Basic Channel – BCD (1995)
February 6, 2011
A collection of tracks and edits from Basic Channel’s 12″ records, BCD demonstrates without question the power of hiss from one of the most visionary and committed duos in techno. This music is more cerebral than emotional, with much enjoyment to be had from listening to the slight changes permeating the sound. The formula for most of these tracks is relatively straight forward: a four on the floor beat, filtered chords, and a small amount of hiss. The bass line typically comes from the bass drums, not a keyboard or 303.
The second track, ‘e2e4 Remake Basic Reshape’, is a remake of Manuel Gottsching’s classic 1984 E2E4 album, sans the 20+ minute guitar solo. The third track, ‘Mutism’, dispenses with a beat and is almost entirely composed of modulated hiss. Then comes ‘Quadrant Dub I’, an edit of an even longer track that is always adding new elements into the mix. Towards the end, the filtered chords drop out and all that is left is the beat and a strange swirling sound. Next is an edit of ‘Radiance II’. Similar to ‘Quadrant Dub I’, it starts with a hypnotic beat that we can hear the filter resonance being turned up ever so slowly, giving it a ‘trippy’ feel, the effect on the listener is comparable to the use of phasers in psychedelic music of the 1960s. When the kick drum comes on board along with a new keyboard part, the result is electronic bliss of the highest quality.
The biggest complaint I have about BCD is that several of the tracks aren’t complete. Indeed, the only words on the back of the Digipack case are “buy vinyl!” It is only there that the full impact of these songs can be experienced.