A label portrait of Force Inc./Riot Beats/Mille Plateaux consisting of our label questionnaire (answered by Digital Hardcore in Issue 0.0), text by Achim Szepanski, and some record reviews, published in Alien Underground 0.1 in Spring 1995
“… A musical consistence – machine, a SOUNDMACHINE (not for the reproduction of tones) one that molecularises the sound material, atomises and ionises and captures the COSMIC energy. If this machine should have another structure than the synthesiser. In that it unites the modules, original elements and working elements, the oscillators, generators and transformers and brings together the micro intervals it makes the sound process and the production of this process itself, audible. In this way it brings us together with more elements that go further than the sound material. It unites the contradicting elements in the material and transfers the parameters of a formula to another. The synthesiser has, with its consistence – operation, has, a priori, taken position of establishing in the synthetic decision: this is a synthesis of molecular and cosmic, of material and energy and no more of form and material, ground and territory. Philosophy no more as a synthetic judgement, but as synthesiser of thoughts, to allow thought to travel, to make it mobile and make it to an energy of the cosmos (as one sends sound off to travel…)”
from: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: “A Thousand Plateaux”
1. What are the influences and inspiration for the music you release?
It’s the existence of the third electronic revolution. The producers of new electronic music take on the idiosyncrasies of the new machines. The machine becomes the playmate. The deconstruction of pop music.
2. Describe the techno scene in your country.
The techno scene is dominated by trance and rave tracks. It’s a follow up of european disco music and the scene is dominated by the same people which are using the same strategies like people who dominated the german disco scene in the eighties. No innovation.
3. What makes your label distinctive?
Force Inc./Mille Plateaus/Riot Beats are part of the new electronic school. It reflects the deconstruction of music. The multiplication of mass media and it’s implosion drowns all humanity and expressiveness in music. The recognisable disappears. We have to work with it.
4. How do you consider techno is developing in general?
Techno is part of the struggle between different forces. In general it will be disco. But there will always be “underground resistance’.
5. What cultural and political background do you see for techno?
Techno has the potential to be a kind of strategy against copyright, the reconstitution of the subject, different mechanisms of the cultural industry. It’s the relationship between the material of sound and the development of “cosmic” forces which will decide where it goes. (Deleuze)
The rift has never been greater between the modern avant-garde and the culture industry. Its implosion brings an endless inundation of schematic kitsch productions with it, that function throught the coupling and connecting of different media. The media themselves multiply through electronic resonance machines, which , through their accelleration and circulation effects, place the body continuously into music. Specific orders of relations, that subjugate the wild confusion of sounds, noises and sound materials to a code, induce the uniformity of the streams of music. In this way the sound potential, and the sound material is subjugated to a stock taking of codes and structures. Fixed references regulate the connection between the tones and the dominance of tone and pitch in relation to the combination of tone and time and subject everything to the dictation of harmony.
Today the binary code is realised in the universal code. Its support are the bits that allow all the sign systems to circulate with one another; a universal code with the help of which tones and sounds can be combined, transformed and exchanged.
In this way software and synthesiser build a new sound machinery, but it only serves the reproduction of an old type of music and the regulation of its production. In the electronically produced folk and pop music, the music reterritorialises itself in the sense that selections happen that bind the music to that which is recognisable, and that repeatedly create the same relations between the elements of a structure that reduces the music itself to melody and voice, in that these claim to be the music itself. Voice that is supposed to breathe in meaning, melody that redundantly satisfies itself. In this way the electronically produced music serves the hegemony of tthe great molar machines, the state machinery and capital machine.
At the same time another music makes an opposition, in that it carries out a game of disguise and subversion, with cunning it avoids the possession by the molar machine.
Situated in a noise field, the bodies are surrounded by sound material, enveloped, are made rhythmical and mobilised. It is the repeated forms that move the masses. Electronic music must destroy this form so it can enter a continuum of infinite variations in which the sound material molecularises, the sound potential of inanimate objects is discovered. Sounds then function as singularities that reciprocally penetrate each other without belonging to the rules of fixed relations, whereby the lack of relationship is the prerequisite for the possibility of relation. Music is event that can be here and now, but also at another place and at another time. A circulation of molecular streams of sound, that makes it possible to join other streams. Minority strategies develop that set free the effects experimentation in the field of the machine transmission, the effect of the machine sound production itself. The incalculable effects that the computer and synthesizer produce, become a part of the strategies and are turned against operationality. Molecularisation means though, the synthetisation of sound material, the sound machinery ‘functions’ in the synthetisation of heterogenous sounds through a kind of composition that holds the sound elements together without them losing their heterogenity. Layering and weaving of rhythms, noise and rhythm working into one another, condensation of sounds, repetitive effects through looping etc. are moments of consolidation, the synthetisation of the materials and at the same time the liberation from binary code and the static regularity. In this way the liberation of the molecular sound streams is identical with the deconstruction of Pop music and the creation of new sound systems that are open to continuousrenewal, and that can find unlimited connections to each other, to reach effects and release energies that are not audible. To create intensity.
The label Force Inc. originated as a result of various meetings, coincidences and encounters. The meeting place was in Frankfurt, in the first record store to be run in an english manner – BOY RECORDS – which since 1987 presented electronic music. 1990 the dance label BLACKOUT presented a comprehensive document of the current techno-house scene. “Dance Yourself To Death” had tracks from Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Todd Terry, Masters at Work, 808 State and others. Later there was international chart success with Deskee’s “Let there be House”. With the insight that the current dance scene reproduced the traditional structures of Pop music, a break was made from Boy records/Blackout. The label Force Inc. came into being. Right from the beginning its direction was more towards the periphery of the techno scene; minority strategies of resistance were initiated against the nivillier and the developing practices of power in the techno scenery. The relation of Techno to modern electronic music was brought to notice.
The first two acts, Space Cube/T’N’I and Age/Exit 100, saw their music as being connected to early Detroit Techno or Underground Resistance, but they transformed and integrated these elements into a sound that was then called Post Acid or Post Electronic Dancefloor. Attacks upon copyright, origin, ownership, decentralisation of subject structures, subversion of data banks and computer nets, transformation of music into body energy, restructuring, unstructuring of awareness were the subjects, and that music could be thought of as the place of action for strategic operations. The Berlin multiactivist Alec Empire came across Force Inc. The stagnating and conservative tendencies of the Acid scene and the growing Trance and Ambient productions, from which the synthesis of New Age kitsch and blunt Techno rhythms were supposed to advance into floors of stores and shopping malls was answered by turning to Breakbeat, which has not really been understood up to the present day. Without ever copying the english productions the radicality of tracks that are not subjected to the 4/4 bassdrum was discovered. A sound developed that nourished itself on the strange fusion of layered rhythms, technoid sounds and industrial noise. At this time the EP Destroy Deutschland – Fight against German Nazis was released, the only radical answer from the Techno sceneto racism and potential racism in Germany. At the end of 1993 there was a necessary reflection about the different styles in the new electronic music. The sub-labels Riot Beats and Mille Plateaux were established. Riot Beats is the label that has opened for Breakbeat, from Hardcore to Jungle and in some ways it continues a particular period of Force Inc. itself. Mille Plateaux wants to discover zones of new music. Zones of continual variations, as Deleuze names plateaux. The deconstruction of Pop and Techno becomes identical with the forcing on of experimental strategies in electronic music. Parallel to this Force Inc. accelerated a sound that one could already call Space Disco for the year 2000.
A conceptual album dealing with the politics of digital audio, what Systemisch in doing is exploring noise, not in the sense of aural onslaught, but textures created with samples of glitches, clicks and scratches on CDs that create a structural disturbance in your perception of what’s audible or rather what is being made audible by the reproduction of sound.
The cleanliness of digital reproduction is questioned, its destruction complete and then used for a reconstruction of a sovereign perception.
What is amazing is the reception of this album by the music press in this country. Check out the reviews it has received – they’re quite telling. While a number of wankers keep babbling on about “intelligent” techno, when finally an album like this turns up that for a change is conceptually mature, all they come up with is that it’s “weird”.
Systemisch is positive negativism
> a negative print of digital audio (feel free to see this reflected in the choice of white vinyl, but then maybe the CD version is the one to chose…)
> do not mistake this as ambient music; this is far from the braindead nice and comforting sounds that are so gladly hyped by the mind controllers.
> listen to this & see if you understand why I call this a noise record even though the sound here is warm and beautiful; and like all good noise records is a pleasure to listen to.
Global Electronic Network
Weltron – Rolleiflex
Walker and Khan searching out the origins of the new electronic school using a Weltron receiver and other very limited equipment on the silver vinyl, while Jimi Tenor of Sähkö provides the Rolleiflex for the picturedisc which presents similar explorations into the realm of minimalistic experiments, somewhat reminiscent of some 70’s avantgarde stuff that has had an important influence on techno anyway. Nevertheless it’s the nineties in control here, on an album that deserves repeated listening. Some of this was actually recorded in a New York Hotelroom, which seemed to prove an appropriate environment in search of the molecules of experimental electronics that get dissected in this global field laboratory and made available by Mille Plateaux.
V/A: Rough and Fast [Riot Beats 9]
The first Jungle compilation to come out of Germany is unleashed here, not surprisingly by the Force Inc. sublabel Riot Beats (> other reviews in this issue) which was formed when Force Inc. decided to split itself up into a few different labels. Force Inc. had been pioneering the breakbeat/breakcore sound early on, starting with the release of Alec Empire’s SuEcide Pt.1, and eventually decided to dedicate a whole label to this sound when they moved back to more acid/techno oriented stuff…
The german approach to breakbeat has always been more conceptual, in this case taking the english influences, stripping them to the essentials, producing some of the coolest and most advanced cuts around. From the beginning the germans took breakbeats, put them into a new context that’s more extreme, more experimental and more political than in this country. While most of the Riot Beats and Digital Hardcore stuff is exploring these ideas in various ways, Rough and Fast is a response to the jungle explosion and, while moving relentlessly, still remains in the confines of that sound. What remains to be seen, is how the audience in Britain will react to it. Luckily the tacky elements are left out of most of the tracks, but ragga samples are quite abundant; while I find a lot here that’s very spinnable, and like the cut up breaks and drum & bass, this sound is still at the beginning – there are unnumberable avenues that can (and will) be explored, like some people such as Biochip C., Atomu Shinzo, and Alec Empire have demonstrated with earlier material (way ahead of their time you could say).
What Biochip, Alec Empire, Space Cube, along with Moonraker, Doc Tom, Sonic Subjunkies and others present here is more a state of things ’94/95 jungle compilation, that nevertheless hits its target. Let’s hope it hits its target audience too.
Generation Star Wars
Alec Empire’s second double pack (and 3rd record in all) on the label shows him in a more radical experimental mode than the pleasant Limited Editions, exploring what is his field of choice, noise and breakbeats, along with atmospheric pieces, as well as a couple of tracks that are reminiscent more of early 80’s electronic dance experiments. The true strength of this album however lies where he combines often heavily distorted breaks with dark psychedelic noises, floating over an apocalyptic futurescape where the final conflict between the 21st C rebels and the Imperial Forces is near. Titles like Stahl und Blausäure (Steel and Cyanide), Maschinenvolk, Blutrote Nacht über Berlin, Microchipkinder, Sonyprostitutes etc. conjure up a dark menacing picture of things to come. Sieg über die Mayday HJ (Victory over the Mayday Hitler Youth) is an outspoken provocation towards the german mainsstream techno scene, and closes this immensely inspired and engaging work. A true step forward and one of his most original and engaging works.
The 8th installment in the series of label compilations with which Force Inc. present the “best of” their recent 12″ releases. This vo-lume collects Love Inc. [Respect, New Jack City Part 1], Ian Pooley [Twin Gods], Ultrahigh [Killerbees of Guatemala], Absolute [Class of 1987], Bizz O.D. [I’m Coming Out of Your Speakers], Mike Ink [Fragile], Black One [Electronic Percussion Part One], Jammin Unit [Drum Unit 1], Cristian Vogel [Sub Aqua (Sativa Mix)], Jaguar  and Biochip C. [Zek], and ranges from more commercial Space Disco workouts to harder underground acid tech. So all the family is joined together again, from Walker (as Black One) to Alec Empire (as Jaguar), and you know what to expect, a quality dancefloor compilation from the more accessible end of the spectrum that – at least for me gets better and better in its course and peaks with Biochips track from the ‘Psychoslugs’ ep.