D’Arcangelo – Somewhere In Time
There’s lots of articles and books tracing the lineage of dance music treading hip-hop through jungle to dubstep etc. but the influence of industrial music on the lineage of electronic music is almost as prevalent I think. The distorted electronics of Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire could be attributed to this dystopian beauty from Italy’s D’arcangelo but then again, perhaps they simply stuck their drum machine through a distortion pedal because it was sitting in front of them. Lots of the Electronica of this period was heavily influenced by the function and limitations of the equipment at hand.
AFX & Squarepusher – Freeman, Hardy and Willis Acid
Squarepusher, another daddy of the genre, injected a frenzied style of funk into the 90s. Lots of breakbeats and complicated slap bass musicianship colliding with a sweet sense for a synth melody. For Warp records’ 100th release they issued a compilation of original compositions from various label regulars. The teaming of Squarepusher with Aphex was a fairly big deal. Amazing breakbeat programming and some sweet minimal synth drones. Great breakdown, greater drop.
Link – Antacid
Global Communication, Jedi Knights, Reload, Link some of the alter egos of pioneers Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton. Delving into industrial, techno, acid, jazz and ambient throughout the 90s and beyond, always with significant authority, coming out with something new on the other side. I was really into this track at the time because it had a big narrative going from full on psych acid into hippy chill-out ethereal chords and back out again. Mark Pritchard is still breaking boundaries while holding on to a real understanding of the dancefloor as Africa Hitech & Harmonic 313.
Flanger – Short Note with a Few
This is a great example of how the technology (and its users) was bounding along in the late nineties. Separate tracks of a virtual jazz ensemble begin as minute fragments of sound placed to give the impression of vinyl crackle. As each fragment is expanded, the source material is revealed. Very nerdy.
Meat Beat Manifesto – Prime Audio Soup (Vegetarian Soup By Boards Of Canada)
Boards of Canada seem to have had the widest reaching influence of the period. Dreamy haunted synthesizers and wonky chord progressions. Its this Rmx of sinister Big Beatsters MBM that has stuck with me over the years. A really tough sounding break with some great detailed production going on. Sounds amazing through a big PA. BOC’s attention to detail makes for great headphone listening with some far out sample sources going on in their stuff.