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1 review »Original UK Techno Don/ Acid Techno pioneer/ TB-303 Lord Mike Dred (Machine Codes/ Rephlex/ R&S/ Diatomyc/ Analog/ Beta Bodega etc.) follows up 2011’s ultra limited private press ‘Analogue Android’ 2LP and the (currently) digital only genius ‘Lunatic Sound Designer (LSD)’ album with the storming ‘Overmind’, his fourth full length as The Kosmik Kommando ... »

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  • ASG/DE003 / Ltd 180g white vinyl 2LP on De:tuned. Edition of 300 copies - aka Mike Dred

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Overmind by The Kosmik Kommando
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9/10 Ant Staff review, 03 January 2014

Original UK Techno Don/ Acid Techno pioneer/ TB-303 Lord Mike Dred (Machine Codes/ Rephlex/ R&S/ Diatomyc/ Analog/ Beta Bodega etc.) follows up 2011’s ultra limited private press ‘Analogue Android’ 2LP and the (currently) digital only genius ‘Lunatic Sound Designer (LSD)’ album with the storming ‘Overmind’, his fourth full length as The Kosmik Kommando. We finally scored some copies of this a few weeks late after the distro fell asleep and then was busy celebrating Jesus’ birthday.

The album consists of eight blazing cuts referencing Timothy Leary’s “Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness”. Where Leary’s work relied on experimentation with chemicals to explore these zones, Dred’s tools are voltage, electrical energy converted into sound via his machines. Drugs and rave culture are intrinsically intertwined and nobody can deny that drugs can be a catalyst to reaching higher states of consciousness but Mike has proved time and time again across his vast catalogue that one can reach these states purely through sound. As he once succinctly put it “It’s a state of mind”.

From the off these are pure dancefloor weapons. Despite forays into experimental sound art, the floor is a realm he’s more than familiar with, having roots spinning wax back in the 80’s; from hip-hop through to electro, acid house, techno and beyond. This oldskool wisdom is immediately apparent on opener ‘Biosurvival’ with one foot in the past, referencing golden era rave but never overly nostalgic. The other foot is firmly in the present with immaculate contemporary production. With a grumbling analogue bassline, functional rhythmic/ percussive framework and bubbling 303 it really builds tension, giving the feeling of embarking on a journey through the cosmos, complete with vocal countdown sample which cleverly anticipates the hyperspace of follower ‘Neurogenetic’. This track is pure energy, total euphoria with one of Mike’s distinctive, trademark killer acid lines - evidence that he’s one of the most idiosyncratic artists to ever tweak the pots on the TB-303. Again a simple one word sampled phrase “Go” provides an additional narrative.

‘Sociosexual’ will tear the fuckin’ roof off any warehouse party, maxed out strobes and smoke with this searing acid spitting, spewing and gurgling out of the soundsystem will have bodies contorting into new shapes and the muntered gurning their faces clean off. You get the picture, those moments that make life worth living, this is the perfect soundtrack and should be the textbook model of what acid techno can be when created with skill, knowledge and passion. There’s a a sample of a girl saying “Prepare yourselves for a jack attack”. She should be saying “Prepare to soil yourself” before the thunderous 909 claps come hammering in and an evil laugh gives the track a darker edge. ‘Neurosemantic’ has some of that ever so delicious 1988 vintage Chicago flavour, with sparse funky snares and a bassline that doffs its cap to Chris Westbrook but again rather than a predictable homage this has KK stamped all over it.

Over on the second plate ‘Psychoatomic’ is a mutant electro-acid-rave hybrid offering a brief respite, the calm before the storm if you will for what is to come next. ‘Neurosomatic’ is a spectacularly uplifting tune with constantly ascending acid whipping up a storm of pure psychedelic dance energy. ‘Emoterritorial’ further increases the intensity with pHace-melting, brain frazzling synths that sound like bolts of pure electricity, complete with peaks and troughs to work the floor into a frenzy. Finally the set closes with a “Red Alert” warning before The Kosmik Kommando unleashes some pummeling analogue Eurotechno with fresh dynamics.

300 copies, 180gm white vinyl with artwork by Mike himself. Your 1210’s need it like man needs boobies - You know the drill.


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