Ten years ago, Acid Test began with a simple concept – each track the label released would make use of the Roland TB-303. Like a producer purposefully paring down their studio setup, or the continuous imperative within underground electronic music to reduce, this concept engendered creativity with the introduction of what seemed to be an aesthetic limit. However, the decade that followed, which now culminates in the triple-LP compilation Ten Years Of Acid Test, proves acid is limitless. That the Berlin-via-LA label would expand upon the classical conception of acid house and techno is no surprise considering the cast of characters that have come in fold over the past decade. Ten Years Of Acid Test gathers key material from the label’s extended family of acid acolytes. There’s that Vienna-via-LA maestro of sad, elegant acid Tin Man (Johannes Auvinen), whose “Afters Acid” is both a highlight within his prolific catalogue and a distillation of his symphonic approach to the 303. Detroit giants Erika and Marcellus Pittman, both of whom have released remixes on Acid Test, present their respective and singular Bass Line visions. Erika, the Interdimensional Transmissions lynchpin, crafts a dark, delicate take on broken techno on “Violet Fungus” while Pittman continues his cubist house explorations on “Unknown Species,” both tracks straying from typical acid lines in favor of the intricate textures achievable on the 303. This variation in approach applies to tempo as well. Irish-based master Lerosa, as well as Delsin affiliate VC-118A, delve into downtempo atmospherics. Meanwhile, Japanese deep techno virtuoso Wata Igarashi, SUED co-founder SW. (a regular on Acid Test’s leftfield sub-label Avenue 66) and Patricia (one-half of Acid Test act Ociya) use acid as a creative jumping-off point for complex melodic concepts. Wata layers an orchestra of synth-bliss drone overtop a squelchy bassline on “Ephemeral.” SW.’s “ChaIAnJAzzz” cycles through an array of dusted chords eventually landing in skewed, fuzzy rave nostalgia, anthemic chords held aloft by a wicked UK-flavour bass line. Patricia’s “Higher Still” explores dreamy, IDM-flavoured acid, cinematic synthlines counterbalanced by propulsive, squelching acid. Acid Test devotees will be thrilled at the return of various luminaries from the catalogue, including Achterbahn D’Amour, Skudge, AAAA, John Tejada and Donato Dozzy, whose memorable remix of Tin Man’s “Nonneo” from Acid Test 01 served as a kind of proof of concept for the label. There’s new blood too. San Francisco up-and-comer Sepehr makes his label debut with the excellent “Persian Acid Prince,” as does Andreas Tilliander’s beloved hardware techno project, TM404. Ten Years Of Acid Test is a valuable portrait of a group of artists linked by a dedication to innovation within acid, in line with the genre’s storied roots. Over ten years, Acid Test has gracefully made a case for the 303’s past, present and future, the story of acid continuing to unfurl in unpredictable, addictive patterns.
In light of the current Covid-19 Pandemic Studio Enisslab headed up by Italian DJ / Producer and Live Act Neel has announced the release of a very special 56 track charity compilation project, fundraising for The Red Cross, who are working extremely hard alongside health services internationally that are feeling the effects of the corona-virus outbreak the most right now. The compilation is available for a limited time via Bandcamp and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Red Cross to help the world’s most affected countries in the Covid-19 pandemic.
This special release features over 6 hours of previously unreleased and unheard material, where an all star cast of artists were encouraged to share music that reflects this time we are living in.
Neel, who is one half of live duo Voices From The Lake, and LF58 speaks out on behalf of the initiative, organised in collaboration with improvised live project Circle Of Live, and visual art collective Sbagliato. He explains:
“In this situation we all need to look after each other and this project is a start. I wanted to reach as many people as possible to spread this message, so I started to share the idea personally with lots of artists and the response was amazing. I wanted them to take their time with whichever tools they had available at home to produce some music that reflects this time we are living in, a contribution for this special project and to portray a special message.”
The project’s cover art image brought to you by visual art collective Sbagliato shows pictures of windows of houses and studios taken by the artists themselves: 56 musicians, 56 windows, 56 tracks shape a new place of sharing.
Essential electro-techno classic. This is the second record from Ectomorph and second record for the label Interdimensional Transmissions, from 1995. This is the first time it has been repressed in over a decade, and its been done using the original masters — coming from 2 wizards of Midwest Mastering. The A side was mastered by Mark Richardson at Metropolis (who later founded Prairie Cat Mastering) and the B side is complete with lock grooves cut by Ron Murphy. Manufactured in Detroit!
The debut record from Ectomorph that launched it all — the project, and the label Interdimensional Transmissions in 1995. This is the first time it has been repressed in over a decade, and it’s using the original masters complete with 3 lock grooves cut by Ron Murphy.
Ectomorph occupy a unique and strange place within Detroit Techno history. Founded in 1994, they released their first 12″ singles in 1995 as an attempt to make Detroit music for Detroit itself, rather than exclusively for export. The mystique of their early singles led to mythic status and a strong underground cult following, which they have continued to develop through releases on their own Interdimensional Transmissions label. Their live shows are legendary for their ability to fluidly incorporate improvisational techniques into synthesized music (and for the sheer amount of hardware that they bring to the stage). The Ectomorph show is all analog, no computers or samplers or even drum machines: all sounds come from the modulars and the mountains of Moogs. Ectomorph (now officially comprised of BMG & Erika) reconvened in 2016 to write new music, which led to a series of live shows where the new material was tested via performance and allowed to evolve in form. To capture the energy of these performances, the new material was recorded in the studio totally live, multitracked for further engineering, but with no editing whatsoever. The entire album was recorded live in one or two takes in the Interdimensional Laboratories in Detroit. This is the sound of the idea that is Ectomorph, presented in its natural and organic format, live and improvisational.
Hexagon Cloud RMXD 2.0“ celebrates even more of the diverse influences on Erika‘s debut solo release, the critically acclaimed „Hexagon Cloud“ 2xLP on Interdimensional Transmissions. Deep Space & Midwestern Underdog mixes by Donato Dozzy, Isreal Vines, Outer Space (Emeralds) & Patrick Russel.
While ‘Hexagon Cloud’ may be Erika’s debut solo release, this is by no means her introduction to the scene. For years Erika has been a member of Detroit’s Ectomorph and co-conspirator of Interdimensional Transmissions, but since these projects play shadowy games with identity and perception, she may just need that introduction. Composing without the aid of a computer, Erika’s system is centered around a rare highly flexible hardware sequencer. The ideas flowed quickly, and what began as an EP quickly blossomed into a double album with the aid of production from BMG. Science and music, dreams of space and microscopic organisms, mutation of plant life and the birth of stars, all come together effortlessly in her work to sound like post acid techno subterranean spelunking in a quest to return to the stars. Or at least to the northern “Hexagon Cloud” of Saturn.
Hexagon Cloud RMXD celebrates the diverse influences of Erika’s solo release Hexagon Cloud on Interdimensional Transmissions Marcellus Pittman remixed the hypnotic Tow Ride from Erika’s debut Solo album with a stated goal of making it darker and ”more evil”. Canadian electronic music duo Orphx, remixed Hexagon Cloud, resulting in an immense, impeccable production. BMG, Erika’s mate in Ectomorph, also shares his vision of her track, A Cellular Meltdown.