Veteran Detroit techno outsider kingpin TERRENCE DIXON returns with BADGE OF HONOR, his 2nd full length in as many years after a layoff of 5 years where he released none. Though I am a neophyte electronic music appreciator, I am not one without an ear ( I actually have two of these things, so great for music listening!), and I know that there is something particularly special about this man from Detroit. I even included his mesmerizing previous full length, FROM THE FAR FUTURE PT.2 (some kind of sequel to his great FROM THE FAR FUTURE released in 2000), on my 2012 best of year end list. In fact Dixon is one of the music makers that pulled me head first into the world of electronic music. His is an esoteric stew of odd rhythms, boiled down source materials, and layers and layers of fantastic sounds. Somebody once called him the APHEX TWIN of Detroit, and there’s something to that comparison. This is electronic music that makes you feel and think and that takes you to places that you never saw coming. So, in the end it’s simply great music. I saw DIXON refer to this album’s music as “deep aquatic techno”, and with song titles like “View From A Lighthouse” and “Ships In Fog” you can tell he means it. And when you listen to the songs found on BADGE OF HONOR you will also hear that he means it. I for one found these tracks over and over again conjuring the subterranean levels of my 8 & 16-bit past. Cave levels, underwater levels, underground levels jumped into my mind. Just the feel, not the sounds, as there is nothing 8-bit to be found here (though that might be interesting). No, these sounds are more refined, and classic, but twisted strangely. Like when you’ve grown up with a dad that’s always had a big mustache, and then one day he shaves it. And you walk into the room not knowing and you freak and scream, “who the fuck is in our house Ma!?!”
The UK’s SURFACE RECORDS released this record, yet another outstanding set of tracks from the man sometimes known as POPULATION ONE. “The Connection” is one of the shorter tracks from BADGE OF HONOR, but I’m obsessed with the TB-303 bass line found here, and since there’s a video I thought it best to throw this one out there for people who might not be familiar with DIXON, just to get a little taste (if at all humanly possible listen to this with headphones, or using good speakers. as is often the case with electronic music, computer speakers kill the whole situation.). There’s more TB-303, more minimal meets experimental electronic music, more of DIXON’s special take on Detroit techno; there’s a lot of good things happening on this album. Released tail end of 2013, it will be on my non-New England year end list if I can ever find the time to finish it. Pay attention to TERRENCE DIXON, a member of the Detroit techno tribe who might be making his best music right now.
also, and just cuz, a bonus vid for “Light Years” from BADGE OF HONOR:
Both videos by the29nov films