Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Mythical Worlds of Drexciya and Dopplereffekt

Dopplereffekt: "We had to sterilize the population"

One of my favourite blogs is Drexciya Research Lab, which features thorough, analytical and well-written accounts on all things related to the mysterious Detroit-originated African-American electronic acts Drexciya (the late James Stinson with and without Gerald Donald), Dopplereffekt (Gerald Donald a.k.a. Heinrich Müller et al.) and Donald's countless side projects, both solo and with collaborators, such as Der Zyklus, Arpanet, Elecktroids, Japanese Telecom, Black Replica, Zwischenwelt, Zerkalo, and so on! Drexciya Research Lab lists now loads of YouTube and Flickr sites featuring videos (both fan-created and of live performances) and gig photos:

  • Dopplereffekt +
  • Dopplereffekt Live +

    There's also an interesting essay on Black Replica project.

    What is especially fascinating with Drexciya, Dopplereffekt and Gerald Donald's other projects is that they have created their own esoteric and cryptic mythologies around music, providing endless hours of pondering for those dedicated fans into deciphering possible coded messages, hints and hidden meanings from the tracks, record sleeves and so on (something that is also found with such cultish artists as Aphex Twin, not averse to playing around with his sometimes over-excited fans and their heated expectations); not lessened by the fact that very little biographical info has been offered on the creators behind these records (there's never any better media strategy than a carefully premeditated veil of mystery). With Drexciya it was the specific science fiction-type thematics of mythical African-based underwater creatures, whereas for Dopplereffekt it has been the controversial and provocative topics such as "racial hygiene" and pornography of their early electro sound-based EPs with consciously "white" European-style Kraftwerkian imagery (collected on Gesamtkunstwerk album); and from the second album on, with more experimental sound, the emphasis has shifted to the hard science of physics and quantum mechanics.
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