Djax-Re-Up Volume 2 2LP
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The second edition of Dekmantel’s foray into the era-defining, trans-Atlantic, cult techno label that is Djax-Up-Beats, comes another re-issue of classic 90s cuts.
The label say “The Dutch label was responsible for releasing some of underground’s most foundational dance music, mixing together Chicago and European artists alike, and acting as the launchpad for some of today’s biggest producers. Featuring offerings from luminaries such as Felix Da Housecat, and Glenn Underground, alongside veterans such as Steve Poindexter, and DJ Skull, this second EP highlights the classic label’s old-school’s sound, while showcasing its diverse range, from dubbier, ambient moments, to wall-thumping, body crushing house force. Timeless music, repressed, and re-released for a new generation of DJs who covet the classic machine music.
The second re-issue EPs, offer a more introspective look at the label’s earlier releases. Leading Volume 2 is Terrace’s ‘Bewitched’, to which DJ Richard has described as being the defining track of the label’s beginnings with its “dreamy, Detroit-style techno mixed with the harder rave elements of Northern Europe”. Glenn Underground’s bass-roller ‘Real Space’ weaves together soulful passion and Chicago prime beats, while Felix Da Housecat’s Temptation — originally from 1993 — gets a well earned re-release, reminding us of the soulful, deep and lustful energy the producer once had. China White, whose name doesn’t get banded around as much as it should nowadays, see their ethereal hit ‘Theme from the Underground’ get another opportunity to bliss out the more upbeat rave community.
The energy turns darker with Frank de Groodt’s The Operator, breaking the outer-most barriers of electro-techno, with ‘The Mind Strike’. Chicago and Dance Mania’s Steve Poindexter turns out rolling, dance-energy bomb ‘Body Jam’, while Mike Dearborn’s deliverance of unreal, dry techno in ‘Deviant Behaviour’ runs aplomb with classic drum-machine pulses, claps, and uncomfortable, yet punishing melodies. DJ Skull’s ‘Don’t stop the beat’ rides the EP with gushings of hand claps, and gentle, early 90s warm techno color, that transport you back to a time of more informed, and conscious electronic musings, a feeling that embodies Djax’s heyday.
Founded in Eindhoven at the turn of the 90s, Djax-Up-Beats quickly earned an international reputation for being a key source of Chicago house, acid techno, and floor-filling, heavy-hitting, straight up underground 12”s. It’s a sound that spawned the sonic aesthetics of today, and can be heard in the left field techno productions of the likes of Bjarki, Salon des Amateurs and other erstwhile analog junkies.”