Drexciya – Journey Of The Deep Sea Dwellers I CD – Clone Classic Cuts

For a genre steeped in masks, aliases and anonymity from its onset, it’s impressive just how exceptionally enigmatic the duo behind Drexciya were among their Detroit techno contemporaries. Blending science fiction, mythology and, um, marine physics and biology, the pair crafted vivid portraits of a universe deep within the sea that came across like Bladerunner meets Atlantis with allusions to mysterious lifeforms and traversing mazes with grid patterns and sonar location. But conceptual undertones aside, they consistently crafted powerful and immersing soundscapes with razor-sharp precision and an assured sense of purpose moving continually forward.

This, perhaps overdue, collection arrives as a labor of love from the connoisseurs at Clone Classic Cuts to compile selected highlights from Drexciya’s pre-album-era early catalog. While some collectors with especially deep pockets may want to seek out the original run of Drexciya EPs which were released throughout the 90’s by labels like WARP, Rephlex and Underground Resistance, Journey of the Deep Sea Dwellers serves as a fantastic primer (and it’s a great companion piece to the Tresor albums which were recently re-pressed too). It’s animated with liveliness and it’s sequenced for narative arc as if it were the ultimate full-length Drexciya never released themselves.

The fundamental nuts and bolts of the Drexciya sound stemmed from careful and attentive programing of gorgeously clunky machines. The cymbals and snares from track to track here hit with the rickety treble of hisses and clanks while syncopated bass drums feel more like fast-paced staccato punches over percolating 8-bit arpegios and sometimes billowing pads.

Check out a track like “Bubble Metropolis” for an archetypal example of the variation on electro that the duo did so well. The oscillating arpegiations whirl around like the propulsion of submarine turbines wading through the barometric shifts of descending ocean depths. The slick bass notes then evoke visions of bizarre creatures whizzing past your view as a voice-over navigates the ride. Elsewhere, songs like “Sea Quake” or “Darthouven Fish Men” display a harder hitting sound ready-made for early-90’s warehouse raves. These tracks are somewhat more harsh than much of their other output, but they’re dancefloor dynamite and they sound more closely linked to Detroit techno of that time (especially something like the alarm sirens in “Ground Zero (The Planet)” from Jeff Mills and Mike Banks’ X-102 project.)

The overall effect of this compilation – both thematically and musically – feels something like Kraftwerk‘s Autobahn fast-forwarded far into the future and re-imagined as driving music for a sub-aquatic super-highway – or “Aquabahn as it’s called in “Bubble Metropolis” – for submarine odysseys. It’s outlandish yet easily approachable and verges into techno, electro, synth-pop and architectural soundscapes, but throughout, it remains inviting music conceived for and by imaginitive minds with a propensity for irresistible rhythms.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today to hear this release!
2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
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