Dan Selzer is a renaissance dude.
He runs Acute Records, where he has re-released and reissued amazing no-wave and art punk material by Theoretical Girls, Glenn Branca and Ike Yard among others (Discogs).
Together with Mike Simonetti, he created the 4th RVNG Presents Mix (Crazy Rhythms, a.k.a. one of our favourite mixes ever).
Today we celebrate his Strategies release in Golf Channel Recordings, as New York Endless.
Strategies contains three electronic tracks that satisfyingly close the loop between the mechanised and the emotional (cf. Interstellar’s ‘we surround ourselves in metal and pump ourselves into space, but at the end of the day, we are just looking for love”).
Instead of posting a song from it as usual (you can get the record here; check the spectacular ‘Scale Those Heights’ at Pitchfork), we are instead going to feature a selection of early techno tracks picked up by Mr. Selzer himself, where we clearly detect the ‘intuitions of the post-human from the modern’ blueprint which are so manifest in the wonderful New York Endless.
In his own words: “It is a selection of old songs, some from that whole Artificial Intelligence/AI period, some tangentially related. Just some pretty techno that I was into when I was first starting to get into electronic/dance music beyond easily accessible rave compilations and commercial stuff, and before I went further back.”
This selection follows up from this wonderful blog post about Warp Records Artificial Intelligence series and IDM.
Long Ago – A Relic
The Europeans taught me about techno and it was an European compilation that introduced me to Detroit. The Transmat Relics compilation opens with this Derrick May track…I don’t think it every appeared anywhere outside of Relics and an associated EP. A perfect opener of this comp and of minds, swelling synths, heavenly Detroit strings, funky and chaotic synth percussion, changed me.
The Black Dog – Techno Playtime
According to the liner notes of the Warp Artificial Intelligence series, these guys are from somewhere in the South Pacific and they love Silent Command by Cabaret Voltaire. I think they used to have a BBS system that I tried accessing from the vax terminals in Oberlin’s computer lounges but never got through.
Fuse – Dimension Intrusion
Amazing that Richie Hawtin is where he is now and awesome to remember that he’d write something as sublimely beautiful as Dimension Intrusion.
Heard through shared releases with B12, favorites of the UK IDM with Detroit roots class. VCF has a lo-fi quality that is charming. Lo-fi doesn’t have to mean distorted and noisy, it can be raw and sweet.
Cusp – Drone Um Futurisma
During the early 90s techno-craze when malls across America were filled with cash-in rave compilations, it was a miracle of distribution and some people somewhere with taste that Artificial Intelligence made it through, as did the omnipresent Probe Mission USA CD, which included Mark Gage’s Cusp (and one of my all-time faves 0733’s Loner). Psychedelic and trancey (but lets still call it techno), that moment 3 and half minutes in when the melody comes in…so good.
Stefan Robbers – Mistified
Robber’s Eevo-lute, definitely more of the best Euro-Detroit. I seem to be drawn to these techno b-sides/final songs on an ep that are the more “ambient” counterpoint to the club track flipside.
Wladmir M. – Goin’ South
Another from Eevo-lute, actually never heard this till recently. Truly epic and odd and powerful stormer of a song. The little Kraftwerk sample makes it for me. Europe Endless, right?
Richard H. Kirk – Feeling (Of Warmth and Beauty)
I came to techno from a post-punk/industrial background and Cabaret Voltaire were long favourites. Kirk is crazy prolific but this album has it’s own vibe that pretty much ruled my first year of college. This song is a bit triumphic, really crowd-pleasing moments as each new part come in. A long time personal fave.