X-102

Discovers the Rings of Saturn

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Discovers the Rings of Saturn remains the gem of the X-10... series released by Tresor in the early '90s. Produced by the guys in Underground Resistance -- Mad Mike Banks, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood -- the album is the second of a three-part series: X-101, X-102, and X-103, released in 1991, 1992, and 1993, respectively. With each successive release in the series, the Detroit producers became increasingly ambitious. This particular release finds them naming several songs after the moons and rings of Saturn, and as you listen to the album, you descend toward "Groundzero (The Planet)." Some of the songs like "Intro" are interludes -- quiet and meditative, comprised of eerie synths -- while others, like "Titan," are raging tracks driven by hammering 909s and riveting synth riffs. The Detroit-esque synth tones so often associated with Mad Mike Banks -- think "Jaguar," "Hi-Tech Jazz," "Windwalker," "Illumination," and so on -- are all over this album, giving it a very cosmic, galactic sound, which of course ties in nicely with the Saturn motif. Banks seemingly had nothing to do with the next X-10... release, Atlantis, which sorely lacks his patented strings. That album sounds very much like Mills' pet project and suffers a bit because of it. Here, instead, you get a group effort from Underground Resistance that's not too overreaching, and it's arguably one of the group's crowning achievements, even if it wasn't released under the group's name. This is Underground Resistance at its prime, and its also one of the group's rare full-length efforts. And its rarity doesn't hurt either, making it yet more desirable.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:19
2
2:58
3
3:45
4
0:27
5
3:25
6
1:27
7
4:06
8
4:07
9
2:36
10
3:08
11 4:45
12
2:07
13
0:53
14
7:21
blue highlight denotes track pick