Ü – ‘Great Dose Of Monotonous Techno’ LP [Digitalis]

Way late on this, but this is the type of release we love; especially when the record in question is a history lesson and yet still sounds relevant. Don’t get me wrong, I never want to be that guy in the record store purely buying reissues once every few months, but as I learn more about electronic music the second life of these remasters and reissues take a necessary space in the collection that enhances the new bits we’re buying and playing out.

Recorded straight to tape in 1992, Great Dose Of Monotonous Techno was one of a handful releases from Ü aka Joel Brindefalk originally out on FRAK’s Börft Records label. I’m yet to explore more from either Brindefalk or pre-2000 Börft Records releases to talk about how it fits in to their respective catalogues, but it’s slotted in perfectly in to the current lo-fi techno sounds that are being pushed, as well as anyone digging the roots of techno in the early nineties soundscape.

Two sides of eight tracks sewn together, Great Dose Of Monotonous Techno should be appreciated as one full 45-minute body of work. Don’t get swayed by the title, as Brindefalk was most likely taking a shot at those unable to see the potential in the music he was creating. Home-made patterns taken out of machine beats that are primitively filtered, sped-up and altered with the built-in analog effects. It’s a pretty relentless listen that captures the experimental tactics of the time alongside a fearlessly unique talent in techno composition.

They say limited technology bred the finest creativity during this era. Listening to this album over the last month I found myself putting it in the imaginary middle-ground between two recent digital releases in M/M’s Midtown Direct and the SHXCXCHCXSH debut STRGTHS (out recently on Avian, definitely worth checking). Weird how things come back around without ever being directly emulated, but rather just existing in a current space twenty years later.

Remastered by TM404 (real name Andreas Tilliander who was a friend of Brindefalk’s and responsible for an epic LP on Kontra Musik earlier this year) the LP is a pleasure to listen to. And while I probably won’t be playing out, it’s definitely getting a work out as an electronic home-listening masterpiece.

Unfortunately Joel Brindelfalk isn’t alive to see the Digitalis reissue, tragically passing away earlier this year. As is the way, we can only wish that we’d discovered his works earlier. Big ups all involved in bring this to us, samples and press release below.

via Digitalis
Calling someone ‘ahead of his/her time’ is straight out of Music Marketing 101 and is a claim that rarely holds much merit. On occasion, though, it’s a phrase that is entirely appropriate and entirely accurate. Joel Brindefalk was as integral a part to Sweden’s premiere off-kilter dance label, Börft, as anyone outside its founders, Jan Svensson (FRAK, etc), Birre Isgren (FRAK, etc), and, eventually, Joachim Nordwall (Skull Defekts, etc). While Brindefalk’s work under monikers such as Contemporary Punk Unit (CPU), Egglady, and others showcased his skill and range as a producer, it was always Ü that impressed most.

In 1992, still just a teenager, he was, in fact, very much ahead of his time. Great Dose of Monotonous Techno was released on cassette to little fanfare and festered in obscurity for decades. As Börft and Digitalis formed a collaborative partnership in 2010, reissuing this album became a top priority. Recently, as the worlds of noise and techno have again began to merge, Brindefalk’s early experiments sound almost prophetic with their relentless repetition, formless shape, acid tingers, and simple, pounding rhythms.

Great Dose of Monotonous Techno is the perfect title for this record. This is music that’s impact is felt through its crushing loops and gloomy melodies. Ü might make people dance, but does so begrudgingly. There is an undercurrent of angst flowing throughout Great Dose, adding another edge to an album already cut with razors.

Joel Brindefalk was in fact ahead of his time and Great Dose of Monotonous Techno is the most convincing document. Sadly he passed away in February of this year as this reissue was finally coming to fruition. He leaves a serious void in Swedish underground electronic music, but his legacy will only continue to grow.

Remastered from the original tapes by Brindefalk friend and pupil Andreas Tilliander at Repeatle. Cut to vinyl by Helmut Erler at D+M Berlin. Original artwork and layout by Christian Carlsson modified for vinyl by Brad Rose.