Techno/Electro Report/Chart for June 1998 (compiled May 1, 1998)
by Andrew Duke

Techno and electronic music in general continues to spread and reach far from the Detroit flashpoint. Take Hong Kong, for instance. "Technasia is the first underground electronic music record label from Hong Kong", proudly states Charles Siegling. That Siegling is now heading up Techasian activities in Paris (while they maintain their home base in Mid Levels Hong Kong) is testament to the phenomenal growth of this new imprint. As mentioned a previous Report, Technasia (tnasia@asiaonline.net) is the name of the label and the artist. The "Motion" 3tracker is only their second release. The sound avoids the dreaded derivative; instead, a new hybrid of the best of everything falls easily into place. An enjoyable listen at home and a svelte groover with a difference for the dancefloor, this EP is brick two in what promises to be an historical foundation for new sound. The British Pagoda (Pagoda@Pag-records.com) company seems to have the same thirst for quality. "Liquen Drops" from Alex Martin is the first single taken from the "Eventual Extremes" album. The original version moves from a lush ambient intro to rolling, soothing percussion, while the Green Peace edit retains these elements while adding some business for DJ mixability. The fourth release from Nottingham=s Magic Trax comes from Tim Baker. The "Outpost Beta" EP is 3 trax of Detroit techno for the floors plus an Outline remix.

Before we bring it back to North America, let's zip down to New Zealand and check the goings on there. Wellington City resident Simon Swain has been waving the torch for the country's electronic music scene in his area for over four years. His Thru the Eye of Obscure website (http://www.obscure.co.nz) provides the lowdown on the local scene, plus you can buy electronic material from NZ residents, check out RealAudio snips, and plenty more. On the promotion end, things are pretty busy as well. Swain=s been kind enough to get these up on the web as well. "[In addition to] selling what there is in the way of local electronic music via mailorder...we're broadcasting a few events via the site (around one a month)", Swain explains. "Cristian Vogel was over here in February. He loved New Zealand and played a very mad but funky brand of techno. He's pretty damn on to it musically." One such release available for purchase is the debut for his Obscure label, the ASkankatronics--Pure Wellingtronika" compilation featuring six local techno producers. Recently added to the online catalog is the "Syntax" album from LRS, the recording guise Swain employs. Honed through live performance and the result of much recording, the CD blends 16 pieces from the last two years of Swain=s work. Favorable comparisons to Autechre and downtempo Plastikman can be made, but the end result is a sound all his own. Swain is busy recording again and we eagerly await this new output. But for now, surf on over to check out the latest goings on in NZ.

From the west Coast of North America, California to be more specific, comes E.B.E.'s "Square Two" four track release on Solid Trax (http://www.solidgrooves.com). This tech-house EP from Lucas Rodenbush is the second in the seasonal square series. Look for the "Outer Circle" EP from Los Angelian John Tejada on Jon Williams' ever reliable Organised Noise (http://www.manmade.com/on). This will be followed by Cesar Vs Twerk's "Los Colores" EP and the "Cinematheque" EP from Schizophone. The first ON compact disc will be a Williams mixed compilation, but that won=t be ready for another month or so.

The next Sidereal (hardsync@aol.com) release has just been mastered and comes from Atlanta local Matt Kew. Dan Kurzius says this will be followed by a limited edition electro 10". Sounds tasty. Expect a review in the next Report.

John Selway and Jason Szostek would definitely be contenders in a "who's busiest in New York?" bustup. Their Serotonin (http://www.serotoninusa.com) label is also now distributing their own material, plus Intrinsic Design, Schmer, and Selway's CSM. Youngman's "Electrostep" EP has just been rereleased, along with Selway's "Zoids Vol. 2" EP and the third release on the later's CSM. Serotonin continues to give up the funk, looking back and forward at once, while CSM keeps it dark and moody, gliding like a killer shark in warm waters. Soon come are "Youngman's Guide To Electrostep" full length, the "Back To The Future" EP from Synapse, a compilation 12" with Brendan M Gillen's Ectomorph, Le Car, Third Electric, and Synapse, and "Inifinity Over One", the third installment in Sertonin's "Loops" series of locked-grooves from global electronicians. If that's not enough, CSM's Selway is working with Anshu Zane for a project called Shine.

Taylor Deupree's "Comma," and "Alphabet Flasher" from Drum Komputer are the latest full lengths released on 12k [http://www.12k.com]. All 12k releases are limited to 500 copies each and appear on compact disc only. Deupree=s sound explores the layer of evolving patterns and time signatures for throbbing rhythmic exercises and more subtle experimental moments. The Drum Komputer name dates back to 1995 and a song called "Nano", released on Instinct's "Ambient Systems II" compilation. The moniker for Deupree and Dietrich Schoenemann in collaboration, Drum Komputer is stark electro with TR-606 Drumatix punctuation and washes of everyday life. Future releases are scheduled for Savvas Ysatis' "Rewind" and, from Finnish techno wizard and Dum founder Kim Rapatti, "Reset".

Schoenemann's "The Hustler" EP, the second issue from his HiddenAgenda (http://www.12k.com/hiddenagenda, is an adventure into TechnoSoul worth undertaking. Finally in rotten apple news, Nu Futura (ucmny@aol.com) welcomes Florida's Zack Baney for "u-n-i", three twisted tracks as Z-7.

While those in the know can rattle off statistics about the Detroit Techno Three with relative ease, many of today's electronic music consumers haven=t been schooled on the importance of Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson in the development of what is known as techno in 1998. Saunderson's Inner City project and early anthems like "Big Fun" and "Good Life" are what have brought the majority of his attention, leaving his E-Dancer foil in the shadows. Planet E (http://www.mich.com/~planete) have followed their release of Saunderson's "Faces And Phases" retrospective--a bit of everything from the Reese discography--with an album that focuses on this E-Dancer material. "Heavenly", like "Faces...", documents an influential electronic music wunderkind and brings it all together for those that need to catch up. E-Dancer is the funky techno shaman that wants to get busy in all senses of the word. Sinuous basslines that wrap back on themselves, deep voiceovers, slices of synth, and that famous 909 programming are all in place. "World Of Deep" gets a Carl Craig remix, Kenny Larkin rewires "Pump The Move", "Velocity Funk" is a new version, D Wynn takes on "The Move", and the title track is made over by Atkins. Best of all, of the fourteen tracks, five are new. And new material is what we want from Kevin Saunderson. Please, can we have some more?

Heath Brunner--Vmax (http://www.vmax.net) is his name as an artist and the name of his label--moved from East Lansing into Detroit itself (saving himself an hour's drive each way) last year. Now that things have settled down, he's found time to start producing again. Good news because a new Vmax release is always a welcome listen. Vmax 989 (don't forget, Vmax 1000 was the first release, so this makes release number 12) is making its way to market.

Acacia (http://members.aol.com/acacia1313/index.html) has seen K Hand moving more into the ghetto/bass realm, and the label will now focus entirely on the sound. Stay posted for info on the next release.

The 6track "Reflection" doublepack is pressed next from Walt J on Dow and there's a new electro/bass twelve out soon on Hydraulic. Or maybe it's Detrechno. Details to follow when these covert operatives--pager tag is a much harder game to play than the phone version!--can be contacted for more information and the necessary vinyl.

Top 10

1. 1. Various--"From Beyond" CD (US Interdimensional Transmissions advance CD) [http://it.star67.com]
2. Drum Komputer--"Alphabet Flasher" CD(US 12k CDR)
3. E-Dancer--"Heavenly" 2 X LP (US Planet E advance cassette)
4. Taylor Deupree--"Comma," CD (US 12k CDR)
5. Dietrich Schoenemann--"The Hustler" EP (US HiddenAgenda)
6. Technasia--"Motion" EP (HK Technasia)
7. Alex Martin--"Liquen Drops" 12" (UK Pagoda test)
8. E.B.E.--"Square Two" EP (US Solid Trax test)
9. Z-7--"u-n-i" EP (US Nu Futura test)
10. LRS--"Syntax"CD (NZ Obscure)


about : listen : read : contact : home