Alien UndergroundArticles

In Search of Morph

(The Morphing Culture Pt. 2)
from Alien Underground 0.1 (1995)

In Morphing Culture 1, we addressed the need for more interesting soundscapes within the rave format. After a re-summary of the ideas, I will present some morph-gems that I have inadvertedly stumbled on over the years. In addition, I would like to invite readers to keep adding to this list of “kinda-reviews” in an effort to further the scope of the music – beyond the dimensions of my un-humble opinions.
What we are slacking toward here in the realm of Morph is a basic premise that, what with all the sounds out there in the universe, and the technology to play around with them, it just makes sense to go beyond the traditional realms of dance music in order to satisfy the constant need for sounds that address our present and future. Now, after a particularly invigorating run-on sentence, I’m really pumped to get started – but wait! Let’s just say this first… Credit where due, and more to follow…
…The original Hip Hop djs were seminal morphers. I direct your attention to The movie “WildStyle” where Grandmaster Flash, courtesy of the 3 turntables in his kitchen, collages found sounds into an inspirational minimal alien dopescape. Quick cut to the early industrialists, pre-sequencer, driving bull-dozers back and forth on stage for optimum bass. Jumble break to the best part of every song – that jet engine take-off, that good ole football crowd noise, the explosion at the beginning of every KISS live album, that nutty pre-acid house baleric movement, Kraftwerks “Pocket Calculator”, Gongs, lasers, blah blah blah – how often do you wish the musicians would just give it up and just make a whole song out of all those kool sounds? If you have little tolerance for traditional music, the Morph Beat is for you!
This list will never be complete, like I said, multiplication is desired in this scenario….
1. The Original WildStyle Breakbeat album – This seminal classic has it all, old time radio noises, sirens, baby laughs, all over a sinister gangster groove live band that no one has yet to effectively imitate, dublicate or reach its inspirational intensity. A must for any true music lover.
2. Meat Beat Manifesto’s Storm the Studio – let’s face it, Meat Beat, aside from these annoying rap vocals that eventually will grow on you like a bad rash, had it all together. Cuttin’ Pastin’ and Crumplin’ sounds all over the place, the only beats that even came close to that WildStyle album, uncompromising left wing politics, post-situationists, neo-tribal hypnotism – get this album too.
3. Kraftwerk – Blah, blah, blah it’s all been said, just concentrate on songs like “Calculator” that are 100% imagery.
4. Billy Thorpe, Cjildrren of the Sun – before you start making fun of me, allow me to use this song as a springboard to address all those old rock intros that had nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the album but were really kool. Throw Pink Floyd in here just to muddy the waters. Dogs, crowds, etc., In the case of Children of the Sun, we have aliens landing on earth I suppose communicating with teen-agers. That’s good.
5. Can, anything they did just about – German avant-garde rock-jazz group from the sixties and seventies. Mushroom Head, later covered by Jesus and Mary Chain, is a personal favorite. Monster Movie is a good album.
6. Now we will concentrate on more recent, targeted at the rave market, music. Many of these were overlooked by DJ’s with absolute zero sense of vision, by the way, fuck them.
E-de-Cologne, Die Langenspielplatter – if I spelled it right, I am the man. Far and away, the ultimate ravemorph. Shaman wailing, flanged 909 breaks, Benny Hill, barely a recognisable sound aside from that. Very creative.
7. Frankfurt Trax 4, The Hall of Fame – Many people with no taste hate this album. Therefore I must highly recommend it. 2 Standout trax – The Turbulence track complete with a guy smoking crack, and a bass wave beyond mere type. Even better, there is this one track that has some guy that sounds like Luther Vandross, singing a soul song with rave background music, and an adoring crowd. You can practically feel the sweat on his forehead, getting under his armpits, his testicles bleating out of his now sweaty white glittery nylon pants as he pleads with the one he loves to come back. You will cry. Also contains the T-Bone Castro classic “Bitches”.
8. Eurorave 12″ on 80 Aum – after this came out, 80 Aum temporarily went to shit, but this was a doozy. Bass avalanches – I kid you not!!! Just cascades of Fat Bass beats booming into the room – puckker-puckker pop noises, insane sample patterns. Schizophrenia at its finest. Another good 80 Aum (There have been many) is Virtual Industries 12″. This overlooked jewel had one track – Toxic Waste – that defined the sound of a screaming pteradactyl for generations to come, chilling.
9. Zekt, Nuclear Indicator – giving E-de-Cologne a serious run for its money, Zekt tells an actual story with this 12″ – dare I say, a concept ep? Low key at times but brimming with ominous intensity.
10. Let’s give a shout out to ambient!!!
11. A shout for dark jungle trax like “Scotty – I don’t want to die – Scotty” . A big no-shout to “Helicopter” which doesnt have anywhere near enough helicopter sounds to be anything but teasing and aggravating.

Thus, we have some tune groundwork, and for the third time I address you, the fine reader, to expand this list, this sound, this idea. Write in with Morph reviews and tips. Scour the Thrift stores and charity shops for those hidden classics. Leave no bargain bin unturned: It’s time really make the music of the 90’s! Take the sounds! Morph the fuck out of them! Make it happen!
Yours satisfactorily
Dj Deadly Buda

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