Numbers at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 6 Jun
It seems curiously prophetic that a track named ‘Alleys of Your Mind’ would inspire the young James Stinson and Gerald Donald to form Drexciya, who would eventually become recognised as one of the most imaginative and visionary forces in electronic music. The song, recorded by Juan Atkins as Cybertron, set a template for Detroit’s burgeoning electro scene in the early 1980s that would influence a generation of producers. When Donald and Stinson eventually formed Drexciya in 1989, their music would be created alongside an extraordinary fictional narrative, incorporating a shared fascination with African-American social history and an obsession with the power and mystery of the ocean. The increasingly convoluted, sci-fi Drexciyan narrative was explored through song titles and artwork across dozens of cinematic techno releases for Underground Resistance, Tresor and Clone records until Stinson’s death in 2002.
Since then it is Donald’s output as Dopplereffekt that has become best known. Taking inspiration from Kraftwerk, Dopplereffekt’s recorded output has consisted of a series of strikingly inorganic, mechanised transmissions for Rephlex, Clone and International Deejay Gigolo Records. Retaining the predilection for narrative the Dopplereffekt concept is explored through the adoption of Germanic aliases and extreme right-wing European imagery. Working as Heinrich Mueller, Donald’s Dopplereffekt records evoke a dystopian near-future, clinical, uncompromisingly robotic music accompanied by inhuman pronouncements regarding sterilization and the ‘master organism’. His influence can be heard across the electro world though rarely with the refinement, integrity or unbridled imagination of the inimitable Dopplereffekt.