We’ve made no secret of our love for Terrence Dixon here at THEMA. After his THEMA debut with “The Parkhurst”, a record that helped to reignite his career, we’ve seen the legendary figure move on to even bigger things, and we helped the cause even more just recently with his “The Return” EP as Population One on our Chronicle sublabel. His resurgence has reminded us what always drew us and many others to his work from the beginning, and it’s thus with immense pride that we announce Minimalism Re:Vision, featuring remixes of Terrence Dixon’s groundbreaking Minimalism Part 1 from 1995. As the final release on Claude Young’s influential but short-lived Utensil Records, the understated record is one of Dixon’s first few releases as well as a certified classic of early Detroit minimal techno. Revising it is a tough task to tackle and one we approached with great care; thus, we present three equally relevant, equally reverent mixes by today’s finest techno figures on a full EP. Mike Huckaby, Silent Servant, and DVS1 all stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the front line of contemporary dancefloor music, and we feel that presenting their versions alongside the original does justice and homage to its enduring legacy for THEMA’s Re:Vision Series.
Mike Huckaby is no stranger to Terrence Dixon; seeing as they come from the same city, work in the same area, and are of the same generation. We have little doubt Huckaby has the Utensil EP somewhere in his record collection actually, and his studied interpretation certainly shows such deep roots. It takes the threatening aspect of Terrence’s original into the background, but Huckaby replaces it with upfront, drum-machine fueled aggression and ruthlessly unleashes a proper Detroit beatdown underlain with woozy, loopy synthesizers. Working at a complete contrast but remaining equally true to the original’s mold, Silent Servant zeroes in on the heavy, haunting atmosphere and damaged electronics and underpins his remix with a dirty, repeating bassline of his own invention. It’s ominous and distinctly influenced by other aspects of Dixon’s work, but it also asserts itself as one of Silent Servant’s most arresting recent efforts. DVS1’s nimble interpretation juxtaposes seemingly endless percussion fills against dub chords that formed the backbone of Dixon’s 1995 track. There, they remained discrete and shadowy, but here the haze is drawn away as they interlock with the adroit drums. We can easily see DVS1 smashing this in one of his lightning-quick mixes, and afterwards we finish the record with Terrence Dixon’s (A2) original, where the contrasting aspects of the other mixes meld kaleidoscopically into something that stands easily alongside the most creative of today’s techno.
As a reunion for friends, an overview of today’s best talent, and a re-evaluation of past and present achievements, THEMA looks back to the rich past while still moving unstoppably into the future.
Text by: Albert Freeman
released December 10, 2013
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