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Basic Channel records

Related: Maurizio - Wackies records - Detroit techno

Basic Channel (1995) - Various Artists
[FR] [DE] [UK]

While still working at Tresor in 1993, [Maurizio] Von Oswald had formed Basic Channel Records with partner Mark Ernestus. The immediately recognizable BC sound, a ruddy take on Detroit techno with minimal changes and maximum echo-chamber droning capacity, asserted itself with nine vinyl-only EPs during the next few years, recorded as various aliases including Cyrus, Quadrant, Phylyps and Radiance, though all were presumably Von Oswald and Ernestus.


Basic Channel is a minimal techno duo of Moritz Von Oswald (aka Maurizio) and Mark Ernestus that originated in Berlin, Germany in 1993. The duo released a number of vinyl-only tracks under various aliases, such as Phylyps, q1.1, Quadrant, Octagon, and Radiance, each of which employed their signature brand of dissonant dub techno. The Basic Channel record label, featuring the duo, released only a single CD, a self-titled culmination of edited versions of their extended vinyl tracks, which exemplified their seminal brand of dub informed Detroit techno. Basic Channel influenced various labels, such as Chain Reaction Records and Rhythm & Sound Records, whom have been prolific since the parent label closed in 1995. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Channel [Apr 2005]

Basic Channel and Lloyd 'BullWackie' Barnes

photo of Lloyd 'BullWackie' Barnes
sourced here.

There is no wonder contemporary dub and sound minimalist architects Basic Channel have embraced this cult-reggae legend by releasing an extensive archive of Bullwackie’s music on their very own Rhythm & Sound label. --Craig Terlino in http://www.weeklydig.com/dig/content/2633.aspx [2004 - now offline]

Reggae Goodies, Vol. 1-2 (1977) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Both volumes of Reggae Goodies came out around 1977 on Bullwackies' City Line imprint (which celebrated the NY subway track ending at White Plains Road, and Wackies' headquarters). They are based on a compilation of 7" A-sides which had appeared over the previous few years also on labels like Versatile, Rawse and Senrab.

The original sleeve-note of Volume 1 reflected that 'today, reggae music is reaching its peak and this album is a perfect example of the roots of its success. This is an exceptionally well put together album with various artists at their best.' No one could argue - with spectacular contributions like Don Carlos' Black Harmony Killer, Wayne Jarrett's African Woman (to Baba Leslie's Black Horns rhythm), Joe Morgan's Basement Session, and the first time out for Stranger Cole's intense Capture Land, later redone by Wackies and also Half Moon affiliates TAMU.

Volume 2 derives more from Wackies' Sounds Unlimited Studios in New York, and aims rather for the Lovers in the dance. Ad hoc lineups like Wanachi (with Jah Jah's Call also appearing on Creation Dub) and the Chosen Brothers - here it may be Lloyd Barnes with Wayne Jarrett on one track, and Leroy Sibbles on another - appear alongside regulars like 'Jah Junior' Delahaye, K.C. White, and those 'three attractive young beauties' The Love Joys - with a different mix of their version of The Abyssinians' Sweet Feelings than turns up on their debut album.

'REGGAE GOODIES, it's more than just an album. It's an experience which can only be shared by you. Get your copy now... There'll never be another of its kind.'

--http://basicchannel.com/item/W-39/40 [Apr 2005]


There is no wonder contemporary dub and sound minimalist architects Basic Channel have embraced this cult-reggae legend by releasing an extensive archive of Bullwackie’s music on their very own Rhythm & Sound label.

Basic Channel, known for their infectious minimal dub productions, are the pioneers, Kraftwerk first and aside, for tweaking the scales of dance and experimental music by way of the abstractions and rhythms of Jamaican dub.

“Yeah, those guys, I met them years ago. Incredible artists. When they are in New York they come and stay with me. We did a little project together. Great artists they are,” says Bullwackie in high praise of the group.

Basic Channel’s fascination with Bullwackie’s efforts emphasizes the importance of Jamaican dub and its influential magnitude towards the evolution of dance and experimental genres.

The “Rhythm & Sound/Wackie’s Reissue Series” consists of music recorded during the time Wackie’s House of Music was in operation. This series is decent exposure to some of the slickest and most obscure recordings, exemplifying an important era for reggae music, which can be heard on the compilation, Wackie’s Sampler Vol. 1. Featuring artists like dancehall pioneer Sugar Minott, The Meditations, Horace Andy, Love Joys, Wayne Jarrett, Clive Field Marshall, Leroy Sibbles, and Junior Delahaye, Wackie’s is an offering to the sound of New York reggae. --Craig Terlino in http://www.weeklydig.com/dig/content/2633.aspx [2004 - now offline]

Wire article

Much has been made of the mechanical side of Techno. What of its sentient aspect? The Basic Channel CD, an utterly absorbing, if somewhat misleading, document of the Berlin label's story so far, is positively crawling with lifeforms. Opening with groaning, protean, grub-shaped sounds straining to burst the constraints of the loop that would contain them, it shifts to a stubborn, twitching slug of noise, alive with guitar mites hived from Manuel Gottsching's E2-E4. Then the music submerges itself into the bowels of the city. Below the surface lies its nervous system of subway lines, dusty, dirt-encrusted cables, pipes, tunnels, energy and communications networks. Far from this most subterranean of label's dance disc origins, the reworked Basic Channel CD sounds like it set out to tap the system's energies, capture its underground echoes, read and feed into its steady flows of communication. The rhythms feel like severed live wires instinctively feeling their way back to the energy source. And when they finally connect, on the trail-out grooves called, appropriately enough, "Radiance i/Radiance iii", the rhythmic pulses burst, irradiating the city above and suffusing it with a shimmering electronic glow. -- Biba Kopf, The Wire # 150, 1996 via http://www.thewire.co.uk/archive/interviews/basic_channel.html [Sept 2006]

Basic Channel (1995) - VA

OK, I'll admit up front here that this is a good sampler and intro to the Basic Channel sound. For those uninitiated, BC was a mysterious Detroit + Berlin (maybe) partnership that turned out a short series of utterly amazing, trance-inducing 12"s up thru the mid-90s. The sound of these things ranged from pure ambience up thru a pulsing minimal techno beat, with a sizable emphasis on atmosphere. These, plus such things as Jeff Mills' Axis releases, did much to define 'minimal techno', but the BC material always seemed to go much further than just that category. Anyway, about the missing star here...see, some of these tracks in their full versions can go on for full album-side lengths, perhaps 16-18 or so minutes. And there is _no way_ you can cram some of the most spectacular of these on one single CD without some editing and chopping, and that's what's been done here, sadly. Plus there's some astounding work missing here, such as B-side of Cyrus's "Presence", the 'Phylypstrak' pieces, and so forth. No...what needs doing is to release the uncut Basic Channel work as a box CD set, to be honest. Then I'd give it eleventy-nine stars, if I could! But for those looking to get a taste, this isn't bad...but my recommendations at this date would be to go hunt down the actual 12"s if you've got vinyl playback. DAC Crowell for amazon.com

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