Cisco Ferreira and heavyweight friends celebrate 20 years of defiant techno bangers
As the 1990s progressed, techno rose from the rave to become a new kind of beast that took no prisoners after Robert Hood’s ‘Minimal Nation’ defined and named a genre which, in underground clubs such as Pure, Tresor and Atomic Jam, was devoured by sweaty, saucer-eyed blokes metaphysically bellowing “harder, faster” to gods such as Jeff Mills, Joey Beltram and CJ Bolland.
Leading the charge for the UK were The Advent who, until the end of that decade, consisted of Portuguese techno hound Cisco Ferreira and DJ Colin McBean. The former started his career as an assistant sound engineer, sessions for the Jack Trax label bringing him into contact with legends such as Derrick May, Fingers Inc, Marshall Jefferson and Adonis. He started recording in 1988 with Bolland as Space Opera, releasing four singles on R&S, and was responsible for the first 12-inch on Carl Craig’s fabled Fragile imprint in 1989 under his own name.
The Advent were born after Cisco met Bang The Party DJ McBean, signing to the London Records-affiliated Internal Records (home of Orbital). There followed a sizzling barrage of banging 12s, 1995’s ‘Elements Of Life’ album and 1997’s ‘New Beginning’, after which McBean departed to assume his Mr G alias, leaving Cisco forging a fresh path under The Advent banner. He released granite helmet shredders on Tresor and started his own Kombination Research label, also appearing on imprints including Drumcode, Synewave, Rotation, International DJ Gigolos, Kanzleramt, Elektrix and Pure Plastic.
‘Collection 100’ celebrates Kombination Research’s 100th release by gathering 22 tracks dating back to the label’s earliest missiles, many appearing digitally for the first time. Hold on to your turbo-keks as the set careers through pounding vole-on-the-bowl groove missives including ‘P. Tek’, ‘Inn Search’, ‘Mononix’ and ‘Bad Boy’. While these define that genre and will forever conjure memories of having-it early hours oblivion, electro-bolstered outings such as ‘Elektra Fix’, ‘Bass High’ and ‘Visualize’ stand as prime slabs of the blueprint redefined in the 90s by names such as Drexciya. Nodding at old school acid, ‘Inn Range’ snarfs a bassline from Chicago’s immortal Master C&J while ‘Missing’ deploys startling use of accelerated old school piano and mutated Detroit strings.
While the whip-cracking electro-slap of ‘Mind, Body & Soul’ is captured live at MOTOR in Detroit, Cisco has also included three previously unreleased tracks, including the breezy acid of ‘B Blast’ and belting ‘Backlash’, plus guest slots from Joey Beltram, Murat and Davide Squillace.
One thought that hit me when confronted with this set was the never mentioned problem many studio geniuses had thinking up titles for their instrumental masterworks. Of course, most just slapped the first future-related thought that came into their head on a track but, with this kind of merciless onslaught, who needs to give a shit. This music was built for a time and place. That the memories it stokes can still grip is testament to its quality.