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Drexciya – Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller IV


The fourth and final in the Deep Sea Dweller series is also the most anticipated for those who have followed Stinson and Donald on their spellbinding path. More than the previous compilations, this edition offers a multitude of riches, bringing the listener back to the start of the Drexciya journey. It starts with the hyperactive funk bass, chattering drums and surreal synth lines of “Depressurization”, which appeared on their 1992 EP for Shockwave, also called Deep Sea Dweller. It also takes in the mock-horror intro as well as the militaristic electro of “Mantaray” and the shimmering, spine-tingling electronic warmth of “Water Walker” all from 1994’s Drexciya 4: The Unknown Aquazone.

Drexciya - Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller IV
Artist
Drexciya
Title
Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller IV
Label
Clone Classic Cuts
Format
2xLP,CD
Buy vinylBuy CD

This is the Detroit duo’s real legacy; endearing though they may be, all the images of fish-men and mysterious otherworlds mean little compared to the extreme shifts in sonic behaviour that underpinned Drexciya’s music. It may have been tempting to believe the tales and make believe that they were from another world, but the reality was that there was always something very human and real about the Detroit duo. This is audible on some very different tracks; “Hydro Cubes” (taken from the 1994 12″ Drexciya 3 – Molecular Enchantment) is like “Mantaray”, based on a jarring, industrial-style rhythm, but there’s a tingling, spooky synth line playing in the background that offsets its visceral sound.

The same approach applies on “Black Sea” from the hard to find Journey Home release for Warp; one of Drexciya’s real dance floor techno moments, it features dreamy synth lines vying for attention against waves of discordant riffs, the dramatic interplay set to pounding, steely drums. Meanwhile, “Sighting in the Abyss” from 1995’s Aquatic Invasion is Drexciya at their most playful; a dreamy, squelchy groove that only lasts two minutes.

This same approach applies on the “Unknown Journey” series of tracks that Clone have somehow unearthed. From the spaced out “VI” and the gloriously atmospheric textures and muscular bass of “VII” – which sounds like an electrofied version of the Other People Place – to the “IX”, a slowed down, gated take on UR’s Acid Rain, and the sledgehammer, hard-sequencing of “X”, all life from beneath the waves and below the stars is contained here.

Richard Brophy

Tracklisting:

1. Intro (The Unknown Aquazone)
2. Depressurization
3. Water Walker
4. Mantaray
5. Unknown Journey VI
6. Unknown Journey VII
7. Unknown Journey VIII
8. Living on the Edge
9. Hydro Cubes
10. Unknown Journey IX
11. Unknown Journey X
12. Aquatic Bata Particles
13. (Unknown Interlude)
14. Black Sea
15. Sighting in the Abyss
16. The Last Transmission