Aux 88 Electro Boogie

Techno may be Detroit's biggest export to the international dance community, but for local DJ-producers Aux 88, techno-bass is the music of the Motor City's people. Its sound parallels the futuristic funk of techno legends like Juan Atkins and Derrick May, but also remains deeply rooted in the bass-heavy, African-American tradition of electro-beats à la "Planet Rock" and Hashim. The selections on Electro Boogie, the only official techno-bass compilation/mix CD, are mostly comprised from tracks by Aux 88, their label Direct Beat, and other hardcore Detroit labels like UR, Metroplex and Detrechno. The duo's mix is defined by a dominant use of 808 drums, twitchy synths and minimalist production values, but these and other elements are envisioned differently by all of the artists on the disc. Underground Resistance's "The Final Frontier" and "Afro-Germanic" are boldly percussive, whereas Drexciya's "Bubblemetropolis" and DJ K1's "Erase The Time" indulge in darker soundscapes and man-machine fantasies. There's also the sexual side — something that techno at its most intellectual, and electro at its most nostalgic, tend to repress — on X-ile's "I Wanna" and Aaron Carl's "Down." The four tracks from Aux 88 slide between these modes, balancing aggressive beats and imaginative sounds with a infectious bounce. (!K7)