“One of the risks of embodying the zeitgeist is that the zeitgeist always moves on.” I read that in Will Stephenson’s story about the breakneck and broken career of Terry Southern, but it could in some ways apply to Alexander Robotnick too. People (and sometimes us) have spent much of the last decade combing over his early Italo works. Those records have come to dominate his career, or at least what people write about it (which is not the same thing at all).
And it’s kind of a bunch of bullshit. The Analog Session alone generates more heat if less light than “Problemes D’Amour.” Robotnick’s career, should one stand back and take it in, has been one of discovery, a wild, drunken excursion through electronic music’s terra incognita, of slamming sounds together for tentatively new genres and waiting for someone else to come around and fully name and exploit them. It’s much more than just Italo. It’s much more than just electronic music, to tell you the truth.
“You Have Time” appeared a few years back in the first of Robotnick’s Music For An Imaginary Club series. It was picked up by Adeen for a crazy record called Corpo Di Lavoro (“Body of Work” in Italian) together with “I Love My House” and “Made In China.” Adeen puts Robotnick’s livewire electro track into the hands of Camille and Kai Alce. The latter in particular is a revelation: it’s not so much remixed as blown wide open, a mesmerizing bassline swing giving shape to an explosion of colors and sights. Through the looking glass Kai finds something that I and probably Robotnick never heard in the original and tends to this ember until it glows.
Alexander Robotnick: You Have Time (Kai Alce NDATL Interpretation) / Adeen (November 2019/12″ vinyl)
A1. Alexander Robotnick: “I Love My House” (6:46)
A2. Alexander Robotnick: “You Have Time” (3:48)
A3. Alexander Robotnick: “Made In China” (unreleased) (4:51)
B1. Alexander Robotnick: “You Have Time” (Camille’s Deal) (7:16)
B2. Alexander Robotnick: “You Have Time” (Kai Alce NDATL interpretation) (6:39)