Review: Virtual Geisha is the sole album from Japanese Telecom. Like many of the projects from Gerald Donald, formerly one half of seminal Detroit electro act Drexciya, it had a relatively short existence and this long player was effectively its swansong back in 2001. Reissued by Clone for a new generation, Geisha features an impressive range across a short span of tracks. There's the electro noir of "Beta Capsule", followed by "Cigarette Lighter", a catchy synth pop track that won the hearts and minds of Gigolos fans at the time of its original release and best of all the atmospheric melodies of "Virtual Geisha (She Interacts)", a low paced paean to the shiny futurism of Asian metropolises.
Review: Clone's stellar Aqualung Series surfaces once again with Japanese Telecom, another side project of Gerald Donald's late-90s repute to discover. Remastered and reissued for the first time since its original release some 30 years ago - that ain't old - Japanese Telecom takes inspiration from an age still in the midst of dreaming up internet gaming, robots, high speed trains and electronics to the point we know it today. Combine that with some hi tech soul straight outta Detroit and you got def jams like "Kubi", "Nipponese Robots" and "Character Maps". With dope, stripped back numbers coming through in "Bullet Train", this album's pop hits come through "Japanese Animation" and "Game Player", and alongside interludes like "Asian Amazons", this reissue presents an exploration of culture and technologies inspired by the land of the rising sun.
Review: Before James Stinson's untimely death in 2002, the legendary Drexciya producer was working on a follow-up to Lifestyles Of The Laptop Cafe, his sole album as The Other People Place. Somehow, Clone has managed to find a DAT tape of this classic "long lost album" - or, at least, the material he'd already finished for it - and is finally releasing it. Laptop Cafe is, of course, superb, with Stinson brilliantly joining the dots between intergalactic electro, languid deep house, melodious IDM, fluid Motor City techno and most notably, the cymbal-heavy drum rhythms and dexterous piano lines of jazz. While it's not quite as jaw dropping as its acclaimed, recently reissued predecessor, it's still nothing short of sublime.
Review: The Aqualung Series division of Holland's Clone Records has been at the top of the reissuing game in the last few years, dropping bomb after bomb by the likes of Drexciya and the rest of the mythical electro mandem. Paranormale Aktivitat is something a little more recent, however; it was originally released on Rephlex back in 2011 and it's made up of the combined talents of Drexciya's own Heinrich Mueller, Susana Correia, Penelope Martin, and Beta Evers. Deep, sullen electro would be the best way to encapsulate its murky stratosphere, but the album goes way beyond the normal confines of the genre and frequently heads into the utter unknown, the underbelly of experimental dance music. The air is thick and the sounds are tenebrous, so tread lightly but be sure to know that it's an unmissable and timeless album for those who embrace the darkness...
Review: Something is stirring deep down beneath; after lying dormant for some time, Clone's Aqualung Series is revived in order to facilitate another round of Drexciya-related goodness. Dedicated solely to the various works of Drexciya man Gerald Donald, the Aqualung label has been used sparingly by Clone since it was established in 2009 so the arrival of a new release is somewhat surprising and, more to the point, most welcome. As the title suggests, Black Sea / Wavejumper (Aqualung Versions) presents alternate takes on the Drexciya favourites and wedged inbetween is a brilliantly grotty unreleased track in "Unknown Journey XI". Another fine Drexciya document from Clone.