Drexciya drains the claps, cowbells and tomtoms, siphons off the salsa from Electro. With the vocoder id deleted, 90s Electro becomes even more enthralling, even more inhibiting. Such tracks as '93's Danger Bay and Positron Island are monsters from the low end which submerge you in liquid dystopia. Acrid frequencies clench the nerves like tazers, oscillations wince across the body in wave motion, abrasive tones remove cotton wool from your ears and vigorously scour inside the brainpan. Jagged snare velocities pinch the nerves until you're locked uptight. Sea Snake's scorching deathray sweeps the seacraters with its acoustic searchlight of astringent 303.
Each Drexicya EP -- from '92's Deep Sea Dweller, through Bubble Metropolis, Molecular Enhancement, Aquatic Invasion, The Unknown Aquazone, The Journey Home and Return of Drexciya to '97's Uncharted -- militarizes Parliament's 70s and Hendrix's 60s Atlantean aquatopias. Their underwater paradise is hydroterritorialized into a geopolitical subcontinent mapped through cartographic track titles: Positron Island, Danger Bay, The Red Hills of Lardossa, The Basalt Zone 4.977Z, The Invisible City, Dead Man's Reef, Vampire Island, Neon Falls, Bubble Metropolis. The Bermuda Triangle becomes a basstation from which wavejumper commandos and the 'dreaded Drexciya stingray and barracuda battalions' launch their Aquatic Invasion against the AudioVisual Programmers.
Marine Mutation across the Black Atlantic
Every Drexciya EP navigates the depths of the Black Atlantic, the submerged worlds populated by Drexciyans, Lardossans, Darthouven Fish Men and Mutant Gillmen. In the sleevenotes to The Quest, their '97 concept double CD, the Drexciyans are revealed to be a marine species descended from 'pregnant America-bound African slaves' thrown overboard 'by the thousands during labour for being sick and disruptive cargo. Could it be possible for humans to breathe underwater? A foetus in its mother's womb is certainly alive in an aquatic environment. Is it possible that they could have given birth at sea to babies that never needed air? Recent experiments have shown mice able to breathe liquid oxygen, a premature human infant saved from certain death by breathing liquid oxygen through its underdeveloped lungs. These facts combined with reported sightings of Gillmen and Swamp Monsters in the coastal swamps of the Southeastern United States make the slave trade theory startingly feasible.'
Drexciyans are 'water breathing, aquatically mutated descendants,' webbed mutants of the Black Atlantic, amphibians adapted for the ocean's abyssal plains, a phylum disconnected from the aliens who adapted to land. As Mark Sinker argued in '92, 'The ships landed long ago: they already laid waste whole societies, abducted and genetically altered whole swathes of citizenry. Africa and America -- and so by extension Europe and Asia -- are already in the various ways Alien Nation.' Drexciya use electronics to replay the alien abduction of slavery with a fictional outcome: 'Did they migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to the Mississippi River Basin and to the Great Lakes of Michigan? Do they walk among us? Are they more advanced than us?'
Sinker's breakthrough is to bring alien abduction back to earth, to transfer the trauma from out there to yesternow. The border between social reality and science fiction, social fiction and science reality is an optical illusion, as Donna Haraway has pointed out. They have been here all along and they are you. You are the alien you are looking for.
Drexciya fictionalize frequencies into sound pictures of unreal environments -- what Kraftwerk termed tone films -- not filled with cars, bikes or trains but rather UAOs, soundcrafts. In '93's Bubble Metropolis, Lardossan Cruiser 8-203 X prepares to dock. The tones of a hydrothermal turbine engine shift gears. They fictionalize the psychoacoustic volume of a giant submersible: 'This is Drexciyan Cruise Control Bubble 1 to Lardossan Cruiser 8 dash 203 X. Please decrease your speed to 1 point 788 point 4 kilobahn. Unknown turbine engine slows down. Thank you. Lardossan Cruiser 8 dash 203 X please use extra caution as you pass the aqua contruction site on the side of a aquabahn. I repeat: Proceed with Caution. Lardossan Cruiser 8 dash 203 X you are now cleared for docking. Have a nice stay here on Drexciya. I'm Drexciyan Cruiser Control X 205. If you have any problems let me know. Bubble Control Out.'
In a War without Weapons
The Black Atlantean depths are as lethal as the Red Planet or The Rings of Saturn. With the Molecular Enhancement EP, the ocean floor becomes the 5th front in The Forever War. Drexciyan technology solidifies the ocean into hydrocubes. These blocs of solid water are part of the electrofictional arsenal of Antivapor Waves, Aquatic Bata Particles and Intensified Magnetrons.
The magnetron is the heart of the radiowave transmitter, used to power airborne microwave radar sets during WW2. As Arthur C. Clarke explains, 'When the first experimental magnetron was carried to America, the face of war changed over a weekend. Japanese scientists had made and tested an identical device a year before the British. If they had followed up their invention we would now be living in a very different world.'
Technology generates the process Sun Ra terms an AlterDestiny,
a bifurcation in time. The magnetron migrates across the mediascape,
changing scale from Marvel Comics 60s supervillain Magneto,
leader of the Evil Mutants, to Drexciya's Intensified Magnetron,
to Killah Priest's 'magnetron which puts your arteries back
From 'More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures In Sonic Fiction' by Kodwo Eshun, pp. 06 - 06 (Quartet Books, London, 1998). Reprinted with a permission.
Drexciya - Drexciya 3: Molecular Enhancement EP (12") -
CAT017EP - 1996
SHOCKWAVE (Detroit, MI., USA)
Drexciya - Deep Sea Dweller EP (12") - SW1007 - 1993
SOMEWHERE IN DETROIT (Detroit, MI., USA)
Drexciya - Uncharted EP - S.I.D-005
SUBMERGE (Detroit, MI., USA)
Drexciya - Drexciya 4: The Unknown Aquazone 2xEP (2x12")
- SVE-3 - 1994
Drexciya - Drexciya 3: Molecular Enhancement - SVE-6 - 1995
Drexciya - The Quest (2x12" / 2-CD) - SVE-8 - July 1997
Vinyl version (SVE-7, 2x12"):
A1. Depressurization (Bonus Beats)
All songs produced by Drexciya.
NOTE: a compilation with 28 tracks on CD; also a shorter version as a 2x12".
TRESOR, Berlin, Germany
Drexciya - Neptune's Lair (2-LP/CD) - Tresor 129 - November
Drexciya - Hydro Doorways EP (12") - Tresor 137 - February
UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE (Detroit, MI., USA)
Drexciya - Drexciya: Aquatic Invasion EP (12") - UR 30 -
Drexciya - Drexciya 2: Bubble Metropolis EP (12") - UR-026
Drexciya - The Return of Drexciya - UR-037 - 1996
NOTE: label art by Frankie C. Fultz.
WARP RECORDS (Sheffield, UK)
Drexciya - Drexciya 5: The Journey Home EP (12") - WAP57 -
MUSIC (London, UK)
(Detroit, MI., USA)
TRESOR (Berlin, Germany) / POW WOW / METROPLEX
UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE (Detroit, MI., USA)
HARDWAX (Detroit, USA?)
RED PLANET (Detroit, MI., USA)
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