In a career that spans two decades, Terence Fixmer reached worldwide recognition with the release of his debut album, Muscle Machine, on DJ Hell’s seminal International Deejay Gigolos imprint in 1999. The album opened up a whole new genre by combining Electro, Industrial, EBM and Techno into a more dance floor orientated focussed EBM style, simply called Techno Body Music. Ever since the release of his groundbreaking LP, the French producer and live act has constantly explored and redefined the boundaries of modern techno – and there are no signs of stopping.
In 2003, Fixmer teamed up with Nizer Ebb’s lead singer Douglas Mccarthy to form Fixmer/ McCarthy – pushing the genre of techno EBM to the max, resulting in two full length albums. The duo have performed their energetic live sets at numerous renowned clubs and festivals across the globe. Perhaps most notably, Fixmer joined Berghain as a resident, as well as regularly releasing with their renowned label Ostgut Ton. His first Ostgut record came in the form of Beneath The Skin in 2016 and later Force in 2017. The year after, he released his sixth full solo album Through The Cortex, which was widely recognised as techno with a voice, guiding listeners through hypnotic, space and social-themed terrain as a kind of dark soundtrack to darker days.
Fixmer’s sound deftly avoids repetition by developing soundscapes, maintaining musical depth and integrity. He preserves an original style with an instantly recognizable aesthetic which should not be slept on.
1. Vortex – Final Exposure
This record is an important release for the history of techno. Considering the tracks on this record are more frenzied and wild than much of previous techno, it is regarded as one of the best acid/ hoover tracks which combines the very best of Mundo Muzique, Joey Beltram and Richie Hawtin in full FUSE mode. When listening to Final Exposure, it is clear that the structure possesses snare drums in between the kicks instead of every second beat, and when added to the vocal samples exclaiming “Vortex”, it is a song to behold.
A2. Synergy I
A3. Synergy 2
[Released: 26.10.91 on Plus 8 Records]
2. Divide – Declinazione
Declinazione is taken from the Planetarium LP produced by Divide, which showcases a complete album composed of 13 tracks. You can find almost every colour in the techno sound palette, from the ambient intro Parsec to the equally soundscapes last track Alfa Persei, and in-between these two relaxed pieces lies a range of beats and synths. The album grows logically, building up as a whole opera with Declinazione providing random sequences and tight 909 drums. Asymmetrical notes blend to each other, giving this chaotic feeling that resonates with legendary figures such a Jeff Mills.
A1. Sfera Celeste
A2. Punto y
+ more …
3. The Emperor Machine – Like A Machine (Weatherall Remix)
The Emperor Machine needs little introduction, having been at the forefront of electronic music for well over 20 years. His musical history as Bizarre Inc, Sir Drew, and Chicken Lips charts the changing face of dance music over the last two decades but perhaps as The Emperor Machine that he has found his most experimental and innovative outlet. His most recent LP Like A Machine sees Meecham dive back into classic Emperor Machine territory with a pulsing and purring slice of electronic disco that builds around a rolling arpeggio in continual flux whilst layering the track with an array of FX, instrumentation and vocal incantations. Nestled in the middle of this package is a remix from the late Andrew Weatherall, revamping the title track into a deep and rolling anthem that has become an instant late night chugger.
A1. Like A Machine (Stretched Erotic Dub)
A2. Like A Machine (Weatherall Remix)
B1. System Seven Hundred
[Released: 04.03.13 on Southern Fried]
4. Charles Manier – Living Youths
Tadd Mullinix returns to the lesser spotted Charles Manier avatar for the second album release on his Bopside label, and the first under the guise following releases for National and Ghostly. The resulting 11 track album is mostly new material with a lineage of inspiration that can be traced back decades, from box banging EBM clun trax to spectral beatless excursions. Drawing influence from a variety of sources but still a cohesive, engaging listen.
A1. The Chop Stop
B2. Stag Error
[Released: 26.11.15 on Bopside]
5. Drexciya – Drifting Into A Time Of No Future
Exalted and held high above all electro artists, the mysterious Drexciya touts a secret history and most unusual manifesto. The anonymous artists behind Drexciya represent themselves as the ‘true Detroit’ people. They’re deadly serious about this and Drexciya’s infrequent transmissions of soulful, silvery techno-funk and electro have become a beacon to producers far and wide. As their earlier The Quest compiles much of Drexciya’s treasured vinyl catalogue, Neptunes Lair can be treated as the first proper Drexciya album. Much of the songs are electro heaters, tinged with sinister ripples that make them as bittersweet as gospel. Highlights such as Drifting Into A Time Of No Future appeal to the listener through the straight up purity. Enjoy.
A1. Temple of Dos de Aqua
A2. Andreaen Sand Dunes
B1. Running Out of Space
B2. Universal Element
[Released: 21.07.99 on Tresor]
Thanks to Terence Fixmer.