Few acts can boast mythology as rich as Drexciya. Right from their very first record (1992's Deep Sea Dweller) Gerald Donald and James Stinson showed a fascination for all things aquatic. Over the years, this theme grew more and more elaborate. Eventually, the duo introduced us to the Drexciyans, a technologically advanced race inhabiting the deep-sea, direct descendants of pregnant Africans thrown overboard from slave transports en route to America. Sadly, Stinson passed away in September 2002, from heart complications. The project was retired immediately, leaving behind the aforementioned lore and a trove of classic music.
Stinson was interviewed just three months before his death on Detroit's 101.9 FM. Still battling long-term health issues, he said, "But even if I die next week or whatever, there'll still be a lot of music left. I have a nice stockpile left." Unfortunately, Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller I barely draws from this mythical archive. "Unknown Journey" seems to be the only new track; the rest being sourced from eight previous records. But of course, the upside of this is Drexciya's watery music, magnificently re-mastered and now easily available for a new generation of listeners. Covering the first half of their career ('92 – '97), this initial compilation is an exemplary introduction to the duo.
I's success rests on the diverse range of music it offers. Instead of trying to compete with the cult status of the original releases, Clone decided to create a new one altogether. Thus, we're treated to several facets of their sound. "Wavejumper" and "Lardossen Funk," for instance, show off the duo's capacity for funky groove, while "Beyond the Abyss" and "Aquarazorda" cover a darker side. Then there's "Seaquake," a reminder of just how aggressive their early work could be. Featuring thunderous 909 percs and a frenetic 303, it sounds more like something Hardfloor would create. Drexciya's more tuneful pieces aren't neglected either. "Welcome to Drexciya" and "Dehydration" take care of this, bookending the release nicely. In all, it's a frank appraisal of the duo's career, with dated cuts like "Rubick's Cube" and "Take Your Mind" also included. The package is a testament to their talent and consistency; many artists' catalogues couldn't stand up to such a wide-ranging selection. It's clear that the mythology will endure for many years to come.