Anthony Rother This Is Electro

Anthony Rother released his first single back in 1988, at the age of 16. Much like Dave Clarke, Luke Slater and Westbam, he belongs to an initial wave of Europeans directly influenced by the more electro-driven aspects of Detroit’s techno pioneers. Of the bunch, Rother has proven the most ardent supporter of nu-electro, the kind that set the template for acts like the Hacker, Tiga, and much of the American Gigolo crew. This Is Electro compiles the best of Rother’s output between 1997 and 2005, some 132 minutes of singles and rarities, many of which have been unavailable for years. The set unfolds over two discs, and though not organised in a strictly chronological manner, it nevertheless offers a clear picture of the development of Rother’s career. The generally excellent first disc, spanning ’97 to ’03, presents Rother’s dark and nuanced "pure” electro, the work that made him synonymous with the genre. The hit-and-miss second disc, running from ’02 to ’05, shows him developing a taste for pop, putting more emphasis on questionable lyrics as well as straying away from straight electro into his weaker techno hybrids. The package also comes with a DVD of music videos and live sets.

This collection serves as an ample retrospective of your work. Why look back on your career at this point? It came together piece by piece. I originally wanted to put together a DVD, without any audio CDs in mind. Two years ago I recorded the live work, and once we started producing the DVD, I thought, "Why not compile and re-master all my old work, and put it together in a box for all the people?” Because most of it you can’t get on CD, since it only came out on twelve-inch singles. So it was a good place to bring it all together as a collection. I never thought about it as a retrospective. I would consider it an artist compilation.

Why 1997 to 2005, given that you had tracks that go back further? These are the tracks that are owned by myself. This is also the time that I was working more under my own name. The stuff I did before were projects such as Psi Performer and Sodiac, with Heiko Laux. So I wanted to have a collection that was focused on me individually, as an artist. (Psi49net)