Mind Of A Machine

Monday morning techno- the last Monday before Christmas techno too. Very festive.

Carl Craig’s 1995 album Landcruising is a Detroit masterpiece, a sleek glide around the city at night with machine beats and glacial synths. In 2005 Carl revisited it and tinkered, updating it and then re-releasing it as The Album Formerly Known As… As you can imagine some of the techno purists were aghast. Carl said that ‘some parts were dated so I wanted to make it again removing the dated parts and enlarging the good parts.’ Technology and software goes through changes and when out djing he found some tracks jarred when played next to more modern sounds. Largely it comes down to taste but ten years on from the remake both versions sound great to these ears.

This one is absurdly good, the bass thumping from the start. Even if you think you don’t like techno, you should let this one work its magic and hypnotise you.

Mind Of A Machine (2006 version)

Hot On The Heels

Walter beat me to the post when he blogged October (Love Song) by Chris and Cosey a few days ago- a beautiful 1983 single from two members of Throbbing Gristle. In 2004 an album of remixes of Throbbing Gristle tracks came out, called Mutant TG. As industrial and electronic pioneers Genesis P Orridge and co always got respect from dance music artists. One of the highlights of the album was this tremendous nine minute version by Detroit techno legend Carl Craig. Hot On The Heels Of Love is TG’s most accessible song and had a dancefloor groove already. Carl sends it onwards with techno…

Hot On The Heels Of Love (Carl Craig Re-Version)

From today I’m off on holiday for a week, staying in Scarborough in North Yorkshire, so there’ll be nothing here until next weekend. Be good.


I was going to post some squealing guitars today but I had a text exchange with an old friend who mentioned the Jamie Xx album (see yesterday) and also that apparently Jamie’s favourite album is Paperclip People’s 1996 The Secret Tapes Of Dr. Eich. Paperclip People was an alias for Carl Craig, Detroit techno scientist and wizard. The Secret Tapes… is a twelve track dancefloor masterpiece- pure, streamlined, machine music. Being from Detroit it is also gritty and dark. It manages to be both minimal and big sounding. This one, Oscilator, begins with a siren blast on repeat, then the drums kick in and distorted bass hits. After that you get six minutes of modulating, oscilating synths that twist and turn things upside and down. Straight to the point dance music that sounded like the future in 1996 and still sounds modern now. I love the album cover too, the reel to reel tape recorder (a 2012 re-mastered, re-issue had updated artwork. you can buy it here).



This fourteen minute and forty second long single was a big hit round here when it was released back in 1994. Carl Craig, foremost of the second generation of Detroit techno artists, put it out under his Paperclip People name. It is premium quality machine funk techno, starting with a sound of man kicking an expensive bin and then building and building, doubling the rhythm, adding layers and sounds, with a couple of dropouts that are heartstoppingly exciting. Really good and not a second too long.


>Don’t Forget The Motor City


Carl Craig is a techno mastermind, the key man in the second generation of Detroit house djs and producers. He embodies all those quotes about house/techno being Kraftwerk and Funkadelic stuck in a lift while The B52s are playing, and he makes genuinely emotive machine music with a huge sweep and range. I remember when Paperclip People’s album came out being awestruck by it. A group of us saw him play at Sankey’s Soap at some point in the 90s, and a friend (who would notice this type of thing) claimed that Carl was mixing on the basslines not the beat, which seemed really clever. I hadn’t noticed, being too busy dancing. His first solo album was Landcruising, which had a motorcar theme, appropriately enough for Detroit. This is the opener- Mind Of A Machine.


>Let Me Take You To A Place I Know You Want To Go


Detroit garage rock band The Dirtbombs have done an album of covers of Detriot techno. It’s much better than it could have been, although their version of Bug In The Bassbin goes on for about seventeen minutes too long and Strings Of Life doesn’t entirely work to these ears. Techno legend Carl Craig was so intrigued he got involved in it, not quite able to believe a guitar, bass and drums band would have a go at this, never mind do it well. This track is ace- a garage rock cover of Inner City’s Good Life. The sun’s out here and it almost feels like the end of winter so ‘Let me take you to a place I know you want to go…’