During the 90s, the techno underground reacted to the flagrant abuse of its innovations by digging itself deeper into the bunker. Vinyl missives were unleashed with barely any information, but they were often seismic enough to exact sea changes in the music, while feeding the sense of mystery beloved by devotees. Few operations carried a deeper mystique than Berlin’s Basic Channel, whose nine 12” singles released between 1993-95 shaped a new ultra-minimal dub techno template, its reverberations felt for the rest of the decade and beyond.
This global underground still exists in pockets of resistance, despite the aura-destroying download invasion; so does demand. The blue vinyl reissue of this 1996 Berlin classic has already sold out, so most will have to remain content with the CD. Porter Ricks (curiously named after the dad in Flipper) originally released most of these tracks as three 12”s on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction offshoot. Thomas Koner and engineer Andy Mellwig (who also worked at the label’s in-house cutting room, Dubplates & Mastering), take dub techno to depths rarely charted before or since, driven by submerged sonar pulses and fathomless melodic swells. Titles such as Nautical Dub only hint at the subterranean depths plumbed in tracks which still sound like they’re being beamed up from beneath the ocean’s bed on some far-off planet.