Saturday, 9 June 2018
Oliver! appendices: A.E.K - Dead Stock (25 January 1992)
WARNING- the video for this track is virtually unwatchable due to the uploaders applying a strobe effect for the whole duration. You may want to minimise your screen or go to a new tab while it plays.
Although I appear to have left it out of my notes for Peel’s show on 25/1/92, I could not shake off a memory of this piece of cheapcore techno and found myself regularly checking YouTube to see whether anyone had uploaded it. I was thrilled to see that it had been put up since March 2017, but then found myself thrown into doubt when I heard it about whether to include it as an appendix to the Oliver! selections, as it seemed a good deal less essential than I remembered.
What swung it ultimately was what had first attracted me to include it on my lists and that was the cheap sound that it had. I can’t bring myself to describe it as minimalist, because so much of Dead Stock seems to be bolted together from whatever dance tropes that the four producers who made up A.E.K had to hand at the time - a tambourine here, a low bassline there, in this corner an “ughn” sample, in that corner a bit of reverse tape sound and Bob’s your uncle. It’s unfussy and slightly beige, but what sells it is that pitter-patter popcorn riff. In the land of mixtaping, it has the quality of a way station - a place where the listener can stop for a breather and tune out before engaging their faculties in something more substantial. Like most stop-off points on a Peel playlist, I would often skate past it 95% of the time, but it must be doing something right to persuade me to stop by. Though not for too long, with that video, I’m afraid.
Video courtesy of Northern Electric Recordings who have repeated the “magic” with other A.E.K recordings if your retinas can stand it.