Temporary Thrillz Temporary Thrillz

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Space Dimension Controller Space Dimension ControllerTemporary Thrillz

8 / 10

Space Dimension Controller Temporary Thrillz R&S RECORDINGS

Homage to the great masters of Detroit and, by extension, to the incombustible tradition of techno with a melancholy inclination—what we generally tend to call techno-soul—had lately been entering into a phase of complacency that could only lead to weariness and stagnation. It is good for techno to reflect once in a while on its own past, and even try to imitate all that history has shown to be essential, taking advantage of that, but if it all boils down to a narcissistic reaction, to looking in the mirror to admire how beautiful one is, in the end the genre isn’t going anywhere. This is what had happened to the neo-Detroit scene: it wasn’t moving ahead because its gravitation towards the past was stronger than its desire to escape from this connection and take off and move ahead. In practice, it makes no sense to listen to imitators of Carl Craig or Underground Resistance if they already exist and the original models are still around. This is why “Temporary Thrillz” is EP of another colour: it not only has the fact that it lasts 35 minutes in its favour—so it could perfectly well pass for an album—but it also has an overwhelming quality. Not to mention a desire to add new nuances to a Detroit sound that, however much it may have self-imposed the prefix “neo,” had been sliding increasingly towards the realm of the exclusively retro.

These six pieces are retro—deep down, it is impossible to deny the evidence. But it’s like a “best of” compilation of Detroit tics put together masterfully, and when we listen to it carefully, we can find something powerful: “Mercurial Attraction”, which opens fire with nine minutes of fantasy, is still similar to Carl Craig’s old tracks under the alias of BFC or Psyche, a galactic stroll through romanticism with neon lights and views of the great vastness of the cosmos. Or that vocoder voice in “Kaleidoscopic Ecstasy”, which shows the perfect inner soul of robots. But beyond several moments close to Drexciya –in “Transatlantic Landing Bay” not only is there an allusion to the crossing of oceans in futuristic ships, but also a calm air of The Other People Place project of the sadly deceased James Stinson—but “Temporary Thrillz” also keeps the tension going with accelerations and braking, agitated techno and galloping electro, like the tracks of DJ Stingray. With things being like this, what distinguishes Space Dimension Controller from other projects nostalgic for Detroit is its taste for boogie. There is something more than techno here, there is a curiosity for other retro languages that aren’t necessarily identified with the Detroit legend, even though electronic funk and the thick notes of space Moog are the invisible connection between George Clinton and Parliament / Funkadelic and the albums that Juan Atkins put out as Model 500, precisely on R&S, at the end of the 90’s—that is to say, the underappreciated “Mind and Body” (1999) and bits of “Deep Space” (1995).

In conclusion, Space Dimension Controller wants to go a different route than, say, Redshape, a little bit more in the line of the reactivated Kirk DeGiorgio. It doesn’t want to go beyond classic techno because these two records, which can be acquired in transparent blue or pearl grey (or as a digital download), aren’t the evolution of anything towards the future; there is passion, but not innovation, there is respect because there is no break with the past. There is also, however, a reclaiming of pieces of a history that has been set aside—which is not to say forgotten—in which techno finds its roots in post-disco black music at the same time as the influence of white European synth-pop and Italo disco. And besides, in a year when the reclaiming of boogie has been a stereotypical trend—with the popular explosion of DâM-FunK and dozens of compilations and mixtapes dedicated to the archaeology of mid-80’s disco-funk, a work like “Temporary Thrillz” seems to find just the right ingredients to be something more than a vintage manoeuvre, kneeling before the masters, to become a retro manoeuvre with an unexpected distinctive, current touch. The moment is right for it, but the music is sufficiently travelling and groovy—as well as having the right backing—to aspire to stand the test of time. So to sum it up: what a year for R&S, let me tell you. And to think that the Belgians seemed to be dead in the water there a few years ago.

Javier Blánquez

Space Dimension Controller - Kaleidoscopic Ecstasy

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