Boomkat Product Review:
Packed with classic UK rave vibes, Nexus 21’s sole, debut album ’The Rhythm of Life’ receives a long overdue new edition on the influential and newly revived Network Records
Essentially Mark Archer and Chris Peat’s tribute to the Detroit techno templates of Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, ‘The Rhythm of Life’ yields 10 tracks of UK-made rave pressure from the peak of its first wave.
Hatched in that strange interzone between the Midlands and the Norf proper, aka Staffordshire, and thousands of miles from Detroit, Nexus 21 gave the kids what they needed with a slew of driving techno drums, wobbly acid lines, stabs and techno-soulful vocals spun with a rugged UK edge.
The chords and vocals of ‘(Still) Life Keeps Moving’, the chirpy ‘Techno City’ and ‘Logical Progression’ are practically, to one degree or another, remakes/rebuilds of Detroit trax that would have been massive and groundbreaking at the time, but they all stand on their own rave legs as examples of that double refraction of influence between US, UK and EU dance music that’s been going since the first jazz records, resulting unique mutations such as the acid breaks of ‘Detroit B Boy’, the psycho-sensual collaging of ‘Music’, and the electro-acid jelly of ‘Can You Feel The Beat’.