Monday’s Long Song

In 2002 Drexciya released Grava 4, yet another inventive and adventurous album from the Detroit duo. Sparse electro, spacey techno and their slavery/science fiction back story in one perfectly realised package. The albums eight tracks culminate in the swansong Astronomical Guidepost, a lengthy, slightly forlorn piece of techno that also points to a way out. The drum machine rattles away, electronic arpeggios come and go, synths buzz and occasionally a voice interrupts to say ‘use the star chart to fix the celestial navigation point, from there you should be able to plot your way back to Earth’.

Astronomical Guidepost

Gerald Donald and James Stinson had a detailed and highly politicised background- their four albums plot out the story of pregnant slaves who were thrown overboard from Atlantic slave ships. Their children evolved to live underwater in a place called Drexciya. They later expanded this- the Africans kidnapped as slaves who became the Drexciyans were originally from Ociya Snydor, a planet deep in the outer space, 700 million light years away from Earth. Stinson died in 2002 and Donald doesn’t talk much about Drexciya so the albums and the highly charged political legend are all that remain- dark Detroit electro/techno that had its feet on the dancefloor and its eyes on the US’s history of slavery.

Wavejumper

I had techno on repeat at the weekend and this one from 1995 was buzzing around my head after pressing play at some point on Saturday morning. Drexciya were a duo from Detroit, a focused and purist electro-techno pairing who shunned the media and dwelt in the shadows. They created an origin myth for their name- Drexciya was an underwater nation made populated and inhabited by the unborn children of pregant African slaves who jumped or were thrown off slave ships crossing the Atlantic.

The sleeve to the Aquatic Invasion 12″ has this on it…

On February First Nineteen Hundred And Ninety Five the Drexciyan Tactical Seaforces received orders from UR Strikeforce Command, for one final mission. The dreaded Drexciya stingray and barracuda battalions were dispatched from the Bermuda Triangle. Their search and destroy mission to be carried out during the Winter Equinox of 1995 against the programmer strongholds. During their return journey home to the invisible city one final mighty blow will be dealt to the programmers. Aquatic knowledge for those who know.
The Unknown Writer 

They weren’t messing around. Wavejumper is the a-side on the 12″, a blast of the future, a slice of purist funky electro, a piece of uncompromising dark techno. It still sounds streets ahead.

Wavejumper