Various ‎– Mermaid Tracks


Versions (2)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
COMALP 11 Various Mermaid Tracks(2xLP, Comp) COMA Records (4) COMALP 11 Denmark 1993 Sell This Version
COMACD 11 Various Mermaid Tracks(CD, Comp) COMA Records (4) COMACD 11 Denmark 1993 Sell This Version



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March 16, 2016
edited over 2 years ago
referencing Mermaid Tracks, 2xLP, Comp, COMALP 11
Early compilation of Danish techno. Perhaps the first one ever, I'm not sure. I bought it on CD in Copenhagen the year it came out, but regrettably lost it/sold it/can't remember a while later. In the spirit of nostalgia, I've now bought the vinyl version from one of the artists who's on it (cheers, mr. Candy!) and have enjoyed a pleasant little trip down memory lane.

It's a varied bunch of tracks to say the least. Unsurprisingly, a lot of them are dated as hell. A2D's "Rainforest" in particular will make you smile with its inept clumsiness. However, I still find myself enjoying some of the (hard) trance tracks from the likes of TBM 1, Miro, Omniscience, Tournesol and Construction, even if the production values on some of them are questionable to say the least. The TBM 1 track in particular sounds so muddy it's unreal, did someone spill Tuborg in the mixing desk? You can't play these tracks out now, of course, but there's a certain free spirit in them, a charming, unrestrained enthusiasm and unjaded sincerity that you just don't find in dance music anymore, and it brings a little prickle to my eyes even if the execution is a bit crude. I also happen to have a soft spot for "Unwind Yourself" by Fletch, which is an unpretentious little clubby house-meets-slightly-ravey-techno sort of track. On the other hand, "Crystal" by Koxbox is a fairly unmemorable example of the emerging goa trance style, and the Overlords track is a bit crap if I'm honest. Well, at least it's better than Dr. Baker's contribution, which is thoroughly objectionable.

It's not all techno either. How Do I deliver a nice, if somewhat unremarkable pop song that feels completely out of place in this company, whereas "Who Do You Love" by Birmingham 6 is a ghastly EBM track with those gnarling vocals that are a staple of the genre and make it impossible for me to get into it. Mental Generation's "Cafe Del Mar" is a bit of a chillout classic which was later remixed by Underworld, but I've never managed to get past that lame rap bit. Sorry.

When it all comes to down to it, we're really only left with two tracks on this comp that transcend the era in which they were produced and still have some sort of relevance today. The first one is Dub Tractor's lovely ambient/downtempo track "Aldrin's Visor Reflects Armstrong", later remixed on his debut album which was released in 94. And the track that trumps them all is Metch Kangmi's "Midnight (Katmando Chill Out)", a flawless ambient trance journey which is worth seeking out this compilation for if you're into that kind of music.

Some of the artists on this compilation would go on to do greater things; Tournesol released some excellent records on R&S, Koxbox made some of the best psychedelic trance music ever on Harthouse and Blue Room Released, whereas Dub Tractor was eventually signed to City Centre Offices. Others vanished into obscurity. Still, this is an interesting document from the early days of Scando-techno, even if the quality level is extremely uneven. By the way, if this really is the first techno comp the Danes managed to scrape together, Norway beat them by two years. Stick that in your pipes and smoke it, bacon munchers!