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James Stinson (1969-2002) and Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller, the two formerly unknown producers behind Drexciya, have amassed a large and perhaps daunting discography since the early 90s. With Drexciya they were also creating a sophisticated sonic fiction through their music, song titles and artwork. Both their music and mythology very much lives on, continuing to capture the ears and imaginations of new fans.
Drexciya Research Lab created a chronological guide to a choice selection of what is currently available of their work through Bleep.
The four young sons of an electrician, known simply as the Elecktroids, have welded together their debut album', this was how the press release introduced this mysterious one-off group's 'personal tribute to those well known pioneers of the electro disco beat: Kraftwerk'. If you hadn't already guessed who was really behind this still so fresh and fun sounding electro pop classic then the secret bonus track would give the game away 4 years later when it would turn up on Drexciya's Neptune's Lair album. This was also the first album involving the members of Drexciya.
Drexciya's triumphant return after a 4-5 year production break due to the ill health of James Stinson. A whole new generation of fans would discover them through this album, their first release for Germany's Tresor. It's a mysterious and challenging album in many ways, showcasing their raw and live in the studio analogue approach with an equal share of tracks with light, darkness and confusion. With a generous 21 selections on the CD, this is a deep journey into the very heart and soul of Drexciya.
Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller, had also been following his own particular vision under the name Dopplereffekt since 1994 with collaborator Kim Karli. Their brand of stark and ultra minimal electro, but still delivered with a sense of humour, would have a huge but delayed influence on so many electronic artists, right up to today. This compilation captures their first 3 peerless releases that they originally released on their own label, Dataphysix.
Released during the chaos and confusion of Drexciya's Storm Series, where they would discard and replace their name with a series of substitutes over 7 albums in 1 year. The genre-less and alien sounding music you find on this album is still very dance-able, truly music designed for the head and feet.
Also from Drexciya's Storm Series, this is quite possibly the most soulful and emotional (and only vocal led) of their albums. This album revealed a whole new side to them and has become a huge favourite amongst fans, yet another timeless classic.
Released just after James Stinson died so tragically at just 33, in fact he had yet to title this last batch of tracks. Thankfully this epic album found a double vinyl home to spread out on with Clone Records. While the twisted and turning production of these 6 tracks might forever elude understanding, you will find it easier to surrender to the groove of this sonic experiment.
Following on to some degree from Dopplereffekt's template, this album for French label Record Makers, is one of Gerald Donald's real hidden gems. It still sparkles, sounding like it was made just yesterday or will be tomorrow. Here he is revelling in some of his signature sounds (for the last time), just when other producers were beginning to catch up with him.
This and the previous years Dopplereffekt album, Linear Accelerator, was the point where Heinrich Mueller surprised everyone by a sudden and extreme evolution in his music, into much more experimental (for want of a better word) territory. Biometry appears to be a dystopian themed album with music to match, with strangely disjointed rhythms, truly music from a parallel dimension. Overtime his new music has turned out to be a real grower in the best sense and this album in particular has revealed its own logic and magic over the years. When was the last time music really challenged you?
Heinrich Mueller started a habit of collaboration with new artists in the mid 2000s, using the Internet to collaborate and reach his fans. This icy cold wave masterpiece was the result of one such grouping with Beta Evers, Penelope Martin and Susana Correia. Many of the tracks here are vocal led and made for an intense, focused and strong collection.
Clone's Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller series was a newly mastered 4 volume series of Drexciya's early and unreleased music, mostly for Detroit's Underground Resistance label. This was the moment when everything came round again, reaching new and old fans and making new connections with their later releases. If I have to pick just one I would go for the final compilation in the series as it has the most unreleased material as well as some early classics.