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WAX LYRICAL: NEIL LANDSTRUMM

Four/fours have dominated dancefloors for over a decade now, Neil Landstrumm, however, is one producer uninterested in the stylistic trends that tend to dictate clubland.

 

Since dropping staple tunes like 'Sniff and Destroy' during the mid-'90s, Landstrumm has been more bothered about subverting convention than complying with it, taking original forms of Detroit electro and giving it his own stamp.
Characterised by its driving, fast pace, angular time signatures and broken beats, his unique breed of techno has birthed 10 LPs in varying shapes and sizes, making up a career that's one of the UK underground's most illustrious.
His latest, 'Dragon Under', for Sneaker Social Club (out this month), is vintage Landstrumm. But, of course, with a few twists in store. We wanted to know the what, where and how he got here...

First-ever rave experience?
“Either hearing Nu Shooz 'I Can't Wait' in Topman, Inverness, 1986, whilst buying a pastel-coloured cardigan or 1990, at the Happy Mondays 'Pills 'n' Thrills' tour at the SECC in Glasgow. There were DJs from the Hacienda playing before the show and I remember they dropped LFO 'LFO' amongst other 1990 classics and it tuned my ear onto the blossoming UK dance sound. Seeing the mad army of characters that made up a UK rave in 1990 just made you feel welcome as part of an alternative movement.

The boom, bleeps and bass from the soundsystem was very inspiring to my young ears and afterwards I sought out every acid house and rave record I could find. The Pure club night in Edinburgh was my next port of call where DJs Twitch and Brainstorm ensured my continued education in experimental, upfront and heavy electronic beats.”

What is the most crucial record of all-time?

An impossible question but Suicide's first LP 'Suicide' is never far from my turntable. Timeless, dark, esoteric, scary, simple and hugely powerful music. A hugely influential band. You don't want Frankie Teardrop living next to you.”

Name three tunes that never leave your 'bag'?
“I'm not a DJ but I'll just name three records that I always enjoy whatever the moment in time..."

“'Ecstasy Club 'Jesus Loves The Acid' which is for me the best UK acid tune ever created. It's produced all wrong but that's whats makes it work, and it has a certain hypnotic edge that is just the very essence of acid and it's not even using a TB-303 to do it. I heard the bloke who made it from Swordfish records in Birmingham just did it for a laugh. Fantastic.

"ESG 'ESG'. Effortless funk and grove. An uncomplicated EP carved by raw talent, passion and soul from the South Bronx, NY. I used to be a closed-minded techno dick but a mate played me this and it opened up a whole other world of dance music to me. Timeless.

“'The Normal 'TVOD/Warm Leatherette'. The record's creator is a pioneer of UK electronics who laid the foundations and provided a platform for many who followed. Sleazy, odd and mesmeric and all at the same time.”

What's your lights-up, end-of-the-night tune? And why?
“'Wriggle Like a Fucking Eel' by Whitehouse. Clears people out every time and gives them something to think about on the way home.”

If you could meet anyone — alive or dead — who would it be?
“Kurt Vonnegut, by accident, on a long train journey and to chat about two-stroke Saabs amongst other trivial things.”

Imagine the world is going to end tomorrow. What are you gonna do tonight?
“Same as I do every night. Probably eat a bag of crisps or something and have a game of Elefun. I'm not afraid of dying (apart from on a plane).”

Give us three words to describe clubbing in Y3K.
“Soulless Capitalist Nightmare.”

 

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