Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Liquid Nitrogen

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2001 at 12:00 AM


At the risk of sounding like the late Chris Farley: Do you remember the end of T2, when Arnold’s evil mechanical cousin gets frosted with liquid nitrogen and shattered to pieces, only to have his particles regroup and mold back into a cohesive and even more deadly form once thawed? It’s that type of resilience that separates great DJs from older models, proving that in order to stay fresh, one must morph in unexpected ways. Like its postapocalyptic title suggests, Alan Oldham (aka DJ T-1000) has released a new mix, a chance for the Detroit native comic illustrator/producer/techno DJ to show that, like his havoc-wreaking namesake, he can stealthily melt into the (dance) floor in order to sneak up on you for a surprise attack.

The mix kicks off with five minutes of Oldham juggling hard beats and alarming bleeps as he lets you know in no uncertain terms that the time machine is irreparably broken and you’re stuck in “New Detroit” on New Year’s Eve, 2199 (sorry for mixing early sci-fi metaphors). Although the intro is brutally overbearing, time travel is a bitch and no amount of training can really prepare you. Track by track, Oldham layers digitized conga rhythms, searing high-hats, and laser-sharp kick drums to construct a mix that reminds us of everything great about techno. Adam Beyer’s remix of Ben Sims’ “Remanipulator” drives a Latin salsa anthem into hyperspace, with pounding, filtered 909, spliced into a cha-cha rhythm. That and the darkly sexy “Visions of You” are both saucy complements to classically formulated tracks like the Advent’s “Sketch Marks” and Mike Dearborn’s “Voice of God.” Leaving a rich aftertaste, later tracks by Joel Mull, and Derrick May’s remix of “Jaguar” capture melodic techno at its deepest and most fulfilling. With some notable tracks of his own, Oldham waxes futuristic.

E-mail Robert Gorell at

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