Surgeon has been doing this shit for years, and lest you forget that fact, he is in the middle of a six-part reissue campaign on SRX. Rare Tracks 95-96 gives you four slices of classic power-techno, originally only on compilations or super-rare white labels. All remastered, all high-grade Surgeon dancing material.
9/10 Ant Staff review, 05 June 2015
Back in 1996 Dave Clarke had a show on Radio 1 that I used to listen to religiously, and that was when I first heard Surgeon’s THX1139. The problem though was that only 50 white label copies were pressed and if you weren’t Jeff Mills, Rockefeller or the like you had zero hope of getting hold of a copy. Only half of the tracks from that mythical 12” are present here, but I’m content after all these years just to get my mitts on ‘THX1139 wirr’.
‘THX1139 wirr’ unlike a lot of techno of the time holds up remarkably well and in fact still sounds pretty fresh in comparison to much contemporary techno. Deeper and less aggressive than earlier Surgeon productions but still constructed to absolutely tear the shit out of a club, I’ve witnessed first hand, on several occasions over the years the effect this has on minds and bodies. There’s an eerie almost paranoid atmosphere; the filtering on the whirring synth and energy of the stomping drums build incredible tension and climax in euphoria without resorting to any tried and tested techno cliché's of the period.
‘THX1139 level track’ is a driving club track with mesmerising repetition, jacking claps and sharp hi-hats. There’s a similar synth to the previous track which gives a sense of familiarity but I don’t recall ever hearing this in a club as it’s not particularly memorable -- more of a functional sorta track but I’ll take it.
In all the excitement of playing ‘THX1139 wirr’ I have failed to mention that on the A side are ‘Fivo’ and ‘Pagga’. The former sounds somewhere between ‘Magneze’ and ‘Badger Bite’ sharing a similar palette of tough metallic percussion that still sounds pretty damn brutal today. I can’t believe my body was once capable of moving to this, pitched right up to like +12 or something.
‘Pagga’ originally came out on Kickin’ Records ‘Underground UK’ compilation 2LP in 1996. The Minimal crunchy drums recall ‘Electric Chicken’ and the searing, filtered synth loop creates a weird off-kilter funk reminiscent of ‘Muggerscumout’.
All tracks in this SRX reissue series have been remastered and the other editions are most useful to replace those battered old Downwards pressings plus there’s the bonus of digital downloads to play on your Wasp T12.
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- Rare Tracks 95-96 (2014 Remaster) by Surgeon
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