Thursday Throwback – October 20, 2011

I’m playing a Beardsley (live techno) set tonight so of course that means a dirty synthy techno throwback! This one bring me all the way back to 1999, and a now infamous venue just outside of Gatineau/Hull – Auberge des Rapides was the name if I’m not mistaken.

UK DJ Chris Liberator, one of the founders of the classic techno label Stay Up Forever, was headlining a two room party there. I remember walking upstairs at the peak of the party right in the middle of the breakdown. Hearing this massive track on a massive system is an experience on its own, but hearing it at peak time with everyone flipping out just takes it the next level. This is definitely one of a few rave memories that will remain vividly etched in my mind, and one that inspired me to put on shows, produce, DJ/perform, etc.

Magnum Force “Unlucky Punk” c. 1998:

Thursday Throwback – August 11, 2011

So I’m playing a live techno set this Saturday under the monicker “Dr. Beardsley”. It’s all very bass/synth-heavy techno so I figured it was only fitting to post a classic track with a big bassline. As the majority of older techno I know doesn’t actually have big basslines we’ll have to go with a minimal bassline…

I really wanted to post Henrik B’s “Stuntman” but was unable to find it online and unfortunately didn’t have the time to upload it. Just going through my techno crates now I came across something similar though, and something much more significant and relevant.

Relevant because I played a show with this guy in 99, around the time the track was released. Not only that, but my set was…. yup… live techno!

Significant because it was at this show that I started dating my wife. (Aww, young raver love!) What really brings it all full circle is that we got married on that same day 11 years later, and will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary in exactly one month from today.

So there you have it, a story of love and techno. And quite understandably, this track always sends chills down my spine.

D.A.V.E. the Drummer Hydraulix 2 side A c. 1999:

Now back to work preparing for the show!

Enter Dr. Beardsley

Dr. Beardsley is my latest pet project – an alter ego for heavier stuff. Bassy techno & house to start with but I might touch on some drum & bass.I spent this past weekend coming up with several sketches for a live set – some might be fleshed out into full tracks, some may remain just live performance pieces. Here’s a super raw mix-down of a few of them: Dr. Beardsley teasers by SnugSo far it’s all 100% raw analog basslines – no post-processing or anything. This will hopefully be a key part of the Beardsley sound: raw & gritty.I hope to go primarily in the direction of the third clip as I feel this is a bit more accessible, although the harder stuff is fun as hell too and really nostalgic for me (I used to DJ a lot of hard techno) so I’m going to try to find a reasonable balance.Watch the SoundCloud for more teasers and hopefully stay tuned for some live performances!Biography:

Dr. Beardsley’s patients have a 25% survival rate. He finds this statistic disappointing – he was hoping for zero.

If you listen to Dr. Beardsley’s music he will write prescriptions for you – prescriptions for ANYTHING you want. (Dr. Beardsley is above the law. In fact, he pioneered modern law, but that’s a story for another day)

Beardsley grew up eating Swedish Berries and listening to Swedish techno. He chose the medical profession as means to raise money for his early retirement. His credentials include a degree from Dr. Nick’s back alley Medical School and countless hours of exploratory surgery on neighbourhood pets.

Beardsley first started tinkering with electronic music at work. On lunch breaks he would rig up broken EKGs to an old sequencer he bought at a garage sale. Eventually he would go on to purchase more appropriate tools, but he still has a special place in his heart for the sound of a modded EKG.

He would also go on to invent a form of hard techno called “Beardstep” as a backlash against the dubstep movement. It was extremely popular with middle-aged housewives, which he still finds himself having to fend off everywhere he goes.

Thursday Throwback – Jan 27, 2011

Going to mix things up a bit this week and share one of my favourite techno tracks by one of my favourite techno producers.

I think what draws me to this track is the fact that it’s so atypical for techno:

  1. It has a predominant bassline, and a unique one at that. It’s a little bit funky and really drives the track along.
  2. It evolves nicely – starting off very restrained but opening up noticeably by about 2 mins in.
  3. It has a melodic hook, another thing which isn’t particularly common in techno

Here it is, c. 1998:

(I also like that this rip has some audible vinyl pops & clicks 😉

FYI, Icarus is actually a pseudonym of Joel Mull. Here is another more recent track by him which I find has a similar aesthetic (and would also make my list of favourite techno tracks).

P.S. I would love to know what the vocoded sample at the start is saying – something about “all my homeys”? Haha. Tell me what you think.

P.P.S. I’ve started a playlist for the throwbacks I find on YouTube