Rounding off the six-volume series of Surgeon reissues that SRX have been rolling out over the course of the last few months, here is Unreleased Tracks 1995-1996. You know the drill with King Surgeon: these are firm and nasty techno bangers, all freshly remastered from the original tapes and re-cut for this release.
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- Unreleased Tracks 1995-1996 (2014 Remaster) by Surgeon
9/10 Ant Staff review, 08 July 2015
Surgeon saves the real treat in this series of remasters on his SRX label until last. Following reissued early classics and rarities we finally get 6 previously unreleased tracks from the vaults spanning 1995-1996. So the missing pieces you could say between the ‘Dynamic Tension EP’, ‘Electronically Tested’, ‘Pet 2000’, ‘Muggerscumout’ and ‘Communications’. Presumably culled from at least some of those sessions this early raw sound is primitive in comparison to later more complex productions but these tracks remain highly potent.
‘Spider’ has that early Birmingham techno sound reminiscent of Regis or one of Mick Harris numerous alter ego’s on Sheep Records. A fine piece of tightly constructed minimalism that sound’s like it could have been left off of his Communications album. ‘HARD’ is a superb tough Joey Beltram ‘Gameform’ styled banger with tough jacking 909 claps and a ripper of a synth rising and falling. ‘Lash Lite’ stomps with a swirling, classic techno Juno sound and razor sharp percussion. Zilla is a loopy, super hypnotic monotone sorta track. ‘Lash’ is a metallic dubby techno cut with a sound like a robotic dog in an echo chamber. Finally ‘IT2’ again sounds like it might have fallen off of the back of ‘Communications’.
There’s nothing revelatory here-- I didn't expect there would be but that’s absolutely fine by me. You can hear ideas that were used in other tracks, and it does offer a further insight into Anthony Child’s process of discovering and fine tuning his sound. Essentially a double pack of 6 new old Surgeon tracks takes me back to 1995 where those early Surgeon releases where among the first records I tried learning to mix with. But the appeal here is more than merely nostalgia as this collection of tracks still sounds fresh, uncompromising, relevant, mesmerising and downright banging.
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