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Rude 66 – Two Worlds review

Crème Organization has released a sprinkling of compilations and albums over the past few years from the likes of Legowelt, Bangkok Impact, Alexander Robotnick and, perhaps most memorably, a tribute to Robert Moog – often in uber limited CDR form. This double 12” sees them change tack slightly and issue a neat ‘best of’ compendium of the 90s DJAX and Acid Planet output of Rude 66, aka Ruud Lekx, wrapped in wonderfully Gothic artwork.

Lekx initially rose to prominence in the 1980s halcyon era of noise and EBM, playing keys in Dutch noise band Kamika6, whose sound is forever lost in the Dutch underground save for those who picked up a copy of their only release; a limited demo cassette. As the 90s dawned Lekx moved into more fertile musical pastures and soon became associated with The Hague acid house sound alongside Unit Moebius and I-f. From here he dabbled in a myriad of other related genres; ambient, lo-fi acid, soundtracks, electro, even disco – all produced with an idiosyncratic layer of darkness.

Over the two clear 12”s that make up Two Worlds we’re treated to a captivating journey through vintage acid, techno, electro ambient and industrial sounds. What impresses most is the sheer breadth of musical styles on offer, considering this release only showcases his output from 1992-1998 (arguably the most prolific and creative portion of the producer’s career).

Highlights on the first vinyl are plentiful, drifting from the straight up filthy electro jack of “Two Worlds” to the dread-filled 4am techno of “Rude 66” and squelch ‘n claps acid of “Acid Trip Soft”. It’s all incredibly dark stuff, yet the use of vintage synthesisers and drum machines gives the music a bubbling warmth buried deep beneath the icy exterior.

Head straight for the industrial wallop of “Minus 8 Remix” on the second vinyl, which also contains some sweat-drenched Chicago house (“No Cure”), dubby broken beat techno (“La Route”), swirling, atmospheric cyberpunk ambience (“Images”) and ethereal electronic soundscapes (“Smog”). It all serves as a fascinating look into one of Europe’s most intriguing underground production talents.

Aaron Coultate