Transllusion ‎– L.I.F.E.

Rephlex ‎– CAT 128 CD


1 Dirty South Strut 4:06
2 Memories Of Me 6:18
3 Bump It 6:00
4 Jogging On The Moon 5:25
5 Consequences 5:11
6 Rolling With The Punches Of L.I.F.E. 4:59
7 Code Blue 6:06
8 I'm Going Home 4:58
9 Bump It (Instrumental) 6:00

Companies, etc.


Don't Be Afraid Of Evolution

Message To The World: "Life Is Fast Ending - So Live!"
Transmitted by Dimensional Waves Productions.

Distribution: SRD / EFA / Caroline / JVC / La Baleine

On barcode sticker:
Made in England
SRD / EFA 80728-2

On disc face:
℗,© 2002 Rephlex.

Track 9 "Bump It (Instrumental)" is exclusive to this release.

Drexciya Storm #? (Commonly regarded as Storm #6)

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Printed, sticker): 6 66908 07282 4
  • Barcode (String): 666908072824
  • Mastering SID Code: IFPI L136
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 04H3
  • Matrix / Runout: CAT128CD 01 6
  • Other (Mould text): MADE IN THE UK BY UNIVERSAL M & L

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September 15, 2008

Transllusion is a solo project of James Marcel Stinson, who is in my books one of the most significant producers of the modern Detroit electro scene. Other aliases that house this pioneer's works are Drexciya, The Other People Place and Elecktroids to name but a few.

Even though this quote appears elsewhere on Discogs, I feel that it is particularly worthy of note here once again, as this album definitely delivers a minimal edge that only the razor of oppression can allow one to veritably grasp... "Now there's a whole resurgence of electro, and James was the life force of it. He had a fascination with the ocean, and aquatic things, and African-American history, and the voyage African people had to make. He was fascinated with the strength and endurance you have to have to make a voyage. His best feature was that good enough wasn't enough. He always pushed the envelope. Even at Underground Resistance, where pushing the envelope is the norm, he pushed it harder than any artist on the label. He would expect us to keep living on the edge." This quote is taken from Mike Banks (one of the founders of Underground Resistance, together with partners Jeff Mills and Robert Hood).

While this album is not exactly a tour de force of Stinson's collective works, like Aphex Twin's Drukqs was to his own back catalogue, it none the less demonstrates some very neat minimal grooves along with some tonal inflections that could well have come directly out of the late 1980s, a time when techno music's rep was being forged in the then empty industrial spaces of long forgotten promise. Sparse, heavily effected electro rhythms pulse in between yawning ambient drones, which are accompanied by somewhat "off kilter" yet relevant melodic textures. Occasionally Stinson's own voice can be heard welling up from the depths of the mangled circuitry used to create this unpolished sound, and in a way, much resembles a mantra being chanted by a buddhist monk on the nature of reality (that suffering is inevitable). And it is because of this that the album seems to be much like a meditative stance reflecting Stinson's own journey through Detroit's urban degeneration. Listening to Jogging On The Moon, I can almost hear the demolished sights of the abandoned industrial structures that were knocked down in the 1980s to unsuccessfully reduce havens for drug dealers and crime. Perhaps inspired by these sizable tracts of land that were now more reminiscent of an urban prairie than a cityscape, the central theme seems to be "holding back" in much the same way that racial oppression and economic decline in Detroit would have done to the locals at the time. No wonder that escapism was found through musical and chemical fixations in city's populous. It seems the only way one could have dealt with the collapse of social urban culture in Detroit would be to either philosophically accept and then recondition one's own perspective (possibly through musical expression), or to totally deny the reality at hand (by a drug induced bliss). Either way has its consequences.

And this brings me to my last point... One other thing that jumps out at me are some of the tracks' titles. Eluding to Drexciya's own external concepts, some of which still stand as perhaps the most exciting, the most philosophically unique and some of the most talked about in electro music today, is the question of its roots. While problems of race weighed heavily on much of Detroit's electronic music scene, Drexciya produced records explicitly within a self-conceived universe of black science-fiction, very much akin to Sun Ra's own intergalactic processes. According to legend (and album notes), the Drexciyans are an actively subversive race of superhuman, aquatically inclined beings who were born to pregnant slave-mothers brutally hurled from ships carrying human cargo over two hundred years ago. Drexciya's metaphor of the African journey through modernity is a brilliant summation of a massive history, and it serves as a poetic introduction to the issues which so many Detroit techno musicians consider central to their art and their lives.

For me this album totally oozes Detroit music... It's soundscapes are inspired by the land's vacant structural scars that hark back from a time when decay was rife in this once aspiring automotive city of industrial renown. And Stinson has masterfully captured the boogie that could have coursed through the mind's of the inhabitance to help them counter the urban degeneration that was going on around them. This is music for life in the city... A city torn apart by racial tension and economic collapse. And it's because of the accurate nature of this textural metaphor that I'm inclined to give it a 5/5.

Rest in peace James Marcel Stinson... You're vision lives on.

March 8, 2006
edited over 11 years ago
L.I.F.E. is arguably one of the finest albums ever released by the often spotty Rephlex imprint. The melodies and typically tight Drexciyan beats of cuts like "Jogging On The Moon" and "Rolling With The Punches Of L.I.F.E." make this release stand out among the 21st century productions from either Stinson or his cohort Gerald Donald. Amateurs looking for a good starting place for Stinson's work will likely find this album to be very accessible as well as aurally gratifying.