The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Konx-om-Pax is his graphic design and animation work. It’s spread across an impressive range of album sleeves, music videos and illustrations for labels like Warp, Underground Resistance and DFA, as well as his own Display Copy project. The second is his own music. Most notably seen in his excellent ‘Regional Surrealism’ LP from last year on Planet Mu, the Glaswegian producer’s first full-length was praised for its evocative take on ambient electronica, pulling together his love for science fiction cinema and soundtracks in a way that reflected back onto his design work. But perhaps a lesser known side of Konx-om-Pax, and something that deeply influences both his designs and his music, is that he absolutely loves rave and hardcore music.
As well as co-running a semi-regular '90s rave club night in Glasgow called 48k, his DJ sets are a cacophony of classic Detroit techno, Chicago house, original disco screamers and '90s hardcore rave, all thrown together with a playfulness that shows a different side to him. So on that note, Konx-om-Pax has selected ten of his favourite club tracks that speak to his love for rave music.
- Lone – Crystal Caverns 1991
Konx-om-Pax: “I’m admittedly a bit biased with this one because I designed the sleeve, but I love Lone’s ‘Galaxy Garden’ album and this track in particular is amazing. It has a similar feel to those classic 90’s R&S rave bangers – before it all went a bit James Blake.”
- Outlander – Vamp
Konx-om-Pax: “This was definitely a massive influence for Lone – Crystal Caverns 1991. I’ve found that the general reaction to the main riff coming in during a set is a complete dance floor meltdown.
- Paranoid London – Paris Dub 1
Konx-om-Pax: “I only picked this track up last month, but every time I play it I always get more than a few people coming up to me afterwards and say “What the hell was that?”. It’s such a simple construction and I think that’s why it’s so appealing. It’s proper bare bones acid house, and with such a lovely vocal too.”
- Thomas Bangalter – What To Do
Konx-om-Pax: “Since the new Daft Punk album dropped I’ve been listening to this track a lot to balance things out. It’s probably the most ‘Doof doof doof doof’ track ever made. Techno karaoke.”
- Underground Resistance – Jupiter Jazz
Konx-om-Pax: “I know everyone always goes on about High Tech Jazz as the ultimate Underground Resistance track, but I much prefer this one. I’m a sucker for giant piano hooks.”
- Gherkin Jerks – Acid Indigestion
Konx-om-Pax: “This is bat-shit crazy, off key acid music from Larry Heard. I was so happy when this got reissued last month so I could finally have it on vinyl.”
- Forgemasters – Pump Me
Konx-om-Pax: “This still sounds so fresh for something that was made in the early 90s. Rob Gordon is so underrated in my opinion. I think he’s just as important as the original Detroit pioneers, and he’s also one of the maddest dudes I’ve ever met!”
- Altern8 – Real Time Status
Konx-om-Pax: “I love dropping this into the middle of some techno, it always gets a nuts reaction.”
- Hudson Mohawke – Thunder Bay
Konx-om-Pax: “I remember hearing this for the first time at the Warp20 event a few years ago when I was doing live visuals for Hudson Mohawke’s show. The stage started to shake so much when it dropped!”
- Sy Kick – Music in the House
Konx-om-Pax: “This is a bit of an anthem at 48k, the rave and hardcore night that some friends and I put on in Glasgow. It used to be at a bowling club in a park, but it had to get moved to different locations after it started getting too busy! One of my friends who plays at 48k with me, Rob Data very kindly gave me the 12” for my birthday last year. I was well chuffed! It’s a super piano-o-rama belter.”