The sheer depth of Drexciya's influence makes it surprising that it took this long—founder James Stinson died just over ten years ago—for the Detroit pair's material, much of which was only previously available on limited-run, poorly pressed vinyl and crackling MP3 rips, to be re-mastered and reissued. The challenge has finally been taken up with gusto by Clone Records' Classic Cuts offshoot, with this the third instalment of an exhaustive four-part retrospective charting the shadowy duo's passage into electronic folklore. With all tracks re-mastered by Alden Tyrell from the original tapes, Clone have chosen to avoid straight-up record-by-record reissues, instead drawing highlights from across their catalogue and recasting them into a series of compilations, each of which (loosely speaking) sticks to one era of Drexciya's decade-long career. Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller III expands on the series' second instalment by concentrating mainly on Stinson and partner Gerald Donald's prolific, mid-'90s output on Underground Resistance and Submerge.
Tyrell has admitted being slightly nervous about being in the position to "fuck up" such classic, beloved material, but his tweaks are consistently on the money. The Dutchman's versions remove the less desirable rough edges from those original vinyl versions while retaining in full the raw, otherworldly atmosphere so central to the Drexciya sound.
One particularly spectacular mid-record period sees "Intensified Magnetron," with its intoxicating expanding and contracting synth riff, lined up beside the playful, bass-driven dance floor destroyer "Sea Snake," and the punchy atmospherics of "The Mutant Gillmen." These three cuts are routinely cited as gateway tracks into the worlds of both Drexciya and Detroit techno and electro; hearing them side by side for the first time is worth the entrance fee alone.
Elsewhere, "Nautilus 12" clangs like a ride in an out-of-control diving bell, and "Vampire Island" successfully conjures up, in three short minutes, vivid images of some gilled Dracula loftily surveying his dark fiefdom. Add to this parade of classics two unreleased tracks—the succinct and almost whimsical "Flying Fish" and the regal instrumental "Unknown Journey IV"—and Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller III constitutes another fascinating dive into the mysterious aquatic world of Drexciya.
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Tracklist: Drexciya - Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller III01. Smokey's Illegitimate Report
02. The Countdown Has Begun
04. Intensified Magnetron
05. Sea Snake
06. Flying Fish
07. The Mutant Gillmen
08. Unknown Journey IV
10. Vampire Island
11. Aqua Worm Hole
12. Bubble Chamber
13. You Don't Know
14. Red Hills Of Lardosa