BMG’s (aka Brendan Gillen) Interdimensional Transmissions label really cut a swath through the techno/electro world in the late ’90s. It also pointed the way into the 2000s and the resurgence of interest in Italo disco with the release of I-f’s Sun La Shan referencing “Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass.” In 2000 I-f, aka Ferenc E. van der Sluijs, went on to create the famous “Mixed Up In The Hague” mix-tape that really kicked off renewed interest in Italo.
I first met Brendan in Galway, Ireland in 1991 when he stopped into a record store where I worked on his way back to Ann Arbor from Berlin. I was obsessed with Detroit at the time (and had been since ’87), and the second phase — MK, Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, Martin Bonds etc. — was already in full swing. There was a cassette on the counter, it was full of Detroit tunes that I had recorded so I could listen to the likes of Suburban Knight on my Walkman. Brendan saw it, picked it up, and asked me if I liked this kind of music. Then we started chatting. Somehow I got hold of him again when I was writing at XLR8R and he sent me the promos of his earliest records. “From Beyond” Vol. 1 was one of those records. Below is the review from XLR8R #28, written in 1997.
From Beyond Vol.1
Planet E and Cajual graphic design individual Brendan Gillen, also known as Ectromorph, releases his first volume of experimental electro techno EPs. This slice of plastic features work from I-f, DJ Godfather, u Ziq, and Le Car. I-f’s wonderfully titled “Space Invaders are Smoking Grass” sounds like Visage locked in Mortal Kombat with Soulsonic Force, well strange, but compulsively danceable. DJ Godfather weighs in with some acidic old school boogie gear, and µ-Ziq finishes everything off with some chiming and languid ambience. A quality EP if you like your techno melodic, strange and well off the beaten track. Worth serious investigation. Chris Orr