20/09/2007

Album of the week : Human race ignition - Tekton Motor Corporation

In 1994, when I visited the Pukkelpop festival for the first time, I saw a Slovenian band that did something no one else ever did (not to my knowledge anyway) : they performed with two heavy trucks among their instruments. Unfortunately, as they had to play indoors in the "Dance tent", Tekton Motor Corporation couldn't do it there, but they did when playing in open air.
Something else they did which was unique and which was the reason I was curious enough to go and see this unknown band, they sampled Formula 1 race cars.

I really enjoyed the concert : it was good dance music ! So I bought their album, Human race ignition, and have enjoyed it occasionally since...
The sounds of the F1 race cars were recorded at McLaren testing sessions in France, Michael Andretti and Mark Blundell being the drivers.
The album has three songs on it, but each song consists of 4 to 5 parts, which can be distinguished quite well. You can listen to Tek I (mp3), which consists of : Cognitive Magnitude, Ignition, Dreams and The Horizon. Each song has race car sounds in it, along with guitars and a lot of techno sounds. This may not be the best dance music there is, but the race car sounds give it that extra spice to make it stand out anyway...

The band only released two albums (Human race ignition with the tracks Tek I, Tek II and Tek III ; Champions with the tracks Tek IV and Tek V !), and they made it to the first Mind The Gap compilation of the music magazine Gonzo Circus.

You can buy the album here (although there seem to be different versions of the same album...). My version of the album was released by Dreamtime Recording (KT 8 11CD).

Next week's album of the week : "This is somewhere" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

1 comment:

electronic ignition said...

You've got to give this guy (Magirus Branko Mirt) credit for originality. His aim is to produce trance dance music - certainly not original on its own - but what sets the wonderfully-named Tekton Motor Corporation apart is its obsession with motor vehicles (in particular Formula 1 racing cars) and its insistance on creating groovy tunes that feature samples of Formula 1 racing cars screaming up and down! But, amazingly, it works. TMC has also released Human Race Ignition on the same label and appeared on a handful of compilations including Head Your Mind (Dreamtime, 1993) and Mind The Gap Vol. 1 (Gonzo Circus, 1994). The only comparable approach that I'm aware of is that used by Holy Gang on their album Free Tyson Free! - in that case the obsession is with Mike Tyson and the album features boxing samples.

Most of the eleven tracks feature soul diva-ish vocals but on occasion a distinctly "Cor blimey, guv" Cockney-accented female chips in too - making the whole enterprise rather unique. Bar the introductory track (Interlude) and a couple of others, the majority revolve around a similar tune and vocal refrain of "Do You Love?" and the titles reflect this: Love Me, Give Me Your Love, How Do You Love, Where Do You Love etc. etc. TMC are at their best on the more low-key track like Interlude and We Turn The Wheel with its simple, repetative groove. Unlike much trance, most of the songs on Champions are short - most clocking in about three minutes. The longer exceptions (including We Turn The Wheel) are actually the better tracks in my mind. The final seven-and-a-half minute cut, Champion, begins with a sample from a commercial for Champion spark plugs! It develops using an array of synths, guitars and the (by now) ubiquitous racing car samples, carried along by a rhythm not unlike that found on the Exterminate single by Snap. The sleeve notes tell us that Branko Mirt went to the trouble of arranging with the McLaren Racing Team to record Formula 1 drivers Mark Blundell and Michael Andretti for those engine roars. That kind of dedication has got to derserve respect in anyone's book!