Anodyne: The Remixes EP 12": PlaygroundMag review
It’s fourteen years ago. Colin Coughley appears and, probably, nobody remembers him. Nobody really got to know him at the time. He released an album under the Anodyne moniker, in 1996, on the Irish Ultramack label, of which only students of the academy of intelligent techno will have heard (it was the label the wonderful Decal released their first works on before moving on to Rotters Golf Club and Satamile). Ultramack used to release purist techno, with some concessions to electro and ambient, everything very brainy, and among the first releases was Coughley’s - sharpening breakbeats, making rage in the form of domesticated hardcore. Since then (“Ultramack 005”, from ‘96), Coughley has remained almost silent, in retirement from the world. This year he reappeared by surprise, without warning, and “Corrosion” has become his second record. Now the remixes are here, and what remixes. Remixes that could only come via someone who lived through the golden age of IDM and is in a position to claim favours, years later: The Black Dog, Autechre and Lackluster are three reasons to track this vinyl down, whatever the cost –it’s limited to 300 copies– like Bin Laden. The contribution of Lackluster is predictable to a certain point –ambient-breakbeat of asphyxiating complexity, with furious ups and downs–, but the one by Autechre is surprising: it’s been years –and years could be even before signing with Warp– since they have executed breaks so uptempo, so revealing of their B-boy past and graffiti connections that seemed lost between all those mathematic algorithms applied to computer music. Although if one track is truly epic on this, “The Remixes”, it’s the one by The Black Dog: nine minutes voyaging between glitched techno with kicks like diamonds, between Detroit and Sheffield and an atmospheric finish in the best nineties avant-techno tradition, which sounds as if we’re freezing oxygen and then melting it with a flamethrower. Two words that anyone who shares this code will understand: artificial intelligence. That said, let the hunt commence.