With each successive X-10 project for Tresor, Jeff Mills immersed himself further into conceptualization, the third being his most ambitious. The first X-10 project, X-101 (1991), had been a rather straightforward release: a six-track 12"/CD that compiled "Sonic Destroyer" and "G-Force," two songs previously released on the Underground Resistance label on a specially cut 12". For the second project, X-102 (Explores the Rings of Saturn, 1992), Mills titled the tracks after the many moons of Saturn in such a way that as the album progressed, you descended toward "Groundzero (The Planet)." A year later, Mills then modeled X-103 after its successful predecessor. Rather than descend toward the surface of Saturn, though, listeners progressed toward the inner realm of the underwater city of Atlantis with each successive track. Mills even went so far as to include a map of Atlantis with the CD. Beyond the concept underlying Atlantis, Mills also took it upon himself -- and, of course, with the aid of co-producer Robert Hood (aka the Vision), who is seldom credited for his contribution here -- to produce some highly experimental techno. Every track on the album explores a different mood and tone: most tracks -- like "Hagia Triada" and "Tephra" -- of the hard, pounding nature often associated with Mills-era Underground Resistance; a few others -- like "Minnia (The Queen's Theme)" -- more tranquil and haunting, much like some of the producer's ambient work on Axis. The resulting album explores the wide-ranging talents of Mills and Hood as visionary and experimental producers. Atlantis isn't your standard collection of techno, for sure, and neither producer ever released anything quite as uncanny as this. Often forgotten in light of Mills' other projects, Atlantis nonetheless remains staggering in scope and foreshadows much of the Detroit-bred producer's later conceptual work, such as Metropolis.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier