Alex Martin Classics: 1994 - 1998 (Canelo En Surco - CNL 002)
Canelo En Surco operates as both a flavorful radio show and a promising young label out of Barcelona, Spain for the real music heads; ran by Breixo Martinez, Abu Sou and Chez Ed. So far the label has released a stunning, must have reissue of beautiful NewAge Ambient and more from Vascos Martins. For their second release, they revisit lost years from Alex Martin. Breixo and co knew about Martin for some time as an Electro and Techno hero at home, but to most of the world his music still remains relatively mysterious and unknown.
Putting together Alex Martin Classics: 1994 - 1998 is truly a historical document of the times when Spain was isolated from global media for over 40 years, yet Alex Martin produced these gems that many might say cross Detroit Techno and Acid hemispheres. Without the influence, the soul and heart of Techno still thrived in innovative ways that Alex displayed in his music imagination to escape a land in isolation. No matter the region,year,or season, with Electro and Lysergic Technosoul can take control. Alex Martin Classics 1994 - 1998 has those styles and more to explore; a collection of 9 premium unreleased tracks from past times that today and in the future will be right on time.This is the reflection on these selections:A1) Alex Martin - Elipse
Although this album is a collection, it flows with cohesive perfection beginning with "Elipse" a musical entrance of sci-fi ambience. It sets a spacey tone with synth bass and arpeggios that go strong. Definitely for the mind, and admiration of great synth work for the reflective times.A2) Sideral - Mare Nostrum
909 Electro and Technosoul take control of the room on the "Mare Nostrum". The track has a charming nighttime or lush galaxy feel with acid delays creating a saturated bassline haze. That's complimented soulfully by a melody of watery stabs with dub personality. 909 mechanics of shuffling kicks, wet snares, and rimshots put the rhythm in frame where techno and electro travel gracefully on the same plane. Strings of powerful breeze arise at peaks and set the moods on levels of paradisiacal ease; "Mare Nostrum" is a track that is sure to please with dynamics for lush space, technosoul, electro, and acid from other planets.A3) Sideral - Butterfly
Deep Electro with a swing is the choice story of "Butterfly" in this mental journey of dreamy highs. The 808 is main player, with kicks and snare delays creating that funky early 90d swing, while 909 layers and warm free acid creep into the scene. The chords are pure mid 90s bliss and dream, vibing with surreal soul from the machines. Vocal lines also delight and have presence in the climax of the track that just right. "Butterfly" surely transforms and elevates to a lucid world Electrosoul escapes.B1) Sideral - I Wanna Look To The Stars
"I Wanna Look To The Stars" is pure feel good Dream Techno for the Space bars. Saturation shines in the bassline for a great dose of funk, while 303 acid lines play out amidst dreamy chord bliss, euphoric in ways, yet easy going for the good times to keep flowing. The texture on the 909 rhythm is truly something to adore as it drives the track in classic 4/4 with silky hats; and at the choice moments you'll hear Deep vocals speaking the title of the track...together with colorful leads, this track more than satisfies the cosmic and melodic techno needs.B2) Alex Martin - Incognita
"Incognita" beauty of a track that stands out with its sensual melodies and sexy vocal lines whispering about the deep acid winds and soulful auras of the track. The chords are classic and romantic, while bright bliss leads sail through the atmosphere, marrying with the lysergic bassline and grooving your mind. Drums carry an energetic confidence of the 909 kind, that really thrives with layers of garage flavor. The rimshots, toms, and hats will move the feet and create a lot of dance heat, as "Incognita" has it what it takes, Techno with sharp Soul, a relentless bassline of acid, and hypnotic vocals for Deep ClassicC1) The Fat Db - Can Make It
Disc C showcases Alex's alias The Fat Db with "Can Make It" a groovy garage track with chopped vocal samples over bass heavy, snare rolling, and swinging house beats giving this number jazzy feet. For the cosmic deep flavor, there's also a bassline full of deep bleep for the 90s freaks.
The arrangement and harmony of the female vocal samples, and light breaths behind the kicks perform nice auditory tricks, along with the raw color in soul this track holds in its funky melancholy and pure garage modes. "Can Make It" is a very good time, and exemplifies Garage House in it's 90s primeC2) The Fat Db - Planetarium
A sanctuary of Technofunk soul for the starry nights awaits in "Planetarium". Colorful bells keep the melody jazzy and swell through liquid acid that bounces along the urgent bassy techno beats in their quest to give you the real treat. Claps, symbals, and hats move this techno train fast on the track; you can truly hear the pure density 909 machine at work as it makes the dancers pop and twerk. Chords pack shades of aquatic to urban late night late night vibes making it a deep techno delight of soulful strides. Right on time anytime for the body and mind.D1) The Fat Db - Twirl
"Twirl" drifts smoothly into a thumping minimal techno world. Its a true go getter, where simple is indeed better; the raw 4/4 kicks create their own basement bliss, chord delays initiate the melody ships. The kicks are very punchy, and will knock the walls down with their bass. while its also very easy to get totally lost in "Twirl's" raw and analogue space.
Those seeking the class Minimal Techno Track will spin "Twirl" and enjoy it's foggy basement attack.D2 ) A3K - Firewall (2019 Edit)
Closing out this lovely sonic array is "Firewall" from the alias, A3K. "Firewall" has inviting personalities of dub, and new age in its chord and string melodies creating a smooth atmosphere of tranquility. Acid highlights in the heart of the track with a squelchy tone and a sunny aura that feels right at home. The overall feel is refreshing, Techno with classic and future auras of beauty that set well in the mind, and it works well in the hours of daylight or late night.
As the fine auras of dub and new age flavors combine, it is also lovely how they intertwine with the compression and texture on this track's 909; they are layered with claps and crisp to create such a timeless bliss along with the progressing melodies. Emotive, sharp and ready to test the ages, is what we get with "Firewall" with all phases on display from A3K.
Some retrospectives are truly great, and such is the case for Alex Martin Classics:1994 - 1998. Across this album's 9 tracks, the color, imagination, and melody is back to back; this keeps the cohesive value strong, while any of these tracks are great for their respective genres on their own. Likewise time has not done these tracks wrong, as over 20 years later they feel ahead of time and right at home.
Canelo En Surco and Alex Martin win with this essential album, from the artwork to the timeless tracks within. Whether its charming Electro and vivid Techno Alex Martin and Sideral, or House that goes Garage and Deep with The Fat DB and A3K; the raw Electronic lover will love this album as soon as its listening journey gets on the way.This is just the 2nd release of the Canelo En Surco label, and indeed this is a label and radio show to watch for; expect nothing less than absolute quality from these guys with great taste; these rare Alex Martin selections on vinyl are no exception, and a must have for your collection.