A giant in the Detroit techno scene who's been there since the early days, you'll find Juan Atkins spinning the wheels behind the Model 500 moniker. He'd been using the name since the 80s and released the three tracks that make up 'The Passage' in 1992. The tracks are colourful, full of sparkling synth and driven by lively beats. 'The Passage' is often a far cry from the dark techno getting produced today, but it's no less worthy.
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- The Passage by Model 500
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The perfect opportunity to bag yourself a classic cut of 90s Detroit techno with this remastered repress of some of Juan Atkins’ select early work as Model 500, originally released in 1992. If his first, totally jackin’ 1985 electro classic ‘No UFOs’ (a record which has given Jimmy Edgar more than just a sprinkling of inspiration in his recent work for Hotflush) saw him speculating from ground level, then 7 years later with this set of tracks Atkins finally gets fully above the clouds to continue his outer-space explorations in situ, opening up to the cosmos for three pieces of soaring, celestial, zero-gravity machine music.
It’s interesting listening back to records like this now and hearing how clearly certain elements are directly chopped out and re-plastered to the current vogue-ish face of electronic music. As the breakbeat is expertly cut and spliced into ‘The Passage’ the recent output of anyone from Maxmillion Dunbar to Tessela floats into your peripheral hearing, likewise the escape-pod arpeggiator that begins ‘Vessels In Distress’ could easily become the minimalist void-pocked skeleton of a Factory Floor workout, or the spacious dimensions of ‘Mind Changes’ a passage from Steve Summers’ and Bookworms’ work together as Confused House. It also makes you appreciate how fresh this record is sounding today on its own terms. The bass pads boom deep down into the infinity below and the choral synthesisers spiral, twinkle and swirl off into the glare of distant suns. A highly recommended sliver of electronic music history.
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