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Perfectly Deep Weekly: Your primary source for the finest deep electronic music on the Internet

Perfectly Deep Weekly #41:
Samuli Kemppi, Jeroen Search, Galaxy 2 Galaxy

 

Dear <<First Name>>
 

For as long as electronic music has existed - beginning in the 1950s - the art form has been associated with futurism. This comes mainly from the fact that electronic music is made using electronic circuits: At first in synthesizers and drum machines, and later on also using computer chips. For many, myself included, this made electronic music the soundtrack of the electronic age, aka. the future. A genre of music fascinated by the frontiers of humankind.

 

A subset of this association relates to our ultimate frontier, space. Have you ever seen a movie about space without electronic music? I cannot think of one.

 

Therefore, for this week's newsletter, the theme is deep electronic music focused on space and space exploration, expressed mainly through the titles of the tracks and albums. By choosing such titles, one can only assume that the inspiration comes from the endless void of the universe. This is what we'll explore today.

 

In any case, I hope you will enjoy this newsletter as much as I did putting it together.

 

Keep it deep,

 

Christian Villum
 


Samuli Kemppi - Deep Space Helsinki - 18th April 2022 (2022)

Deep Space Helsinki

Tags: #deeptechno #TBA

 

This mix combines two of my favorite things in deep electronic music: On one hand, Deep Space Helsinki, a long-running podcast from the Finnish capital city of Helsinki, which is dedicated to the deepest depths of electronic music. Their music curation, mixing, and guest lineup are sublime. Moreover, I love how the way they speak in the intros - beautiful Finnish accent English in a deep and unpretentious voice - accentuates the deep, Nordic vibe of the show.

 

On the other hand, the mix also showcases the talents of Samuli Kemppi, my favorite Finnish producer. A veteran on the scene, Kemppi has been making deep techno records since the mid-2000s and building a solid DJ reputation through mixes and performances served with utmost precision and consistency in quality. Later on, I want to feature him in more depth in this newsletter, so I'll refrain from including more biographical information.

 

In this mix, he starts out deep and percussive with some drones and tribal rhythms for the first half-hour before he opens up the faucet for a dose of his signature, deep techno record curation, and track mixing/interweaving. The tracklist features both household names like Feral and Jonas Kopp, new talents like Polygonia and Priori - both of which have been featured in this newsletter earlier on - and lots of producers I've never heard of before. A mörgasbord of delightful deep electronic music treats.

 

Soundcloud

 


Jeroen Search - Alpha Centauri (2021)
Arjunamusic Records

Tags: #minimalhouse #deeptechno

The Dutch producer Jeroen Search is a somewhat well-kept secret who has been around the circuit since the mid-1990s, crafting an impressive four albums and over 30 EPs and singles. The lack of attention is arguably undeserved since he has continually been putting out significant releases. As a result, according to the research I did, many major artists allegedly list him as a critical source of inspiration.

 

His most recent album, this one, is also one of his best releases in my humble opinion. The title is taken from a system of stars 4.37 light-years from Earth, containing the Earth's closest exoplanet (a planet similar to ours that could sustain human life if we ever reach it.) According to the album press release, it would "take about 100 years for a nuclear pulse propulsion interstellar spacecraft to reach it, and another 4 years would be necessary for the data to begin to reach Earth." This album is the perfect soundtrack for imagining what that journey would feel like.

 

The record comes out on Detroit's Axis Records, which is founded and run by Jeff Mills (who's also mentioned in the other album review this week). Axis is a mastodon label in the history of techno, not least because of the impact around the world of Mills' releases on the label as well as other key producers in their stable, like Jeroen.

 

The album starts out with a powerful ambient track, 'Main Sequence Star,' which carries an impatient and uneasy feeling, as if to signal that things are going to get stirred up quite soon. And sure enough, track 2, 'The Spectral Type,' kicks into elegant Detroit techno gear. It is a sad, dark composition with subtle drums and a hypnotic motif that sets the tone for the album. '100 Solar Masses,' track number 3, adds a pounding kick drum to the mix, and the album keeps on building.

 

'Alpha Centauri System' and 'Circumpolwer' are two other highlights, very reminiscent of the Axis Records signature sound: A rumbling drum pattern, minor keys-driven synth pads, and looping bleeps. These tracks sit side by side with 'Orbital Radius,' where the gloves really come off. Its percussive drive adds an even more intense feel to the album. 

 

Jeroen Search took his artist moniker from the record label he runs, Search. An outlet through which Search has released a large portion of his work - alongside high-quality work of other producers. 

 

Spotify  Apple Music  Deezer  Youtube Music


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'.


Spotify  Apple Music  Tidal  Deezer  Youtube Music
 

PERFECTLY DEEP WEEKLY? REMIND ME AGAIN WHAT THIS IS?

 Perfectly Deep Weekly is a free newsletter that makes it easy to enjoy quality deep electronic music every week. It is curated by me, Christian Villum, an electronic music buff based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The idea is simple: I listen to the many releases that come out, pick the ones I like the best - and share them with you here.

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