Dusted Down Various Artists Artificial Intelligence (Warp)

Dusted Down  Various Artists  Artificial Intelligence (Warp)

Author: , 18:28
Last modified: 28.11.2022, 13:33.

The album that marked the beginning of "smart techno" is already three decades old.

Various Artists - Artificial Intelligence (Warp Records)

Very few albums and even fewer compilations change direction the way the Warp Artificial Intelligence compilation did 30 years ago. Released in December 1992, at a time when techno was moving away from its Motor City roots and taking on louder, faster, more intense forms, AI introduced the idea of ​​"listenable electronic music" that sounded equally good. a drunken mess Like the hours after the disco on the couch on a Wednesday night when the experience of ecstasy slowly fades.

The album became ubiquitous over the next few years: almost every student had a CD copy, along with The Orb sets and dancefloor-oriented crossovers like Orbital , while Phil Wolstenholme's futuristic (then) computer-generated illustrations became famous and cult. - Mixmaster Morris later helped spearhead what an NME reviewer would call "smart techno" (much to the chagrin of some producers who were concerned that their releases were misremembered), and what the Americans called "smart dance music" or "IDM".

The virtues, or the vices, of such genre labels, or the stylistic trends of more recent times, there is no doubt that the music presented around AI is magical and timeless, and is just as impressive and futuristic today. This was in 1992. More importantly, the Afrofuturistic influence inherent in the Detroit techno and electro records that have inspired many of their creators is far more pronounced than in many recent releases.

He is also an impressive performer. Except Dr. Alex Paterson , whose Tangerine Dream -style album "Loving You Live" ("Loving You Live" ("A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Ruled From The Center of the Center" by Orb) gives the final nod. Early performers in the style ambient house, most of which appeared, eventually found its way to Warp ( Autechre , Richard D James and members of The Black Dog and Plaid provided a mixture of solo and collaborative tracks such as Musicology and IAO), and later well-known external producers took ( Speed ​​J and Richie Hawtin as Up!).

Musically, the album's most innovative contribution to the development of "techno for home listening" is the combination of understated gestures, hip-hop beats, chords, textures and melodies taken from the futuristic traditions of Motor City. . This is evident in Speedy J's unique song "De Orbit", which has become a favorite of jungle techno DJs when played at 45rpm rather than 33rpm (so the breakbeat energy is perfectly in line with the nascent fusion of hardcore sounds), but is also present in Musicologia's effervescent Telephone 529.

"Artificial Intelligence" includes a number of sessions that would now be considered ambient techno territory, including the eerie scenery of the morning dance floor "The Dice Man" (previously inspired by Richard D. James ' "Surfing" ). '). Sine Waves of the same name) and Up!'s Spiritual High, Detroit anthems filled with heavy tones, mind-blowing electronics and strange acid lines, foreshadowed some of Richie Hawtin's work as a plastic man. .

Whether Warp wanted it or not, the innovations introduced by "Artificial Intelligence" and its unforgettable sequel in 1993 radically changed the discourse about electronic music and techno in particular. Suddenly, couch surfing was as important as dancing. In all the years since then, we have never looked back.

Matt Ennis

Pre-order your copy of Artificial Intelligence (Reprint) on December 9th by clicking here.

Update - Digital rehearsals and remote showspace