Saturday, 9 October 2010


As you know, I do love my techno. And I may have mentioned before how fond I am of the work of Marc Houle, which is to say very. The man is a fucking genius, whether as part of Run, Stop, Restore* or solo, there's a level of after-hours funk to anything the motherfucker touches that I just don't get from anyone else in the glorious world of techno. No one else can take the classic Detroit template, strip it down this far, and come up with something that just fucking moves like this. And when I say this, I mean his latest LP, Drift (m_nus). It's simply amazing.

Just fantastic. Pure Detroit minimal, but even less so, yet so much more. Sometimes all you have is a kick and bassline, evolving almost imperceptibly, with just a clap or a brief synth explosion every now and then, and not as relief as you might expect, but exactly the opposite, filtered and eq'd in such a way as to build the tension instead of relieving it, often allied to a slow burning drone or a sparse treated and repeated vocal reinforcing what's already there as opposed to complementing or completing it and making yr brain and body just wind up that little bit more before those hi-hats spin up to speed and the fucker just drops and you have no choice but to fucking move.

Any record whose synthesizers sometimes put me in mind of Reproduction-era Human League**, contains guitar playing that veers from Elektro Guzzi meets early Prince choppy funk to blatantly ripping off The Sisters Of Mercy circa Kiss The Carpet*** whilst mainlining that four on the floor staccato groove that I crave so badly, all helicopter hi-hats and kicks and bass slung so low they're actually fucking underground, ever accelerating down that mythical nighttime highway Juan Atkins discovered all those years ago is alright by me. To put it mildly.

Watch this:

*with Troy Pierce and Magda. It's exactly as good as that sounds. Possibly even fucking better. Both of their EPs are absolutely essential.

**Who penned two of the greatest lyrics in the English language:

"Dehumanization is such a big word,
 It's been around since Richard the third" (from Blind Youth)


"With concentration, my size increased" (Empire State Human)

If you don't own a copy of Reproduction, I suggest you rectify that situation as quickly as possible. It's fucking ace. The reissue includes The Dignity Of Labour EP, where for two and a half glorious minutes the League seem to be in telepathic communion with Cluster, and it has the 7" version of Being Boiled, the greatest anti-silkworm farming piece of electronic music ever.

***Two things. Early Sisters Of Mercy fucking rules.  And why am I seemingly the only person who heard that title, and the song itself, whose first thought was "ah, a song about an unpleasant cunnilingual experience". I mean for fucks sake, the chorus contains the line "Next time I'll look before I kiss the carpet". Which is sage advice indeed... I guess this is why I never became a goth. No sense of fun some people.

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