So much has been said about “Stakker Humanoid”, which was a symbol of the fledgling rave scene. I also remember from the MTV’s “Party Zone” how the video enjoyed heavy rotation, not to speak about the track’s regular appearances in numerous best-of compilations. Might be that the excessive presence of Humanoid’s most famous track led to certain saturation – about 10-15 years had passed from my previous listening, until Ruben Boons’ label De:tuned staged the classic’s comeback. Now in possession of a physical copy, I have to say that it’s not a superficial quick buck exercise as the remix pack is really impressive. It’s good to follow the label’s ongoing mission of retrieving the gems from the archives and lending a new touch to them.
The original’s striking power is still astonishing, the sound being strong and crisp like born today. The three remixes come from a stellar lineup: first Luke Vibert’s stripped down acid, with extra vox ‘I’m not a human’ and stealth broken beats, offers a showdown of lightsabers in the nocturnal skies, to move into sweet pad layers in a later stage. Then Autechre’s compelling take captures shortwave signals from the beyond and a thorough deconstruction of the original is driven by ardent bass sequences, to achieve sonic supremacy. Mike Dred arrives with jittery bass and the EP’s nastiest acid line, creating several flashbacks to the original with ‘humanoid!’ exclamations, the track’s length of over seven minutes being another asset.
This post commemorates Kaarel Valter from Tallinn’s Biit Me record store. “sT8818r Humanoid” was the last record I got from Kaarel, before his very untimely passing in February 2022. R.I.P.