John Selway was way ahead of the pack when it came to channeling Italo and electro into modern techno. I met him briefly once, in Miami at WMC in 2003, a WMC that I will always remember as the electro WMC. I got to see amazing performances by LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, Peaches, Adult. and Chromeo (yes, they played very well and were hilarious to boot). 2 Many DJs also played and they were as hilarious as they were stunning, consummate party DJs.
I ended up in a karaoke bar with Jeffrey Fare from Poolside, and many electro types. At one point Tommie Sunshine ushered all on stage — including James Murphy — to sing a rendition of “We Are The World.” John Selway was among that group. I can’t remember if he had a good voice or not, but he certainly put out great records, from his early efforts on Deep Dish and Industrial Strength or as Psychedelic Research Lab (with Scott Richmond) up to more recent efforts as Neurotic Drum Band. He’s the quiet man of American techno, but a browse through his discogs page will show you how much work he has done. This EP from 1998 indicated how the early 2000s would sound.
Zoids Vol. 2
Dynamic electro business from John Selway. “Millennium Sound” is damned funky in a odd, metallic way, with a vocoderized vocal, a chunky bassline and keyboard stabs that sound like a mellower take on that much maligned, Belgian, hoover sound. Freaky deaky. “Excession” sounds like Mr. Selway stepped into the studio with Section 25, unsettling machine funk for robotic dreams. Side two contains two more electro ditties, with “Velozone” slipping into jungle cadence. Once again, another batch of fuzzy funk for fuzzy heads. If you like I-f, Dopplereffekt, Le Car and that kind of thang then this is definitely for you. Keep the Serotonin comin’. Chris Orr