Clark – Lofthouse

Clark - Lofthouse

When Fact Magazine posted their two part series The greatest techno albums you’ve never heard, that got me thinking. The first thought that came into my mind was Clark‘s seminal record Lofthouse, a record which I think should’ve made it into such a selection. But let’s get two things out of the way first: this particular Clark is Mark Bell (opposed to Warp-signed Chris Clark), one half of LFO and producer involved in several of Björk’s records, among other things. Secondly, the album was anything but unheard of at the time when it came out in 1995 on the Planet E imprint. I remember hearing tracks from the album on Claude Young’s and Carl Craigs DJ-Kicks mixes, an accolade from two Detroit legends that few European artists have received (Maurizio did, too!) However, it seems that Lofthouse has become a record many have forgotten about over the years (or don’t know at all!), so here’s a little reminder.A1. Jak To Basics
A2. Primus
B. Lofthouse
C1. Christo*
C2. Clip*
D1. Dial*
D2. Knowledge*

* just to be sure you don’t miss the links I don’t recall many records that start with their weakest track and in a way I even wonder how Jak To Basics ended up on it, it’s so terrible that I’d almost understand if people didn’t bother to listen any further. From there on there are no fillers on the album, the fact that I have trouble picking a favourite should be a good indication. If you’re old enough, it would be hard to believe that you haven’t heard Clip or the title-track Lofthouse before, they were part of many sets. By today’s standard I’d pitch them both down just a bit, but well, those were the nineties! As for the rest of the record, you’ll mostly hear pleasantly warm machine music, that so-called High Tech Soul people keep reminiscing about. Especially Christo and Knowledge share the qualities of some of Carl Craig’s finest, Elements or Neurotic Behaviour, both taken from a record we incidentally wrote about today.

If you’re after this fine record, which you should, your only way seems to be the second-hand vinyl market, try Discogs or MusicStack. There is no and never has been a digital version of Lofthouse and as far as I can tell it’s not even on Planet E’s own streaming service. Good luck!

Underground Resistance

A nine minutes video on Detroit’s Underground Resistance has been made available this week on Current TV. It features interviews with label founder Mike Banks, Cornelius “Atlantis” Harris and some of the label’s more recent signings like Nomadico or DJ Skurge.

Made me think, there really needs to be another documentation on the topic. High Tech Soul was a nice effort, but far too superficial for begin focused on just a small group of musicians.

Update here’s another interview taken from a Slices DVD from 2006

High Tech Soul

High Tech Soul is a documentary about the beginnings of techno music and it’s epicentre – Detroit. It came out back in 2006 and focuses on the keyfigures of the first wave: Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. Furthermore, artists like Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes and Stacey Pullen are reconstructing the history in interviews and try to give an explanation for the phenomenon of techno.

While I wasn’t too impressed by the movie itself, I still want to recommend it to you music interested people. It gives a nice overview of the history of the city and how it led to the birth of an international movement. On the downside, the movie only scratches on the surfaces and will leave a lot of open questions.

However, the movie can now be watched in full-lenght on Vimeo, which is why I posted this in the first place.