Buckingham Palace

The other day I found this one in a stock-shop for less than a euro. I knew LA Synthesis (*) and Clatterbox (*), so I gave it a try.

I knew nothing of District Six. From what I gather, they were a London-based label with loose connections to the underground electronics network of the time. Its artists also had releases in Clear, Evolution and legendary Irdial (see Anthony Manning) - later on in Ai, Touching Bass, Hydrogen Dukebox and Delsin. Another famous artist here is Metamatics, there is a very early appearance by Deepart, while another key figure seems to be Andy Jaggers (this bio explains things a bit). Still, even though many of its artists did more or less well, the label itself mustn't have spread its fame much outside UK - it's apparent from the inside notes that they had other plans, yet this is their only compilation (a rather common case at the time).

The inlet also informs us that 'District Six was a notorious slum area at the foot of Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town' (in South Africa, more crucial info here) - and that 'Buckingham Palace was a row of five cottages in the heart of District Six', where lived a 'community of bizarre, close friends. it was an island in a sea of apartheid and was their own to live life as they pleased'. Since I sense no direct connection to the area, I can only guess that the label's name was inspired by the book of Richard Rive with the same title. Anyway.

The reason I post this one is... that it's weird. It's late '90s british electronics, ambient techno with an acid touch. It sounds mostly analog-based and rather minimal, simple yet serious music for listening. And there are no 4/4 tracks, all beats are electro- and breaks- infected, even the more energetic ones. The results are like a cross between Irdial's experimentalism, the accessible melodies of early Black Dog and techno funk dipped in Detroit juice. Interestingly, a similar blueprint was drawn by the dutch (see Delsin, etc.) in their version of post-Detroit or neo-Detroit or call it what you want - yet the deephouse/ dubtechno influences where stronger there than the british IDM and techfunk background of this one.

So, this one's (not only) for the '90s electronics and UK tech fans. If someone has more info on this scene or similar stuff (say the early Deepart 10"s), please drop a hint.

VA - 1998 Buckingham Palace
A District Six compilation

Info here.


King Pigeon said...

I picked this CD up "back in the day" (and for much more than a euro) ;-) largely because the cover looked cool and intrigued me, and I figured that it being a compilation of artists unknown to me, I might find a new fave artist to follow. Most of the tracks didn't really blow me away, but the one that did, LA Synthesis's "Cinematic," still haunts me. It's a spectacular, chatty piece of electronica, very engaging and personable. Year after year, as music trends come and go, I keep reaching out to this odd bird of a tune, and sometimes I have done Google searches for more info on the comp, bringing me to pages like yours! :-D Anyway, "Cinematic" certainly made the CD a worthwhile purchase.

Paxjorge said...

I've got Clatterbox's "Eazy Does It" somewhere if you like.