Boomkat Product Review:
Mindbending Artificial Intelligence-era business from David Moufang (Move D) and Jonah Sharp (Spacetime Continuum), remastered and still sounding like one of the finest records of its time. One for anyone thirsty for more longform electro-ambient backroom cloudiness in the vein of B12, 'Incunabula'-era AE, The Black Dog, Speedy J, F.U.S.E. or Bola. Also - 'Long Leaves' is surely one of the most important buried-anthems of that whole era, right?
Recorded in San Francisco way back in 1993 and released in '94, "rEAGENZ" was the duo's debut album. Fittingly, they had first made contact at an Autechre show, and expanded their love of the Artificial Intelligence scene's chemical fusion of spacious pads and cycling drum machine patterns with a series of long, heady jams. The record reflects the duo's geographic separation perfectly; Sharp's Detroit-influenced, US-centered sci-fi alienation is cooled by Moufang's intricate Deutch warehouse rave styling and inherent Euro drugginess.
After three decades, it's hard to understand why this album has been so underrated for so long. It's tied to a lineage that connects it to some of the era's most beloved milestones, but also veers confidently into its own hyperspecific direction. At the moment there's a surge of interest in the 1990s chill-out rooms and their effervescent electronic soundtracks, but "rEAGENZ" tells that tale better than most. With long passages of improvised rhythmic experimentation and almost jazzy melodic interplay, it avoids the played-out tricksiness of many IDM records of the era in favor of pure, unadulterated vibes.
This was exactly how it felt to be situated in a club's side room, recovering from whatever, while being exposed to sounds that felt as if they were splitting yet consciousness open. Each track melts into the next, as warm waves of analog synth wash thru mind-tickling beatbox cycles and pinprick bass. With a sparkling remaster, there's never been a better time to get acquainted with this underrated classic. And yeah, 'Long Leaves'.