The summer of 1991 ran on its final legs and to celebrate our high-school graduation we had a mad plan. We left "head over heels" to the UK on an improvised road trip with only raving, having fun and doing crazy stuff on the agenda.
The early September sun was beating down on the capital and to escape the weekday madness of the inner city we embarked on a random train to the seashore.
Brighton was hot.
A sea breeze blew me, in my romanticized memories, in the direction of a record shop. I bought two tunes the guy in the store was playing and left, straight to the beach: it was going to be a wonderful day.
Summer went ... The only things I took home from our adventure were: a massive sunburn and two records. One 12" by Luke Slater, and one mysterious beauty by a -to me- unknown Aubrey/Solid Groove. The clunky, chunky, breaky and speedy weirdness of the tracks enchanted me.
Later, it turned out to have been my first encounter with the music of Allen Sei.
Years went by and playing, making, buying and selling records became my job. I emptied the bargain bins of the London and New York second-hand record stores on a regular basis and little known, mysterious releases on tiny labels such as Surreal, Alien Disco, Textures and my, by than favorite, Solid Groove started to form the backbone of my musical universe.
These "salvaged records" from all over the world eventually became the inspiration to open my own record store in the spring of 1997.
Starting a shop in Belgium, where even the dullest of little villages had a half decent vinyl outlet wasn't an obvious choice. Belgium was the Kingdom of electronic music and the local shops and distributors had an in international reputation: if you wanted to get new import records you had to buy them from them, there was no way to get around the big players in those pre-internet days.
When the new imports arrived mid-week, directly from all over the world, there was a ranking order.
First, the big stores came in to pick their records, then the lesser Gods and at the tail-end, there was me: the new kid in town. The first time I faced a "plundered half-empty storage room" clearly emptied of everything a record store considered being interesting or sellable I thought: "I am F*cked ...."
What was left, ironically enough, was exactly the unidentifiable stuff I was looking for. I filled a box full of little treasures and the best find of the lot was 10 white label copies of a 12" marked SPANKY ROGER, Digit Figit ...
Allen Sei crossed my path once again and all these little finds launched my shop under a clement sky. Very soon known, and lesser known DJ's, and a bunch of party kids crowded the store looking for that techno/non-techno, house/non-house sound that we championed in the shop and quickly "Tech-House", in its embryonic form invaded the second floor of the main techno club Fuse.
When in March 2017 I was trying to put under words the ideas WALRUS had for his new label, it was AUBREY I had in mind when penning the phrase: "Just like true renegades, musical outsiders always walk alone, but time can become a weird ally".
Since the last decade digger types from all horizons had started to sift through the past again and had rediscovered these weird undefinable techno house tracks time had buried under a small layer of dust . Records, forgotten, unloved or just under the radar were being given a second chance and put under the spotlight, Aubrey's work was amongst that.
This release forms a weird full cycle for me, upon hearing the tracks I felt myself "RACING THROUGH TIME" and it felt so good !
Sounds from the past, but always with one foot in the future ... Spanky Rodgers ... You nailed it ... once again!
Erge Stormen aka Geert Sermon 19/01/12
A Racing Through Time
B Racing Through Time pt.2
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