Kraftwork @ Nu Skool Elektro 2

It's been a while since I did a solid electro post, so here's a compilation of robo breaks and nervous basslines with acid tweeks from all over Europe.

Contributions include a few tracks already posted before (by Scan X and A1 People), others by established artists like Scanner (*), Luke Slater, Carl Finlow (*), Stanny Franssen, Zzino, etc.; and a host of less known names of whom Ultradyne and Prozack are the only ones I knew and most of whom have disappeared ages ago.

Bad artwork and ridiculous titles are long-standing traditions for generic compilations like this one, solid soundwise but full of less known names - and we shouldn't like it otherwise. Awful covers scare away the hasty customers that don't reach the tracklist at all, leaving the CDs stored in dusty shelves, waiting for us to pick them up.

There was a Vol.1 (obviously...) that sounds promising, which I never managed to track down anyway.

VA - 1998 Kraftwork @ Nu Skool Elektro 2
CD1 - CD2

Info here.

Future Funk + Voltage Control

Some more web finds concerning Russ Gabriel (*). From General Production Recordings' sublabel Input Neuron Musique, these are the two LPs he released there in 1995; sadly in low bit format (160 and 192kbps respectively).

'Future Funk' is more tool-like and dancefloor oriented; the real treat here though is 'Voltage Control', a sublime mix of all progressive tendencies of the time: Detroit elements, IDM and electrofunk forge the style soon to be named techfunk and to become UK's primary underground techno export. A hidden classic.

This was a request - and at the same time a wonderful opportunity to revisit Russ Gabriel' masterpiece. Once again, credits to the Unknown Original Uploaders.

Russ Gabriel - 1995 Future Funk Vol.1
Info here.

Russ Gabriel - 1995 Voltage Control
Info here.

Adventures In Techno Soul

From Russ Gabriel's label, here are the two compilations that along with the '[313] Soundtrack' should be enough to establish Ferox in our minds as a forward thinking label to respect and cherish. With tracks and remixes by the likes of Carl Craig, Derrick Carter, Bjørn Torske, Aubrey, Mark Broom, etc., etc., these are a must for all lovers of the '90s sound, be it techno, house or whatever.

The first one is in 192kbps, found around the net; the 2nd one is a typical 320kbps CD rip.

VA - 1996 Adventures In Techno Soul
Info here.

VA - 1998 Further Adventures In Techno Soul
Info here.

P.S. New 'Further' link added. I think it's OK this time; although I noticed that ripping took some extra time, so it's probably a typical damaged CD case. First posted 2010-10-24.

The Beat Diaries

This is Luke Solomon & Justin Harris' debut album as the Freaks, through their own label named, eh, Music For Freaks.

Groovy house with electronic funk elements and attitude, raw and minimal technoid tools, occasionally aided by the quirky vocals of Stella Attar, it still sounds as if it was released yesterday - it's really weird that they don't even sell it through their shop. Anyway, it was a great start and a clear sign of the greatness to come.

Freaks - 2000 The Beat Diaries
Info here.


Seminal nu-dub vs. clicks 'n' cuts compilation by Stefan Betke aka Pole's ~scape label (see *,*). Everyone here is a star (just check the tracklist) and all tracks are more than just good backdrop for smoking. For those who don't have it already, just don't miss it.

VA - 2000 Staedtizism
Info here.

Unfiltered Sky

Here's the CD by David Alvarado & Kenneth Graham's project Sunkiss, appropriately released through Plastic City.

No time to write much. Check earlier post here for descriptions, though this one sounds more like typical Plastic City late '90s techhouse.

Lovely artwork, by the way.

Sunkiss - 1998 Unfiltered Sky

Info here.

Airbag Craftworks compilation

From the same guys that were mentioned here and later built the Workshop label, here's an early compilation of mostly unreleased tracks I managed to track down only a few years ago.

Airbag Craftworks is a fashion design company producing tasty and rather expensive bags, t-shirts, etc. - and putting out music apparently. Unsurprisingly, I first spotted Out To Lunch in one of those tasty and rather expensive shops Berlin has by the dozens, where my wife was window-shopping overpriced bags, coats or whatever. I found inside a bunch of CDs and two packs of 12"s, respectively parts 1 & 2 of Airbag Craftworks Compilation Vol.2, which I unthinkingly grabbed for less than a fiver each, if I remember correctly. I'd very much like to post them as well, yet I haven't found them around the web (and vinyl ripping is still not an option). Anyway, this one came later and sealed the deal; now I watch Workshop growing and I feel that there is some justice in this world after all.

Besides artists mentioned before, there are also contributions by Isolée, Soylent Green and Freestyle Man vs. Corrado Izzo (*). It could have been a Source record, don't pass it by.

VA - 1999 The Airbag Craftworks Compilation
Info here.

Raw Elements Vol.1

A Superstition compilation of funky techno and house tracks with acid flavor, compiled by Steve Bug, showcasing early material, his and his friends - most notably Hans-Georg Schmidt of label mates Humate and old rave dog Fred Giannelli.

VA - 1995 Raw Elements Vol.1
Info here.

Utopia. The Big Chill

This is a mixed compilation by Miss Elke K. and Henny V., an obscure DJ duo also going by the name of Dutch Ambient Federation; out through Guardian Angel, a trancey sub of Basic Beat.
With a cover pointing to just another mediocre compilation of easy listening 'balearic' music and an equally unexplainable title, the CD contains two mixes, one from each of the DJs.

The first mix by Elke K. partly borrows from the british tradition of chill-out DJing, yet without resorting to sloppy fem-vox stuff or anything like that, keeping the tones down and (like most successful female DJs) aiming for the heart with sentimental tunes and rich melodies. With tracks from the likes of Dr.Atmo & P. Namlock, Dub Tractor (*), Neotropic and A Reminiscent Drive, it's great for coming down, which probably was the purpose after all.
The second part on the other hand is a rather darkish, more abstract and experimental excursion, including some obscure tracks and highlights from Chain Reaction's one-off Ridis, Experimental Audio Research vs. Thomas Köner, Wolfram Spyra, etc. I could have actually named this post "What were they thinking?" judging from that 2nd part; if this is Utopia, what would Dystopia sound like I wouldn't know. Besides the more unconventional tracklist, this one doesn't flow that well as a mix but most of you will probably like it anyway.

VA - 1997 Utopia. The Big Chill
mixed by Elke K. & Henny V.

Info here.

Digital Disco

This is ForceTracks' (*) disco vision; german techno and minihouse icons combine the original dance archetype with their repetitive rhythms, trying to build what they obviously hoped to be the new hyped resurrection. History proved that their bet was misplaced, still some efforts were genuine and still sound interesting. Others did worse; also, some tracks in here have little to do with disco (like that Swayzak exclusive). Interestingly, many of the relatively unknown artists contributing in Vol.2 later became really well known in the electro house circles. Anyway, I think that as compilations go they're good; and also tacky, cheesy, or kitsch - call them what you want.

There was also a later 3rd part, mixed by Unai, but I never did persuade myself to buy it.

VA - Digital Disco (2002)
Info here.

VA - Digital Disco 2 (2003)
Info here.


Estelle Montenegro is Kenneth Graham's alias for Electrolux, this one being his debut there.

I only have a couple of his 12" and the Sunkiss album; besides that I know very little about him; some info on HisSpace. The keyword here is techhouse; repetitive arrangements of traditional house sounds and themes, deep dubby treatments and (as far as I can understand) mostly hardware made. Closer to the mid/late '80s sound than to the over-produced '90s typical house stuff. Also some chilled electronic stuff in here, being an Electrolux record; but over all it's an uptempo album.

Estelle Montenegro - 2000 Lakeside
Info here.