Sea-obsessed techno band, one of the all time best, opened up on essential new compilation.
Aquatic mythology, African-American history, improvisational techno, and the TR-808. These are the staples of Drecxiya: the Detroit techno group shrouded in sci-fi mystery who made an indelible mark on the scene between 1992 and 2002. Legend has it that the Drexciyans were an underwater race descended from pregnant slave women thrown overboard during their trans-Atlantic capture centuries ago. They made electronic music that focused around watery themes and referenced their species and oceanic existence.
Drexciya was mostly comprised of James Stinson and his semi-secret sidekick, Gerald Donald. Both members hid behind their fictional identities until Stinson’s untimely death in 2002, and Drexciya was abandoned immediately afterwards. Ten years later, Clone’s re-issuing the majority of Drexciya’s back catalogue via four albums that will be coming out over the next few months. The long-running Dutch record label has opted not to re-release the duo’s back catalogue as is, and is instead releasing four expertly curated compilations that span the Drexciya’s entire catalogue from hits to b-sides to unreleased material. This has provided a new listening perspective for seasoned aficionados, and has also made Drexicya’s discography easily accessible to those not yet familiar with their music.
The first compilation, ‘Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller I’, focuses on Drexciya’s earlier output and includes the previously unreleased track, Unknown Journey. Clone did a fantastic job of picking productions that showcase different aspects of their sound: the tracks range from mid-tempo melodic electro-funk to driving abyssal techno ferocity. What ties it all together is a sound that has been copied so many times since that even new tracks feel familiar. Their music sits somewhere between the murky mythology of the duo’s oceanic race and the pulsating industrial rhythm of a city skyline. Drexciya ended up being America’s delayed socio-political answer to the cult of Kraftwerk, perhaps unintentionally, and has influenced countless of producers and musicians since. If the next three re-issue albums are as good as the first one, then this series is nothing less than a must have for music fans of any genre.