CHOICE CUT: Steve Rachmad ‘Secret Life of Machines’


Steve Rachmad / Secret Life of Machines: Remastered and Remixed

Digital / Vinyl 

100% Pure / Released June 2012

It’s not a cop out, or an indictment on modern production (necessarily) to highlight a re-release as dance music’s new arrival du jour. Or at least we don’t think so, anyway.

Way back in 1995 Mr Rachmad introduced the world to the Secret Life Of Machines via his seminal LP, setting a benchmark for Detroit that’s still looked up to today. Rarely bettered, often emulated, it’s this kind of landmark that actually warrants a re-appraisal. Which is good, as that’s exactly what’s now happened, courtesy of the powers that be. As such we’re (re-)presented with the original collection, which still sounds fresh now, 12 years on, alongside remixes from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Joris Voorn, 2000 and One, Heiko Laux, Joel Mull, Christian Smith, Marc Romboy, Samuel L Session, Vince Watson, Klartraum and Nadja Lind.

An impressive list of names to say the least, trying to delve into the nitty gritty of all this is a little too much for anyone to read, as such we’ll keep it (typically) simple. Those after the relentless percussive patterns and machine-like minimalism of Axion, the floating synths, repetitive rhythms and hook melody of Mysterium, or Thera‘s trance-like, dubstep tempo blueprint, falling into deep rolling techno, should look no further. And, though it should go without saying, fans of Robert Hood, Surgeon, James Ruskin & Mark Broom, and just about any other stars of darkroom toughness, will be in their element.

Of the refits The Lost Of A Love (Remix) is certainly pretty enjoyable stuff, exuding more laidback vibes than the original throughout, and taking things closer to the deep house and melodic techno of Modern Love. Meanwhile, Thera‘s 21st Century interpretation opts for straight to the floor fours from the word go, though rather than boring the hell out of us has a bouncier ethic, keeping things nice and engaging as we move through the dubby tech sounds therein. Plenty more to talk about, but really only one thing to say then; one of the finest albums in the history of electronic dance music is back, and remains nothing short of essential.

Steve Rachmad /Juno