- Terre Thaemlitz was always in danger of falling into the cracks between genre and gender. This is, after all, a queer deep-house DJ whose published works included an album of rubato covers of Devo songs, under-rated ambient masterpieces (‘Soil’) and electronica albums that aggressively and insightfully hurl intelligence, doubt and ‘love bombs’ at issues of traded objects, bent genders and alienated commodity relations. Yes, really. So how come this guy’s not more widely known? Terre’s way too schooled for cool, basically, a being who’s threatened with marginalisation for being too threatening to every border policeman (s)he throws a sexy question mark at. Basically, Terre wants to fuck (with) your pigeonholes…
Terre’s also been making deep house for a long time, released on his own Comatonse label, which has languished for a lack of distribution, not quality. Given the ascendancy of Dial, Philpot, Deeply Rooted House and the like over the past year or two, the worldwide release of this 2006 collection on Mule is timely to say the least. If you dig the recent European renovation of deep house, you’re going to enjoy this work immensely… well, I did.
We open with ‘Chugga: Theme for the Buck Rogers Light Rope Dance (Deep Space Probe remix by Terre Thaemlitz’), which sets the ‘tonse’ right alight with warm, deep sub-bass, short, dry percussion and long trails of wild piano. Terre wields his DJ Sprinkles wand for ‘Sloppy 42nds’ (Sprinkles' Deeperama), another highlight and a recent addition to Âme’s ‘Coast 2 Coast’ mix. ‘Face’ (Extended Demo Edit) takes a very, very Mr. Fingers riff (or maybe a direct lift) into edit bliss, adding cuts, repeats, hits and rolls to the classic template of Amnesia-era Heard trax. ‘A Crippled Left Wing Soars with the Right’ appears twice in different interpretations (one of the interesting touches on this collection is its self-examination, its own constant mantra of ‘myself must I remake’. The first (floor-ready) version includes some instructive lyrics, which seem to express (loosely) something of the joy of Thaemlitz:
“Win or lose you pay your dues for latent phantasies/ so first, reach, pull, snatch/grab what’s yours… from the universe!”
The other greatness of this track is the massive interruption to the groove with a droning, chopped up string-loop (a sound-design tactic that brings Terre close to Pantha du Prince, or maybe vice-versa). It’s a totally unexpected and wonderful line of flight in an otherwise slamming track, and an illustration of the (s)ass and smarts that Thaemlitz applies to all his work. What a collection. What a man.
1 Chugga - Theme For The Buck Rogers Light Rope Dance (Deep Space Probe Remix By Terre Thaemlitz)
2 Terre's Neu Wuss Fusion - A Crippled Left Wing Soars With The Right (Steal This Record Remix By DJ Sprinkles)
3 G.R.R.L. - Banji (Demo Dub)
4 DJ Sprinkles - Sloppy 42nds (Sprinkles' Deeperama)
5 Social Material - Class
6 Terre's Neu Wuss Fusion - Thirty Shades Of Grey
7 G.R.R.L. - Face (Extended Demo Edit)
8 Terre's Neu Wuss Fusion - A Crippled Left Wing Soars With The Right (1-Step Forward, 2-Step Back)
9 Terre & Funk Shui - Superbonus (Superedit)
10 Chugga - Theme For The Buck Rogers Light Rope Dance (500 Year Orbit Remix By Terre Thaemlitz)