Review: Following the first installment of Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller, Clone delves back into Drexciya's archives for the follow-up. Like the first release, the Dutch label has been granted access to tracks from the Detroit duo's earlier releases, including Bubble Metropolis and The Unknown Aquazone, which fetch hundreds of pounds online. Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller 2 is also fascinating for the way that Clone have curated and programmed it. "High Tide", from the ultra-rare, shamelessly expensive Uncharted EP issued on Somewhere in Detroit in 1997 kick-starts the release in abrasive mode as yelping analogue riffs and rolling snares rush in over a malevolent, insistent bass. And despite all the music media's talk and pontificating about Drexciya testing the boundaries of electronic music, invading our subconscious and bringing us to new worlds, it should not be forgotten that they were also entertainers par excellence. Even at their most obtuse, on the dystopian synths of "Unknown Journey", the duo were sneaking in EBM basslines and memorable hooks. It's a similar story on the squelchy P-funk of "Danger Bay" (also from Bubble Metropolis), which features a brilliant but daft 'ha ha ha ha' male vocal sample and "Dead Man's Reef" (from 1997's The Quest), with its mock-horror riffs unfolding over phased hats and murderous bass. The other misconception about Donald and Stinson was that they were merely an electro act. The warped, low-slung minimal techno of "Bang Bang" replete with mock robo vocals dispels this myth - and could be the sleazy counterpoint to DBX's pure minimalism - as does "Davy Jones Locker" (from 1996's True People: The Detroit Techno Album). With its warped bass and mysterious piano lines, the lithe rhythms seem to cruise in a space between Detroit electro and UK jungle. The tendency to inhabit these grey areas is also audible on "Journey Home", taken from the eponymous 1995 EP for Warp. On that occasion however, Drexciya push towards a 4/4 arrangement with their warm low ends and woozy synths making for one of the most nakedly emotive and personal takes on Detroit techno. In case the listener is in any doubt about Stinson and Donald's mastery of many sounds, the beautiful "Neon Falls", with its dreamy synth hooks and innate fragility brings this second installment of Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller to a close. Forget the hype, myths and half-truths surrounding Drexciya; just drop the needle on the record and dive straight in.
CCC 023
26 Jun 12
Techno
 Buy
from $1.49

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