“Everything that needs to be said has already been said,” André Gide once said. “But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
Maybe this time they’ll get it right. This weekend, while recovering from an accident, I read another sticky nostalgia piece about the Midwest electronic music scene, told for the third or fourth time in the ’10s for the sake of repetition and because nobody was listening. Time and again these “oral histories” focus on Chicago, Detroit and sometimes Milwaukee. But believe it from someone that was there: there was no state more poppin’ in 1993 or 1994 than Ohio. It had everything you needed to create a music scene – large abandoned buildings, proximity to other cities for cross-pollination and a disaffected youth that might have wanted to go elsewhere but were held down by school, family or being broke. And tourists: it was a six hour drive from Chicago to Columbus, but let me tell you that it was worth it every time.
Since I never knew him personally, Todd Sines is one of the guys from Columbus that’s still forever young to me, though I’m certain he and I have both grown up and moved on. In this case: to the highly regarded Blkmarket Membership’s second release, Envelop. These are three fierce cuts from a guy whose encyclopedic sets encased in clear plastic Maxells I still remember. “Alone” is minimal and I mean minimal: clipped and muted sounds tap out a melody that is somehow more powerful in restraint. “02_03_30” again plays with highly complicated percussion that maintains a steady groove and a firm fix on its audience. The title track is somehow fat and plodding and filled with high anxiety at the same time. There’s really something special here: I’ve never been a fan of the kind of techno that’s made more for brightly lit art galleries than dark and moldering clubs but this is one of the rare records that could possibly lend itself to both experiences, and some of your own.
Published first in 5 Mag Issue #130, featuring Kerri Chandler, Dance Mania, Spiritchaser, Fatback, Edward Fields and more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full access to everything House Music and save 60%!