Tuesday, April 15, 2008

V/A - Artificial Intelligence

V/A - Artificial Intelligence
Label - Warp
Released - 1992
Style - Electronic, IDM, Techno, Ambient, Electro, Bleep

This is one of those comps that set in motion my musical tastes for the rest of my life. I remember the day I bought the Artificial Intelligence comps - I was working at a bakery (FELIX!) and Tower Records was right around the corner. I went there after getting my first major paycheck - spent hours at Tower. Decided to look underneath the CD Racks in a secret little cubby, and came across a stack of these Warp CDs. I bought them all on sight. They remain the most influential comps in my collection.

1 The Dice Man aka Aphex Twin - Polygon Window (5:10)
2 Musicology - Telefone 529 (4:09)
3 Autechre - Crystel (4:36)
4 I.A.O. aka Black Dog - The Clan (5:07)
5 Speedy J - De-Orbit (6:11)
6 Musicology - Preminition (4:03)
7 UP! aka Richie Hawtin - Spiritual High (7:41)
8 Autechre - The Egg (7:32)
9 Speedy J - Fill 3 (3:53)
10 Dr. Alex Paterson - Loving You Live (4:00)

(From wiki)
Artificial Intelligence was a compilation album released on Warp Records on July 9, 1992 (see 1992 in music), and subsequently for America in 1993 on the Wax Trax label. The album is the first release in Warp's Artificial Intelligence series.

Artificial Intelligence is unique in that it was one of the first electronic music releases that was supposed to be listened to, not danced to. The album art conveys this message. The armchair in the picture, the lone figure listening to the music, and the non dance music LP sleeves stewn across the floor all acknowledge that this is a new way for electronic music to go. "...We realized you could make a really good album out of it. You could sit down and listen to it like you would a Kraftwerk or Pink Floyd album. That's why we put those sleeves on the cover of Artificial Intelligence - to get it into people's minds that you weren't supposed to dance to it!"



Grooover said...

Firstly. Great blog. I often stop by and thought I should comment.

I remember being passed this cd by a guy in our price records. He though i would like it as i was buying R&S label stuff at the time. The Opening track had me hooked and is still one of my all time faves. Needless to say every week after that I was checking the shops for Artificial Intelligence series cd's.

You have a lot of cat links. We just lost our cat of 13 years. My music room is not the same without the ol cat curled up on the chair.

(My Musical efforts)

XMP said...

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah we're big cat people here. Grown up with cats since birth really. You should go to the ASPCA or pound and see about getting a new buddy!

nattymari said...

I love the blog BTW. But this post sparked a personal memory... so I also thought I'd comment.

I remember getting this album too. For me though, the first WARP release I purchased was Black Dog's 'Bytes,' back in 93 or so.

I was just really getting into techno, and enjoying some of the rave stuff that Rising High and Tresor put out - but it was not my true (champion?) sound. A friend had given me a tape with some early Aphex - but, being a dub fiend - it was still a little too brash and hardcore techno for me. When I looked through the "Techno" section of the Music Plus - I saw the handful of WARP's AI cds. I loved the covers and they looked mysterious, sort of the wat 4AD records looked to a neo-punk/goth teenager like me in the 80s. I was immediately attracted to the black cover (old goth habits die hard!) Amidst all the dayglo rave cds - it looked ominous and cyberpunk... what I was looking for in seeking out electronica. I saw the name BLACK DOG PRODUTIONS - and loved the multi-faceted reference. Black Dog - Led Zep/Crowley... Black Dog Productions=B.D.P. (I was and still am a big hip hop fan.) I bought it wand was not let down. On the contrary - every week I went back and bought the whole A.I. series - and tried to find more music like it.

My tastes for IDM has waned a little... I'm much more choosy now - but those old Warp releases hold a big warm spot in my heart.

XMP said...

Excellent. I think we'll have to post some Black Dog soon in response to that comment!

Anonymous said...

Another great post...My most distinctive memory of this album is throwing it on while driving through Wyoming at sunset in late July on my way to the West Coast...a great soundtrack to the natural beauty of the landscape I was rocketing through. Keep up the good work.

Chris Ward said...

Thanks for posting all this WARP stuff recently. It reminds me of when I used to live in Sheffield in the late 80s and early 90s, and could buy records at the WARP shop in sheffield. I used to think I was so cool buying records on the WARP label from the WARP shop, and carrying them home in the stylish WARP bags - ha ha!
I've still got the first WARP 12 and that Nightmares on Wax 3 x 12 series for "I'm for real". I sold the best 12s like LFO a long time ago - wish I hadn't now...
Chris Ward
Nottingham - UK

XMP said...

Early (and even later) Warp output is simply in a realm of its own. If you look at the early releases - Tricky Disco, LFO, Nightmares on Wax, Forgemasters, Sweet Exorcist - those records became cultural benchmarks for the future. They unwittingly gave birth to the entire "IDM" genre years later... I'd have to say being there at the right time is definitely cool! As an American who got into the Warp/electronic stuff relatively early (91/92), I've become very aware of UK culture and the variations between regions over there. From Warp to the UK Hardcore/early Jungle/Full Jungle/DnB phenomenon - not to mention the UK pirate FM culture - the UK has been a source for nearly all of my musical obsession for almost 20 years now! cheers

XMP said...

btw - on the subject of Warp.... I highly recommend the Warp: Labels Unlimited book for any/all fans of Warp or Electronic music in general. It's one of the finest books in my collection - full glossy print... highest quality of course.

"Since its foundation in 1989, Warp Records has become a synonym for futuristic adventures in sound and vision. "Warp" tells the story of how a small Sheffield dance label grew to foster an international range of artists including Aphex Twin, LFO, Autechre, Boards Of Canada, Squarepusher, Broadcast, Vincent Gallo, Tortoise, Antipop Consortium, Jimi Tenor, Plaid and Prefuse 73, eventually adding film production to its list of credits with Chris Cunningham, Chris Morris, and Lynne Ramsay. Coinciding with the rise of the internet as well as radical new music and multimedia technologies during the 1990s, which placed artistic control directly in the hands of musicians, "Warp's" worldwide success had much to do with its unique relationship to its artists and a determination to remain independent and in control of its own destiny. "Warp" features interviews with the label's key artists and co-founder Steve Beckett, sections on the prehistory of Sheffield electronica and "Warp's" stunning artwork by the Designers Republic, plus many unseen photos, documents, press releases, cuttings and artefacts from the label's lifespan, together with a complete discography/filmography from 1989-2005."


Chris Ward said...

Thanks for the extra info, I'll look out for that book on WARP next time I get paid.
In a similar way to your interests in the UK's music for a long time, I've ben into american, or rather african american music for 20+ years. I used to buy lots of Hip Hop from the WARP shop when it was open, and then got into other african american music like funk and jazz by reading who was sampled on the Hip Hop LPs and 12s. Nowadays I'm obsessed with west african music, so much so that last november I went to Bamako in Mali to catch Toumani Daibate and his Symmetric Orchestra live at Le Hogon club - twice!
I did a bit more searching for info on WARP, and found this interesting discography of Rob Gordon:


I'll soon try and digitise the few WARP and Outer Rhythm 12s I have and let you have a listen.


XMP said...

Please do, Chris! I'd love to hear some of the early Warp/Outer Rhythm material... anyways back to work!

Chris Ward said...

Hi again XMP

I was off work yesterday and today, here's the results so far:


6 tracks from the 3 twelve inch singles that NOW released within the period of a couple of months. Apologies for the crackles, the vinyl is not in its best condition.

Feel free to use the files in any way you wish. Make a post on your blog if you like or share them with your friends. I grabbed loads of your reggae and electronica recently so am glad to be able to return a favour.

I've got some more WARP & Outer Rhythm 12s to upload in a day or two. Have you ever heard of Renegade Soundwave or Depth Charge? These were english guys but from London, who released records in the same era but with more of a cut & paste approach. I rediscovered my 12s of theirs yesterday and will try and share some soon.


XMP said...

Excellent. Thanks so much - i'll definitely post this up!

That gutterbreakz rob gordon blurb really amped up my appetite for old choons... especially anything he mentioned there!

XMP said...

and yeah we've got some renegade soundwave stuff at home (although not much depth charge I don't think). Would love to hear some of the 12s though

Chris Ward said...

Glad the effort was appreciated. Here's a few more WARP 12s to add to the pile:


I'll move onto some RSW and Depth Charge soon, which probably means at the weekend.

I'll be enjoying the MP3s of the 12s on my cycle rides to work this week.


XMP said...

Thanks again, Chris! Still going through the last rapidshare link. Going to clean up the audio and repost it!

Chris Ward said...

Good man XMP, I've no experience of trying to clean up digitised records. There an Outer Rhythm Man Machine 12 spinning right now, expect a few more sounds in a day or two.

Anonymous said...

XMP, your blog is I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. ! ! !

XMP said...

thank you much!