What is it: Techno from an originator.
Who would play it: Dj Nuhhh | Øyvind Morken
When are you most likely to hear it: When peak time is just around the corner.
When picking through James Stinson’s back catalogue, the most obvious choice for an album of the week would certainly be Drexiya, the project he and Gerlad Donald established way back in the 90’s as the uncomplicated, forward thinking sound of Techno of the era and a generation of inventive creative individuals. A fervent facilitator for the future of Techno, Stinson embodied completely what it was to be Techno through various aliases, which included some seminal moments in the genre like Abstract Thought, Shifted Phases and Underground Resistance. Always dedicated to the futuristic aesthetic of the genre, he never rested on his laurels and continuously pushed the boundaries of electronic music right up to his death in 2002. It was just before his untimely passing that he seemed to have hit an incredible stride in his artistry and in a very creatively fertile year, he set about producing seven albums, under various aliases for various labels, including Rephlex, Tresor and Kombination
Transllusion’s “The opening of the cerebral gate” was one these albums, which were all collectively known as the “seven storms”, and one of the first of the series to make it out into the world. “Transmission of the Life“ opens the LP and as we listen to it, the beeping synthesiser blends effortlessly into our modern world, with our social-media enabled telephone conversations and our talking fridges. Stinson had some eerie gift for predicting the future of music, and Transllusion is particularly evocative of present-day Techno, being partial to heavy atmospheres and dominating kicks, without losing touch of the esoteric melodic appeal of Stinson’s brand of Techno. The music on the LP bounds with melody, counterpointing the functionality of the rhythm sections with Stinson’s dark hew enveloping all as it’s always done. It is an album nonetheless and the tempo paces itself; the harmonies sections loiter; and the atmosphere is dense with melancholy.
This was not the high-octane disenfranchised youthful version of Stinson we got to know through Drexiya, but rather a more contemplative, reserved elder, and while, yes there might be a track like “Negative Flash” to get the pulse racing, a track like “Dimensional Glide” exists in the same universe, and hints at a calmer, restrained personality with legato keys and the slow meandering pulse of a House track. It would have been been interesting to see this personality unfold later through his career, but alas it was not to be. We will never know which direction Stinson would eventually be heading towards, but at least we still have the Seven Storms thundering away through recorded history, and thanks to Tresor reissuing Transllusion’s “The opening of the cerebral gate” we have our album of the week.