Saturday 31 July 2021

Speedy Bleeps

Time continues to make fools of us all, I took a day or so off and went to narrow down what I was going to scoop this BC Friday and only came away with more things on my wishlist. The post I had planned originally is a little more in-depth and could be a long one as I focus on a specific topic and write at length about it, should be a good time when I get around to it. But enough excuses, in the meantime I've gathered up a quick roundup of some bits of electro and techno from my archives, let's have a look!

Starting with a relic of the early aughts - the EP that came immediately after The Other People Place's Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café, the fittingly titled Sunday Night Live at the Laptop Cafe, as the pic above shows, the title isn't just for show, these tracks are actually taken from a set at a Laptop Cafe as far as I could tell. If you liked the cool electro of the Laptop Café LP, the two tracks here are worthy additions to your collection: the A-side, Sorrow & A Cup Of Joe continues the vibe laid out on that LP - lovely electro with a slight depressive edge (curiously my copy that I got from Bleep is a good minute or so shorter than this one for some reason).

For this post though I've chosen the B-Side - Telepathic Seduction by a one Mystic Tribe A.I., which is actually an alias of DJ Stingray of Drexciya fame. It occupies the same atmosphere of the A-side very well, of the two I think it might just edge out being my favourite as sometimes the repeating sample on Sorrow sometimes grates on me. By far and away my favourite bit of this one though is that deep as hell shelf rumbling bassline - I highly recommend digging out your headphones or hooking up a decent speaker setup for this one.

Keeping things Drexciya adjacent here, dipping into High Tech territory again with Der Zyklus - an alias of Gerald Donald and the Dopplereffekt lot thats more electro-focused. Personally, I find the work they've done under this alias to be a little more accessible thatn the stark stoic techno of Dopplereffekt. Both halves of this EP made tons of appearances in DJ mixes and compilations of the time and rightfully so - I've posted one half of this EP before with Mathematische Modelle, which is a little more... playful sounding than this one, however both are very much Kraftwerk-esque, particularly the Computer World era. You can hear that influence plenty on the B-side as well, the equally German sounding Elektronisches Zeitechno. it's one of the few times I'm not going to pick a favourite from the EP because honestly both sides totally nail what they're going for, I can prefer one over the other on certain days for sure but together they operate in perfect harmony.

And finally, E.R.P. - yet again an alias, this time of Gerard Hanson, better known as Convextion. I've been drip feeding myself E.R.P. releases because each one I hear seems to have been engineered to appeal directly to me, they carry that high-tech futuristic feel that Warp was championing for the Artificial Intelligence era. Surprising no-one I know, and perhaps a little reductive of E.R.P's other work - tracks like Lodestone from the Evoked Potentials series still carry that spacey sound but are much more punchy upbeat pieces. I'm more than happy to admit that I'm slightly biased in that regard, not only because as is well documented I just adore that sound, but also becuase the first EP I checked out from E.R.P. was Alsoran, which is very firmly rooted in that style.

The version on Bandcamp is a combined EP of both the Vox Automaton and Alsoran EPs and there's not a bad track on it. I've posted my absolute favourite Lament Subrosa some time ago, so I've gone for another slice of spacey goodness in the lush and delicate tones of Irma which ironically is far and away the most Artificial Intelligence-esque sounding track on here - echoes of B12's Electro-Soma and a little of F.U.S.E's Dimension Intrusion too are all over this one and I cannot get enough of it. Simply gorgeous stuff, one of the best finds I've had in recent years and an artist I'm looking forward to sharing more of with you in the future.

Looking back over the post as I wrap up, that's a whole lot of monochrome album art isn't it? Funny how things like that work out. Just a quick note before I get off - I might take a little longer with that in-depth post I mentioned at the top than usual but I'll keep making li'l posts like this one in the meantime, dipping in and out will probably help with the burnout that I ended up getting on the longer Retro Reviews post that I did for Moby's 18. With that out of the way, I hope you've enjoyed the EPs on show here and as always: stay safe and enjoy the music.


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