Cybotron: Enter LP (Fantasy)
Initially thought this classic album hadn’t aged well at all. The conflict between Rik Davis’ rock fixation and Juan Atkins’ electric dreams is plain to hear. The opening title track is a perfect demonstration of this, whereas ‘Alleys Of Your Mind’ can claim to have invented Detroit Techno…fact. Elsewhere, ’The Line’ is a wonderfully driving piece of agit-pop techno (“Life is a line, take a number.”) - the lyrics sound slightly contrived today but its brilliantly crafted nonetheless. The album ends with the original mix of their most famous track ‘Clear’, a disjointed version and one that’s almost unsure of its intent. But the second 12” corrects this with the more well-known (and astonishing) Jose Animal Diaz remix as well as introducing the quite brilliant and heart-breaking “Techno City”.
Only if you have an hour spare, like….
Conforce: Kinetic Image LP (Delsin)
Lot of love for this, the fourth album from Holland’s Conforce (aka Boris Bunnik). Restricted sound palette means that all rhythmic and tonal exploration occur within a sonically identifiable boundary. This gives the entire album its character. Melody doesn’t get much of a look in, but then it doesn’t need to. Pixellated Techno frozen by blizzard winds….for heavy rotation on dark nights.
A Sagitarriun: Dream Ritual LP (Elastic Dreams)
Those who have a listening history that stretches back to the early 90’s will recognise many characteristics in this debut album from the mysterious Bristol-based producer. At the Venn diagram of Techno and New Age, the intersect produced things like Megadog, Orbital. Banco De Gaia and of course The Orb. Inventive melodic dance music tinged with Hippy spiritualism.
Album highlight is definitely the sun-drenched shimmer of ‘Conquering Lions’; gorgeous strings over a slowed-up Amen break evokes the long summers of a post-jungle Britain. 'The South Node’ sounds like freshly made factory-line techno straight from Gratoit Avenue. Whilst ‘Network Restoration’ brilliantly surmises the entire output of legendary mid 90’s European techno labels like Eevolute in one handy track. A total joy from start to finish.
Charles Cohen: Music For Dance And Theater LP (Morphine)
The beautifully presented sleevenotes does an excellent job on providing a background narrative for this innovative 70’s electronic music pioneer. Playful, almost poppy pieces of synthesiser composition that sound as relevant today as they did back then. There’s creepy Aphex style ambience running through the likes of ‘In Search of Mysteries’ and ‘Overture'. ’Shopping Cart Lady’s gorgeous wash of bleeps and tones is a thing of beauty. ‘The Street’ is pure industrial-tinged proto-techno and the album highlight ‘Velcro Dance’ is the best children’s TV theme tune never made.
This has value beyond the obvious artefact status it comes with.