Drexciya
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Neptune's Lair (1999), 6/10
Harnessed the Storm (2002), 6.5/10
Grava 4 (2002), 5/10
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Detroit's duo Drexciya (James Stinson and Gerald Donald) was one of the most influential techno acts of the early 1990s, devoting its music to a wacky sub-aquatic sci-fi concepts, via EPs such as Deep See Dweller (1991), Bubble Metropolis (1992), Molecular Enhancement (1993), The Unknown Aquazone (1994), Aquatic Invasion (1994) and The Journey (1995), partially compiled on the double album The Quest (1997). These EPs were a bit too derivative of the electro sound of the 1980s, but their style absorbed different elements, from space-jazz to cosmic music, from psychedelic music to hip-hop. When Drexciya became James Stinson's solo project, he crafted the shimmering ambience of Neptune's Lair (1999 - Tressor, 2010), divided into 21 brief vignettes, the ten transcendent and occasionally gloomy soundscapes of Harnessed the Storm (2002), in particular Under Sea Disturbances and Digital Tsunami, and Grava 4 (2002). But James Stinson died in september 2002. Leftovers were collected on several albums credited to different monikers: Transllusion's The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate (2001) and L.I.F.E. (2002), Shifted Phases' The Cosmic Memoirs of the Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthorpe (2002), Other People Place's Lifestyles Of The Laptop Cafe (2002). All of these albums suffer from a dearth of creative material. Usually, one or two intriguing tracks become a pretext to assemble a hour-long album that has precious little to offer.

In the meantime, the prolific Gerald Donald was also behind Japanese Telecom, a project of exotic elegance that yielded the mini-album Japanese Telecom (1999) and the album Virtual Geisha (2001).

Gerald Donald (renamed Heinrich Mueller) was also active in the electronic ensemble Dopplereffekt, that released several singles and the albums Gesamtkunstwerk (Gigolo, 1999), a collection of 17 brief vignettes (including several of the singles), and the completely different (and perhaps career highlight) Linear Accelerator (Gigolo, 2003), highlighted by the 21-minute soundscape of Photo Injector, and then launched the project Der Zyklus with the album Biometry (Dub, 2004), another cryptic revision of stereotypes for the post-cyberpunk age.

Arpanet, yet another Donald project, was documented on Wireless Internet (2002), Quantum Transposition (2005), Reference Frame (2006).

Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller is a four-volume career retrospective of Drexciya.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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