Boomkat Product Review:
Next in the Aqualung reissue series periscope, Drexciya’s Lab Rat XL - the last of his seven storms LP cycle - comes up for air, ready to stun future generations.
Mice or Cyborg was first dispatched posthumously thru Clone in 2003, in the year following James Stinson’s final dive into the next dimension. It has since become one of his most elusive recordings, with original vinyl copies and even the repress fetching high prices, in parts due to the dead artist factor, and linked to that, the album’s unshakeable feeling of soulful melancholy that’s almost difficult to listen to, knowing that he knew what was on the horizon while making the record.
These ears clearly remember first hearing the record at SV3N’s legendary iLEKTRO event at The Park in Manchester, quite possibly NYE 2003/4, and just being floored by the moody swagger of Lab Rat 3. It was one of those moments when Drexciyan music really hits home, and never leaves you.
Along with the spine-freezing vocals and synth flares on Lab Rat 1, the mad subs on Lab Rat 2, and its eventual turns to more atonal, salinated flow in Lab Rat 5, or the way Lab Rat 6 feels like he’s being absorbed into the wires and re-routed back to the L.A.M. days, Lab Rat XL is undoubtedly one of Detroit’s high water marks, and surely ranks among techno and electronic music’s most legendary.
An essential listen. R.I.P. James Stinson.