Pearsall's Tunes

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Silver Box

Man, I love the sound of the Roland TB-303. It's one of those things I just don't get sick of. Ever ever ever. Perhaps the most over-used sound in dance music ever, it was originally created to function as a bassline generator for guitarists to play along to. It was, however, terrible for those purposes and mostly ended up on the scrapheap until the 80's Chicago house scene rediscovered it and realized that by messing around with the dials you could create some almost unimaginably (for this was the 80's after all) freaky sounds. What helped this even more was that the 303 riffs sounded absolutely batshit insane on large soundsystems and even more effective if (cough cough) you were a bit, um, refreshed. In the years since the sound of the silver box and its legion of hardware and software clones has become an essential part of the arsenal of dance music production, especially on more the more boggle-eyed rave scenes. Here's some acid tunes, taken from old mixes of mine:

Warmduscher - Hardcore Will Never Die - This is off a mix I did in 2002 called Rampage Audio 2. This is a German hard trance record, and in true German style it is very linear and marching. True, unadulterated rave music. Frenzied 303 action, marching snares, and an absolutely thwomping kickdrum (you should hear this record loud). A classic from Tracid Traxx, a German acid trance label that has, down the years, alternated between releasing amazing stuff and the most godawful pap imaginable (usually by the label owner Kai Tracid, who has released dozens of gigantic cheesefests, and about three good tunes).

A&E Department - And the Rabbit's Name Was - This is off the same mix, but it's the very last track. As you can tell, I tend to up the bpm's by quite a lot over the course of a mix cd! This is north of 160 bpm and is one of the finest records to ever emerge from the London acid techno scene. Acid techno was my thing for a good couple years. It was the true ruling sound of the illegal rave scene. I've been meaning to write a long post about the whole squat party scene, but I haven't had a chance to get round to a friend's house to record a new mix (of old tunes) to accompany it just yet (unfortunately I don't have turntables in New York). Music at squat parties ranged (and ranges) from jungle/drum n' bass to gabba to psychedelic trance and even (sometimes) stuff like dub reggae and punk rock, but the king sound when I was going out on that scene was always stuff like this. Completely manic acid techno/trance. The sort of tunes that anal-retentive techno purists hated with a passion. And this was one of the very mightiest tunes, a classic from Stay Up Forever, the flagship label of this particular slice of the London underground. Legend has it that the Liberator dj's (the guys who ran SUF) sent a copy of this to the Detroit techno legend Derrick Mills who faxed back a response sheet simply saying "please send more".

Lochi - Element - More London acid techno. Not much to say about this beyond the fact that it I really like this sort of thing.

Winnebago Warriors - Trailer Trash & DJ Futureshock - Third Wave - This is off Rampage Teknikal 3, from which I took that Mood II Swing track yesterday. These are two tracks that I decided to join up as I think they work quite nicely together. 'Trailer Trash' is another London acid techno record, but it's a fair amount less frenzied than the other two I posted, while 'Third Wave' was also released in London, but on the tech-house End Recordings label, which usually puts out quite housey stuff. This was comparatively banging for them. It has a great acid line and some nice pads.

As long as we are talking about druggy music, on a separate but similar line, check this madness out. Look at the rictus grin and exploding pupils. Drugs at your 15th birthday party - not a good idea.

24's about to start. See you all tomorrow night.

|| RPH || 1:56 AM ||


i think the sound of the 303 has been solidly burned into my DNA template or hooked, too :)
Blogger Robert, at April 26, 2005 3:48 PM  
You can't argue with aciiiiiiiiiiiied.
Blogger Pearsall Helms, at April 27, 2005 4:13 AM  

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