Galaxy 2 Galaxy - A High Tech Jazz Compilation (2005)
Underground Resistance / Submerge
Tags: #jazzytechno #experimentalelectronica
This milestone of a release prompts so many things to include in this description because of the significance of the music, the creators of it and the platforms responsible for bringing it out to the world. I'll limit myself to highlight three perspectives:
First of all, it was crafted by a group of people who were part of shaping the very concept of techno into what we know today: "Mad" Mike Banks and Jeff Mills - in collaboration with a group of virtuoso musicians from the Detroit music community. It is hard to overstate the importance of the work of Banks and Mills over almost four decades of electronic music, and space is too limited here to try to serve their full credentials justice. I'll save that for individual presentations in later newsletters. However, calling them the Beatles of techno wouldn't be far off.
Secondly, it comes out on two of the most prominent electronic labels globally, Detroit mainstays Underground Resistance and Submerge. Underground Resistance was founded by Banks, Mills, and another Detroit techno titan, Robert Hood, and stands for unparalleled music innovation since its birth in 1989. The name covers both a record label, a band, and a music collective spanning a shifting roster of artists over the last 40 years. Many of which are represented on this album.
Submerge is a record store, music studio collective, and record label, which has touched, shaped and support more records, producers, and DJs than I or anyone else could probably ever chronicle in full detail. It is a rather reclusive label; no signs point to its location. I was fortunate to visit in 2005 through a personal connection, which is a memory I really cherish.
Lastly, this album bridges several eras in electronic music: It was preceded conceptually by an EP titled Nation 2 Nation, released in 1990. The Galaxy 2 Galaxy moniker then came to life as the title of a Banks EP from 1993. Finally, the name came to life again in 2005 as an outlet for a collective of Underground Resistance-associated musicians, headed by Banks, to perform the old and new material live. This album we're presenting here summarizes this latest opus in the Galaxy 2 Galaxy story.
Musically, Galaxy 2 Galaxy as a concept, series of records and artist platform is a unique gem in electronic music history. It elegantly mixes ambient, jazz, techno, house, and experimental electronica in a hybrid that transcends all of the above-mentioned genres, and which Banks and Mills dubbed "hi-tech jazz".
My favorite tracks are the ambient opener 'Metamorphosis,' the jazzy slow burner 'Big Stone Lake', Detroit house classic 'Jupiter Jazz', and experimental techno stomper 'Deep Space 9'.
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