Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Staked My Reputation On Gabriel Ananda

That might be overstating things a tad, but a bunch of people did follow me to a club in the middle of nowhere, only to be met with a larger than expected cover charge and without knowing exactly what type of music they'd be subjecting themselves to. Fortunately, Ananda came through for me in spades.

I used some of my time in the club to think about the Perlon label, and how I had never really shown it the respect it deserves. After all, if it hadn't been for Perlon, I wouldn't have been in that club dancing to the sort of jacking minimal techno that Perlon had spearheaded (albeit more euphoric variants of the kind, favoured by Ananda). Perlon seemed to infuse the mellowness of M_nus and Auch with the aggressive pulse of a mid-90's Dave Clarke record, and at the time I didn't know what to make of it. I excitedly welcomed a future that featured techno pared down to its barest elements. Plastikman's "Closer" perfectly encapsulated everything beautiful and horrifying about minimal, pointing the way forward in a direction I wholeheartedly approved of. I was partly right -- minimal became far bigger than I ever would have imagined in 2002-3 -- but records like Pantytec's "Elastobabe" (the "Soul Capsules Cosmic Warrior" mix, in particular) left me totally bewildered. I almost didn't buy it solely because it didn't fit in amongst the other records I was buying at the time, which were either slamming, fire-breathing Mills-ian tracks or sparse, dubby ones. I had almost nothing in between, not to mention that vocals were a big no-no for me at the time. I came to my senses and convinced myself to buy the single, not because of any desire to adapt or change my attitude, but because it was obviously such a mindblowing record that I knew I'd be stupid to walk out of the store without it.

Eventually, my tastes did change, and so did those of a lot of other people. The "hard" records basically faded away, and were even shunned in some circles. Tastes converged on the Perlon-esque middle ground, with names like Villalobos and Luciano leading the charge. But Gabriel Ananda, in his DJ sets as well as his own records, is nudging back toward the harder stuff, and as you might have guessed, I couldn't be happier about it.

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