Discover more from Zik Zak
zikzak mix 9 - ambient techno 1991 - 1996
stream only below
This one has been in the works for a long time. I have been preparing for several months to make sure I had a really good selection picked out to share with you
I was very fortunate that i grew up with this music for the most part. I may have told this tale before, but its worth mentioning here.
During the late 80’s I started working in record shops. I worked for several excellent ones in Baltimore and I was really very interested in the post punk/goth/indie world. I was the type of person that read the British Music press fairly religiously. Obviously shoegaze made a really powerful impact on me and I was pretty content for a while. There came a point where “Britpop” became the sound that was everywhere, and while I tended to listen exclusively to rock music, I became very disenchanted with the rock music scene.
I vividly recall reading a review of this 12” by Aphex Twin called “Digeridoo”. It sounded really interesting and seemed unlike a lot of what I had heard before. One of my customers, Joe Di Carlo, had started his own shop called “Modern Music” that catered to both the dance industrial scene, but also the growing rave/dance scene. I went down there to pick up a copy of that 12”. Once I heard it, it changed everything for me. I was desperate to be around that music and learn as much as I could. I decided to go to Joe and work out an arrangement that allowed me to help start his mail-order operation. I took my entire record collection and started that as a seed to build it. At that time, I had a formidable Current 93/Nurse With Wound/T.G. Collection that in interspersed with all of the new ambient techno pieces that were coming out. This must have been around 1993.
From that point onward, I tried to become a focal point for this music for customers all over the USA.
One of the guys who worked in the shop was Alan Parry who helped co found the Hyperreal “IDM list” (that was the place where the term IDM emanated from)
As well as being a lovely guy, he was a really invaluable source of info
Here is an interesting article about that time and the scene. It was a small but very connected community
I went on to start my own mail-order operation called s://kimo in 1998 and I also helped found Igloo magazine with Pietro Da Sacco (which is still going strong today because of his hard work!)
To be honest, my interest in this music ended in around 1996 because to me, that’s the golden age. While I continued selling current electronic music to customers, I sort of stopped listening to electronic music shortly after. Its only been since 2005 that my interest rekindled (that also coincided with me getting out of the record business altogether…)
A lot of the tracks you will hear in this mix come from listening to this stuff when it came out. There is a vast ocean of this style out there and it takes time to really wade through it all. Most of these tracks are what I would consider the cream of the crop. Also, for all the genre people out there…I use the term “Ambient Techno” very loosely. At this time, genres weren’t as fixed as they are now. Really some of this would now be considered early IDM or early Trance/ Minimal Techno. I hope that you will find things you hadn’t heard before. I also beatmatched for the first time and that was really kind of exciting. All those years working with DJ’s and I never learned how to do it…Go figure.
This time around, I put down the timestamps in the download so you can more easily identify the tracks. Here is just a straight list so you know what you’re getting into
As I mentioned in the mailer the other day, I am trying something different, so instead of putting them up on bandcamp, I went and purchased a wetransfer plan that allows me to send links instead.
If you enjoy this mix and you want to help support what i’m doing here, you can preorder the vinyl or digital of my new release on the NPM label below or you can straight donate via Ko-Fi
(starting at $1.00 to whatever to decide)
Again, I hope you find this all worthwhile
Thanks - PJ
Thanks for reading Zik Zak! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.