Sometimes the underground is a surreal place to be.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

VA - Technorave 2: Trance Atlantic

VA - Technorave 2: Trance Atlantic (1992)

Found a nice stack of CDs today, 2 '92 Hardcore comps, a '90 bleep comp and an absolutely classic electro library record I'll be posting later tonight. First, though, is this Network/Next Plateau comp from '92 featuring Altern-8, Forgemasters, and 10 of the best cuts of stripped down bleep-style Hardcore from the year it peaked (and it can be had for pennies over at amazon. Chock full of Mentasm too, have you no doubt. I'll let this bit from the inside cover say the rest:

They call it rave. They call it techno. The fast forward electronic dance music that has dominated UK club culture for the past two years has been named, named and named again. What does it really matter? When the tones begin and the bass kicks, instinct tackes over and the limbs move involuntarily. This aural avalanche is the wave of the future. This post-Dusseldorf hyperactivity starts a new chapter in club culture on both sides of the Atlantic. "trance atlantic" is your passport to the future. Within the space of forty minutes your understanding of this underground phenomenon will be complete. You will then laugh as inferior bleep parodies are presented to you dressed as the real thing. All the artists featured here record for Network Records, based in Birmingham, England. Since the mid-eighties, label owners Dave Barker and Neil Rushton have encouraged the music, releasing classic early techno from Detroit and the then-fledgling English scene. Neil and Dave encouraged Detroit innovators Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson without whom this music would be very different. They set up Network in 1990 - a label with a crystal clear identity, sharp from the grooves to the sleevs - to cope with the increasing number of bedroom techno creators whose tapes often found their way to Birmingham before the London majors. Such was the reputation Network was developing, the UK's leading independent. altern 8's "frequency" available previously only as a limited edition white label pressing wastes no time in applying the pressure. You are the brick and this is the mineshaft. Altern 8's "Activ 8" was a Number Three pop hit in the UK which shows just how far things have gone. Altern 8 dresses in nuclear fallout suits and wear bright yellow dust masks. They hail from the UK's own Techno City, Stafford. They like to travel from rave to rave by hot air balloon. Sometimes the underground is a surreal place to be. nexus 21's "sychologic p.s.p." shows a more reflective side of the sound. "rhythmatix" is mathematic in its digital precision. The ghost of Kraftwerk somewhere in the new machine. The forgemasters' "stress" is the sound of Sheffield. Sheffield was once a major industrial centre. Sheffield made metal. Nobody wants metal anymore. Plastic will do. The Forgemasters make music like metal. There's respect to the past with an eye on the future. "stream" is a moment of relaxation. Can't dance forever. xon's "dissonance" fascinates with its twists and turns. In its complexity it reminds of the work of Derrick May who is in there somewhere. "turbo" and "heavyweight apply the pressure, both brutally futuristic electronic dance anthems, both hard, loud, insistent. This music isn't going away. This music is the wave of the future.

- John McCready, London, 1992

There's some seriously hard cuts on this comp, miles better than most of the hardcore I've posted in the past.

Keep an ear out for the samples and post all the lifted bits you recognize in the comments!

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