- Back in 1986 when Phuture discovered the bubbling acid sounds of the Roland 303 and merged it with a jacking beat to create "Acid Tracks," its importance could not have been predicted. Although its heyday is long gone, acid never died: It became integral to the sound of both hard house and London acid techno in the late '90s, and DJs are still unable to resist dropping an acid tune to this very day. One of those DJs in particular is Alex Ridha, AKA Boys Noize, so it seems only natural for him to have put together a tribute to the sound that he loves.
Super Acid brings together a whole host of artists from Ridha's label, and the results are surprisingly diverse. From tear-up floor fillers to multi-layered electro designed for home listening, it covers a huge amount of ground. The album's strength lies in how each producer applies the acid touch. It's hardly overpowering: Shadow Dancer's "Silver" could easily be a late '80s Chicago house tune, sure, but Joakim & Dave Tarrida's "Azid" is dark Detroit minimalism.
Benny Rodrigues and Boys Noize both offer primitive reinterpretations which are knowingly nostalgic; Surisimo supplies jittery urgent beats, and Djedjotronic and electro's first "supergroup" H.D.B.N (Djedjotronic along with Brodinski, Harvard Bass and Noob) provide swathes of analogue synth on two of the finest cuts on the album. The only significant lapse in quality is Jan Driver's contribution. Taking his lead from Damon Albarn's recent recording methods, he created his track on an iPad using the iPhone 303 emulator. The quality of the tune matches those made in the studio; the track's unfortunate lack of direction lies solely with the producer.
Clearly retro is in the air at the moment: Steve Bug's Poker Flat will soon follow this album up with their own tribute to music of the same era; Forward to the Past takes a more mature approach to the prototype years of house music. It's a natural companion of Super Acid. In both cases, it's unlikely we'll be looking back at these tracks and lavishing them with the same amount of respect as tunes like "Acperience" or "The Poke." Yet Super Acid shows respect for the machine, while managing to avoid being derivative. You can't ask for much more.
01. Boys Noize - 1010
02. Jan Driver - Army Of Mowers
03. Joakim & Krikor - Azid
04. Housemeister & Dave Tarrida - Bleep
05. Noob, Brodinski, Djedjotronic & Harvard Bass - Extreme Compote
06. Siriusmo - I Like My Voice
07. Erol Alkan & Boys Noize - Death Suite (Erol Alkan Edit)
08. Shadow Dancer - Silver
09. Strip Steve - The Beast
10. Feadz - 11% Acid
11. Benny Rodrigues - LSD
12. Djedjotronic - Uranus