Quark ‎– Second Earth

Mucho Vinyl ‎– MV003
Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM


This Side
A1 Second Earth
A2 Space
That Side
B1 Abyss
B2 Emphasis

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April 9, 2015
edited over 3 years ago

Why paying 49,99 while the Two Thumbs release (with the best tracks) is as cheap as chips?


November 21, 2009
edited about 1 year ago

This little-known still-affordable EP offers four brilliant slices of IDM-y, minor-chord Detroit techno from the UK school, and would be right at home alongside your B12, Stasis, and Dave Angel records from the same era. Highly percussive, yet aimed a bit more at the head than the feet, every track is of impeccable quality and wends its way through a basic yet profoundly effective song structure. Nowhere is this more evident than in the beautiful "Second Earth", with its simple, catchy bassline, synthesized strings & pads, gentle 909-enhanced breakbeat, and jazzy key solos raising the bar of sophistication for techno. "Emphasis" is similar, very obviously paying homage to Derrick May's work. "Abyss" is somewhat the outlier, fitting in better with then-emerging progressive, psychedelic trance aesthetics, with only its hi-hats adhering to Detroit's ethos. "Space" leans in a similar progressive trancey direction, but remains much more on the techno side. Overall you really can't go wrong with this record. Its only drawback is that despite its cleverness and command of moods, its style is really dated now, and may be too light for listeners who prefer their techno to be more "poundy".


August 12, 2001
edited over 17 years ago

Anyone techno fan who remembers going into record shops during 1993, and was repeatedly shocked by the quality of techno coming out back then (especially the Red Planet and UR stuff, the Virtual Sex compilation, etc), will most likely have tears come to their eyes when they hear this EP.

It's bizarre that "Second Earth" is so obscure, given its immensely high quality; from the clarity of the aggressively programmed hi-hats in the mix to the use of sparkling, stellar sounds and chord structures (if you like your synth strings in early '90s techno, this is perfect for you), it has all the makings of a classic EP from that era. The sort of thing that would have people looking up from the racks in Fat Cat and asking the staff about!

A particularly interesting track is "Emphasis", which, with its 1989-era Derrick May style, sounds older than the other three tracks, each of which is designed, very effectively, for the dancefloors of 1993. However, Although "Emphasis" is inspired by May, it uses a number of rich, contemporary sounds to avoid making it sound too much like a retro homage. "Second Earth" is possibly my favourite track - understated and cool yet deeply futuristic, it has a skippier, less 909-based rhythm and a tendency to allow high-pitched bleep noises to start playing those sorts of effortlessly sci-fi melodies that many artists in the early 90s were fond of doing.

If you're not interested in older techno, or have come to electronic music more recently, you'll still find this EP a good one to have - it has definitely aged well, and its audaciously techno sort of sound is used by producers to this day. This record seems to predict, or anticipate, a certain evolution of techno which has, unfortunately, faded a bit under Millsian 909 stomps and morphing, pounding loops.

By the way, if anyone readings this knows what Matt Buggins (aka Quark), who made this record, is doing now, could you send me an e-mail? It'd be good to know if he did anything else - I've had this record since it came out, and think of it as a bit of a "lost classic". Thanks!