neo-Detroit scene, just don't let it pass.

Uncompromising, cerebral, truly underground techno, an excellent example of a well hidden quality album.

Glory B - 2001 Multiple Suns
Info here.

Active Technologies

System 360 was an alias under which artists from Leipzig published their collaborative efforts in the realm of subtle electronics and minimal techno. Though this album went out in Source Records (*), their main output was a group of labels focused around R.A.N.D. Musik (a record manufacturing company), these being Out To Lunch, United States Of Mars, Science City and 3B.
This bunch seems connected with Vienna's electro scene (see below), the Playhouse posse and C-Rock (see this) and were actively supported by Move D and the Source guys, while Alex Krueger (aka Dub Taylor aka Korsakow and now known as Tigerskin) took some serious first steps here. These labels claim releases by Scape One, MAS 2008 (*,*), Benjamin Brunn and Klystron aka the mighty Salz (*).

Participating in this project are five underground producers, a couple of them still active. Ronald Reuter or Marvin Dash, mostly known from his output in Force Inc.'s 'disco' sublabel Force Inc. US, is exploring his electrofunk roots (a style darker than but similar to Max Brennan or british tech funk, closer to Eskimo's electro releases), though his is also this album's gem ('KB 100'), a deep and psychedelic techno affair. Lowtec, with remixes and releases in Playhouse and Workshop, focuses on minimal electronics and experimental techno, a style he's still exploring successfully. Finally, Marko Fischer aka Krok is responsible for the more robotic Motown electro cuts. Sadly he seems to have disappeared, as the other two (Digable Rhythm, Ty Frazier) also did.
As a result, the outcome varies in mood and style but not in character (a true Source record). If you like it weird and underground but also quirky and sentimental and deep, these are your guys.

Krok also published as Bannlust in Vienna's Sabotage/ Craft Records (I didn't know that, but check here); I also didn't know that Glory B (*,*) published in these labels as The Memory Foundation. I already had their album prepared for the next post. More coincidences...

System 360 - 1998 Active Technologies
Info here and here.

Sounds From The Electronic Lounge

This one was a curiosity for me back then. It still is, in a way. The title is more than disorientating, yet the sumo wrestlers give a hint.

I knew Scanner. Didn't have a clue who Michael Wells was but this (loosely) mixed CD caught my attention at once due to its mentality, constantly shifting through styles yet retaining a definite aesthetic proposal. Starting somewhere between KK Records' dark electronics and early Warp's rave, inserting a dose of experimental techno and some sentimental interludes, Wells makes a bold proposal, not uncharacteristic of the spirit of the times, merging oldschool sounds and forward thinking. Breaks, acid, Irdial-like beats, isolationist ambient, mini techno, take your pick, it's there and it's really interesting. Special guests are none other than To Rococo Rot, Techno Animal, Panasonic & Ø, Riou (*), Abe Duque as Kirlian, Starfish Pool and Roman Fluegel as Eight Miles High. The Vienna scene is represented by G. Potuznik aka G.D.Luxxe and Alois Huber from Craft Records (which I recently discovered and appreciate more and more).

By the way, Michael Wells aka Signs Of Chaos is better known from his other legendary collaborations with deceased Lee Newman in the early '90s as GTO, Tricky Disco (in Warp), Church Of Extacy and Technohead. He doesn't have the infinite number of releases as, say, Baby Ford does, still the early records were incredibly influential (and successful) and the next ones were just too weird to be ignored.

VA - 1998 Sounds From The Electronic Lounge

a Scanner vs. Signs Of Chaos presentation,
mixed by Michael Wells
Info here.

Somewhere I had a album he 'd spread for free on the net, I'll get back on it later on.

Electric Ladyland Clickhop Version 1.0

Mille Plateaux had the advantage of having some legendary names in its roster right from the beginning (Heckmann, Alec Empire, Oval, Khan and co.), not to mention the support from the european and british IDM scene as well as from the Cologne scene later on. Thus, through releasing compilations that included works from all the above and some more usual suspects, it had the greatest impact possible on the scene during the '90s, defining german electronics and effortlessly breeding a few new genres. Most important were the archetypal 'Modulation & Transformation' series (mostly experimental electronics and cutting edge techno), the 'Electric Ladyland' series (post hip-hop ultra twisted breaks) and finally the 'Clicks & Cuts' series (* + *).

Somewhere between the cut-up sensibilities of the Ladyland series and the clicks 'n' cuts craftsmanship stands this one. You 'll hear a lot of weird hip-hop, post-dub illbient and IDMish US breaks, though a lot of the old Mille Plateaux posse stick to the abstract glitch thing they know how to do best, with the addition of a loop or two. Click Hop they called it, trying to define a new hybrid style. Time tells us they were wrong (it didn't exactly make it as a genre), yet the success of artists like Funkstörung, Prefuse 73, the BPitch Control's and Shitkatapult's breaks departments, as well as the evolution of mainstream hip hop techniques (adopting a lot of ideas proposed here) show that they were totally on the right track.

Also included is the first (and best) collaborative track between Vladislav Delay and AGF.

VA - 2001 Electric Ladyland Clickhop Version 1.0
CD1 - CD2
Info here.


It's been some time since I encountered the term 'techfunk'. Though it's out of fashion for a decade or so, it was really big in the UK during the '90s and describes this amalgam of house, techno and electronic funk that originated as an idea in Detroit but was willingly adopted (and quickly transformed) by important names of the UK scene; Aubrey comes to mind, Leftfield with Offshoot, Russ Gabriel and the Ferox 'techno soul' scene (*), the Subtech label and early Circulation stuff. We might say it was the closest the UK got to the Detroit feeling. It mostly stayed underground, yet sometimes it surfaced and gave the occasional hit, like with this album by Dave Angel.
It's rather hard to add more to his bio in Discogs or here. I'll just have to say that his label Rotation was a constant reference for me and I believe it seriously upgraded the quality of continental and UK techno with its level of sophistication, without losing the hard edge or the dance feeling.
I also never did quite grasp why most people defined Dave Angel's music as just 'techno'. I mean, he's definitely influenced more by funk and house, with jazzy elements and even '80s electro and hip-hop references, while the definitely repetitive form of many of his tracks might be traced to the harder side of Chicago or UK acid house, especially in this one (out in '97). Later he got rather harder. This genre thing is crap anyway, just don't think you're about to hear banging stuff, it's much more than that.

Dave Angel - 1997 Globetrotting
Info here.

This was a request, but also a good opportunity to travel back in time a bit. Next stop, Aubrey.