“we wanted something to listen to in the car...”
Network’s 30th Anniversary celebration continue with a dig in the vaults finding three timeless treasures from UK Techno pioneers Nexus 21.
The “Progression Logical” 12” highlights how skilfully the Stafford duo - Mark Archer and Chris Peat - combined their love of Detroit inspired Techno with North of London Bleep culture.
This is the first time the much loved original mix of “Self Hypnosis“ (that track with the ice cream vans sound)has been released on a commercial 12”. Up till now it could only be found on a sampler 12” for one of Network’s iconic bio-rhythm albums, and on that LP Itself, with a remix being done for a subsequent 12”.
That original still sounds amazing. The 1990 recording was made at Derby’s much lauded Square Dance Studio,
Next year saw a move to nearby Nottingham and Network (nothing to do with the label) Studio where “Mind Machines” was conceived. This is its’ debut on any format ever!
Listening to something so epic now, that decision not to issue it at the time seems bizarre,but as Mark recalls: “The mad thing is it’s just a live mix because we wanted to listen to something in the car. We never finished it. That was live with us muting things, and and me changing patterns on the drum machines and turning the sounds up and down. There are so many small mistakes in it, but it adds to the character of the tune.”
A later “proper” mix was never done as Nexus 21 turned into Altern 8 and life got ravey.
The third track is well and truly an historic piece of Techno history - Carl Craig’s first ever remix no less.
Nexus 21’s “Still Life” was conceived as a homage to Inner City’s “Big Fun” and “Good Life”. Upon signing to Network, the label thought a deconstruction by Inner City’s Kevin Saunderson would complete the circle. A kind of Stafford does Detroit and Detroit does Stafford back with 808 and 909 knobs on odyssey.
Kevin obliged big time, and arranged for other remixes by then young Motor City hippersnappers MK and Carl. As the intro to his version proclaims - Mental!
Published: 3rd March 2021