DUST OFF: Various – The Techno Sound Of Berlin (NovaMute NMCD 3002 – 1992)

Fragrances, jeans, alcohol, a selection of hit CDs and suddenly, “The Techno Sound Of Berlin (Berlin 1992 – Tresor Kompilation)” – it was my first, unexpected meeting with release. It happened in 1992 at Amerest, an upmarket store in the university city of Tartu that opened in the dawn of market economy in Estonia some years earlier. It used to accept foreign currency only, until June 1992 when free-falling rouble was swapped to the Estonia’s national currency kroon. Still former ‘valuta shops’ remained either places to expose own wealth or, for the people not so well off, to do some window shopping. I did the […]

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DUST OFF: Alden Tyrell – Times Like These: 1999-2006 (Clone CD 7 – 2006)

As DJ and producer, synth-obsessed Alden Tyrell has been a stalwart of the Rotterdam’s Clone community and remains active to the present day, despite of releasing (the first) retrospective already in 2006. By that time, Tyrell had become a renowned artist in the world of neo-italo and electro disco, who was providing energised tracks for curing the eighties homesickness. “Times Like These: 1999-2006” collected several of Tyrell’s previous tracks on Clone and Viewlexx, including synthetic party starters such as “Knockers”, “Disco Lunar Module” or “Love Explosion”. However, the album’s real treat is the mood-boosting “La Voix”, carried by Nancy Fortune’s powerful and sensual vocals and “I Feel Love” bass line. When hearing Fortune’s voice, one […]

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DUST OFF: Gemini – The Beginning (Relief Records RR 703 – 1994)

It’s time to correct a major shortcoming in this blog, namely the missing coverage about the artist who deserves superlatives – Spencer Kincy aka Gemini. A member of the mid-nineties guild of Chicago house producers who were headquartered at the labels like Relief and Cajual, Gemini shaped both the new deep and engaging sound from the Windy City. However, “A Moment Of Insanity”, his first twelve in my collection, was issued in Detroit, on Carl Craig’s Planet E, and Gemini also put out music on French Distance, UK’s Peacefrog – to mention a few of them. Still his best works appeared on the abovementioned home town labels. Gemini’s […]

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DUST OFF: Mike Henk – Untitled (Pulsar Recordings DOX 002 – 1994)

After a long wait, “Untitled” became the first Pulsar Recordings release in my collection and also my most expensive music purchase on Ebay, for about €40. Mike Henk and his label have been probably on my mind since the first copies left the pressing plant and were listed in Hard Wax newsletters, and thereafter Henk’s interview to the rave mag Frontpage in 1994 sparked further interest. However, except for a few mixes and compilations, his tracks had not been present in my collection so far. Now this is Pulsar’s second release, futureproof acid techno in its barbaric formation on the A-side that opens with frenzied 303 blasts and synth […]

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DUST OFF: Freddie Fresh – Comatone 95 (Electric Music Foundation EF 06-12 – 1995)

Minneapolis-born Freddie (Freddy) Fresh was in full swing throughout the 1990s and later, with a massive run of (acid) techno and electro tracks that were released under various guises on labels ranging from Harthouse to Missile. In recent times we have heard less about Fresh – a smoking collab with fellow Midwesterner Paul Birken lies more than three years back – but his extensive back catalogue offers several great finds. One of them is the mid-nineties release “Comatone 95”, which dropped on the Electric Music Foundation (EMF), an Analog Records offshoot launched by Fresh and Auto Kinetic. By the title, Fresh’s 1992 banger “Comatone” on EXperimental, could be related to the EMF release, but by […]

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Mix: Barely Under 140 BPM Vol. 2

About two years ago I fiddled around with my old school favourites from the ’90s for a mix called “Barely Under 140 BPM”. Now it’s time for the second edition, which includes tracks from German hardcore labels, such as PCP, Labworks, Super Special Corp., from US outlets Drop Bass Network and Temple Records N.Y.C., as well as from the UR. Coming to the present day, Earwiggle, Ophism, 3TH Records and ZCKR are on board this time. If you prefer a faster and darker approach, then the next stop is Shawn O’Sullivan’s (400PPM, Vapauteen) mix for Secret Thirteen.       “Barely Under 140 BPM Vol.2” tracklist: 1. […]

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HALL OF FAME: Leo Anibaldi interview from 1992

The foundations of the Techno Sound of Rome were laid by ACV Records that played an essential role in the first half of the 1990s. The label saw a number of international producers and DJs emerging, Leo Anibaldi being one of the main players along with Robert Armani, Paolo Zerletti, Riccardo Rocchi, Dave Clarke and others. Along numerous singles Anibaldi produced several fine albums like “Cannibald – The Virtual Language” and later “Void”, a peek to the experimental side on Rephlex. Anibaldi has remained active to the present day and his most recent EP “Evocation” with a Sebastian Mullaert remix came out last […]

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DUST OFF: The best of 2005

The pressure is mounting for the end-of-the-year lists. It’s not an easy task when every week brings dozens of releases tagged as ‘unmissable’, ‘lethal’, ‘timeless’, and many of them are that, working well either in clubs or at home. The question is, which tracks are real survivors that will be applauded several years later. Judgement about the music’s lasting effect requires distance in time and space. This is why I selected fifteen survivors from my own collection to uncork well-matured 2005 produce, from the year that stood for the epidemic spread of minimal and emergence of grime/dubstep. But there was a lot more and as you […]

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Hüpnosaurus – Where Am I? (Wicked Bass WB017 – 2015)

It would be unthinkable to speak about Estonian electronic music without saying a word about Hüpnosaurus (or Hypnosaurus), a project launched by Aivar Tõnso in the beginning of the 1990s and later co-run with Raul Saaremets, nowadays known as Ajukaja. Initially a live act of Tõnso and Railo Pals, Hüpnosaurus became an institution for synthetic sounds in Estonia, throwing impressive live gigs over the years at various locations and performing as a DJ team called Hypnitro Soundsystem. The musical inspiration tracks back to Tõnso’s early age, when he got interested in electronic sounds and sci-fi fantasies, which all led to […]

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LA Synthesis – Agraphobia Relapse (De:tuned ASGDE008 – 2015)

Initially a party organisation from Belgium, De:tuned has become a record label for reanimating the sounds from electronic music’s early days. Either new or unreleased material by artists like Mike Dred, Thomas P. Heckmann, Steve Stoll has seen the daylight on the label that completed the year 2014 with a whopping five-record box set “5 Years De:tuned“. For the first time, the track “Agraphobia” was released in 1994 on Plink Plonk, a pioneering techno label co-founded by Mr. C (of Shamen). It was the breakthrough for LA Synthesis, a two-man project by Tony Gallagher and Carl Grant formed in London in 1992. […]

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