Not every revolution is a traumatic event. Sometimes the pivotal moments of our lives barely register when they happen. Events that seem meaningless can turn out to be crucial. Let's jump back to an ordinary night somewhere in the mid 1990's. Unit Moebius were playing a show at a local club and the setting was all wrong. Too much light, venue too big, overpriced alcohol, they were on a stage. A gig like this belonged in a dark squat somewhere at X in the morning, something that both Unit and the crowd seemed aware of, making for a confused and hasty atmosphere, as if everybody was trying to get it over with and move on to somewhere better - which by normal standards probably meant some place worse.
Guy Tavares, Bunker Records' hyper kinetic overseer had set up a merch stand. This is not very common at Techno parties but as exiles of the Punk scene it was normal to us. He handed me a stack of records as an introduction to the then nascent The Hague Electro scene so I could check if I liked something and give back the rest later. This was nothing out of the ordinary, we had been trading routinely for years, but something seemed different this time. The records looked unfamiliar and minimal, pressed in Eastern Europe, housed just in plastic sleeves, with only the occasional flyer and menacing black and white label art - or in some cases nothing at all. I remember a Star Wars gun, a Demon's head, a contorted Acid Smiley and most vividly the letter 'M' hugging two old fashioned skyscrapers.
At this time it's worth noting that I was around the Industrial Techno scene but not very impressed by it. Mostly the music was too alienating for me and too 4/4 based. Worst of all, it had no hooks. Besides, it seemed populated by weirdos and all manner of anthropoid unspeakableness. I was knee deep in the bogs of Jungle and the equally soggy early electronic incarnations of Raggamuffin, longing back for the days of late 80's Hip Hop and the time distorted guitars could still conjure some kind of emotional response. Techno proper just wasn't on the menu for me. For about five more minutes.
Without too much drama or fanfare, I went home, played the records and the room started spinning. A whole new universe opened up with a hermetic vortex at its core, relentlessly sucking in anything that came too close. This was unlike anything I heard before. I don't think I ever gave any of the records back and they're with me too this day, Murdercapital 001, Electronome, Novamen, Duracel, Pametex etc. As dark and foreboding as this music is, it had an almost perverse seductiveness to a lone wolf backstreet dweller like me. From the first time I heard "Theme from Murdercapital" (still a personal favorite) it was inevitable I would get involved somehow - a DIY deformation acquired by listening to too much Crass way back when.
Easier said than done, as no information was given and the whole attitude was coarse and antagonistic. Fear and paranoia ran through the Dystopian landscapes like a hysterical couple looking for a dirty needle to share and while I was trying to penetrate the surface of this music I felt like a young boy who was told to wear a dress and wait for a lecherous priest outside a shabby convent for a good "talking to". Needless to say when I did get my foot in the backdoor a few years later I wasn't exactly welcomed but it is easy to hide in darkness and I stayed there long enough to pay my dues and prove I was equally willing to offer up my normal life to this cultus of alienation.
Now, almost a lifetime later, I notice how much this music is imprinted in me and how deeply the atmosphere still resonates with me. To put it mildly, I am quite emotionally attached to it and playing it to this day feels very special. In an underhanded way it has become one of the benchmarks - there are a few - by which I judge everything else. About time for a tribute then, triggered by acquiring the whole digi catalog from I-F recently. An act of altruism which in turn stirred up an old assassination plot that had been circulating around the West Coast campfires for almost two decades, like a story drunk mice whisper to each other about a mythical cat. Such are the ways in the Murdercapital and this is the thanks you get.
To those who dedicated their lives to this shit, I salute you.
DJ TLR - 2017
- DJ Overdose ft I-F - (You Don't Know) The Terminator
- Unit Moebius - Dolfinarium
- Gesloten Cirkel - Stakan
- I-F - The Man With The Stick
- The Parallax Corp - Higher RX
- I-F vs That N****r - Suck The Box
- I-F - Theme From Sunwheel Beach Bar
- I-F - Energy Vampire
- Novamen - Murdercapital Mentality
- Novamen ft Guy Tavares - Not The Man I Used To Be
- I-F vs That N****r - Theme From Murdercapital
- Electronome - Bass Commander
- Brothers Fuck & Friends - Brother F
- Brothers Fuck & Friends - Brother F (Pametex RX)
- I-F - Cry
- Electronome - Bro
- Electronome - Een Drumcomputer & Een Synthesizer
- Electronome - Untitled
- Beverly Hills 808303 - Untitled Acidplanet 4
- I-F - Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass
- I-F ft Gitane Demone - End Theme