According to the Book of Exodus, the original biblical Tabernacle was built by craftsmen said to have been given celestial talents by God, designed to contain the Ark of The Covenant and ultimately the divine sprirt itself. Now it might be a little far-fetched to claim that the gentlemen behind Tabernacle Records are members of a secret society comprising of direct descendants from the Tribe of Judah, on a mission to create a modern-day dwelling place for heavenly presence via underground electronic music, so we’ll leave that shit to Dan Brown. But there’s one thing you can say, which is that these chaps have impeccable taste and a keen ear for selecting the finest unsung delights the underground has to offer. As regular visitors to this site may well know, Tabernacle Records came into effect in the Autumn of 2010, when Andrew Ingram and brothers Joel & Jasper Shaw decided to pool their heat-seeking talents, and since then has been gaining steady momentum and building a solid repetoire with every release, having already graced us with E.P’s from Mark du Mosch, The Analogue Cops, Daniel Andréasson and the mighty John Heckle.
For their 7th excursion, Tabernacle have excelled themselves in drafting in two established acts of formidable talent in the form of Lost Trax and The Connection Machine for a split Mini LP, comprising of three tracks from each. Very little is known about the enigmatic and faceless Lost Trax, a project that seems to be dedicated to unearthing forgotten and misplaced recordings from well-known producers under the veil of anonymity. Having released only a scant two 12″s in the past four years for Silicon Scally’s SCSI-AV label, Lost Trax continue their explorations into classic Techno for the tracks presented here, with a particular focus on the innovations made in Detroit in the early 90′s. “The Eye” is a beautiful example of the deep sonic futurism first purveyed by the likes of Reel By Real and “Infoworld”-era Model 500, the kind of material that served as the template for the first wave of British Electronica and the Artificial Intelligence movement, with it’s enveloping, lush pads, bleep melodies and throbbing sub-bass being driven forward by crisp machine percussion that pefectly taps into the righteous Detroit vibes of old. “Pulp” ups the tempo more than a notch, a storming short-but-sweet lesson in high-style sonic shamanism, and is genuinely one of the best exemplifications of Techno i’ve heard in a long time. The vaporous synthlines are still present, but it’s the colossal morphing bassline and subsequent barrage of claps and hats that makes this track the voltaic dancehall destroyer it is, transporting and updating tried and tested modes into the contemporary underground psyche with deft efficiency, and ultimately proving that the original Techno archetype was furiousely advanced in it’s quest for autonomous sonic discovery. Which is to say, that tracks like this sound like they could easily have been made 15 years ago, but on the same token could be beamed back from 5 years in the future. “The Forest”, the third and final track from Lost Trax, winds down Side A perfectly, a tranquil delight of elated melodies underpinned by metallic rhythms, likely forged from an impressive array of analogue machinery. Side B sees the return of The Connection Machine, the duo of Jeroen Brandjes & Natasja Hagemeier, whose E.P’s for Planet E and U-Trax gained them much deserved praise in the mid 90′s. The three slices of down-tempo electronica they present us with here apparently date back to 2005, a slight departure from 2004′s “Painless”, and more than a massive departure from the rapid-fire Techno of “Black Hole”, but shows that the gears of The Connection Machine are still kept well-oiled and fully functional. The mongoloid funk of “Evil Earth” lumbers in with freaky organs and sparse, marching drums that invoke seedy experimentions in outpost laboratories, where human guinea pigs are subjected to cybernetic tests by miscreant scientists. “Speel” is somewhat of a return to Bitflower-era Connection Machine, 3 minutes of bowling breakbeat rhythms that bring classic Planet E steel to the table, and will make fans of the more unorthodox end of mid-90′s Techno more than happy. Finishing off this blinding E.P is “Keen (On Life)”, a fest of Roedelius-esque empyreal synthwork and warped 303 lines that, like the title, paints a picture concordant with the optimistic outlook electronic music once had.
If somewhow it wasn’t known before, “Lost Connection” has undoubtedly proven Tabernacle’s ability in showcasing some of the finest underground music on offer, and based on previous endeavors, this label is sure to become a byword for quality and integrity in electronic music as the 12″s keep coming.Lost Trax – The Eye Lost Trax – Pulp The Connection Machine – Evil Earth The Connection Machine – Keen (On Life)
Buy “Lost Connection” here
Tabernacle RecordsAndrew’s Mix for This Is Our House Jasper’s Mix for This Is Our House