Various Artists

From Our Minds to Yours, Vol. 2

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The easiest way to describe the second compilation released by the not-yet-legendary Plus 8 record label would be to call it the Plus 8 sound. In 1992, when this disc was released, the fledgling label was still searching for its own identity. This release coincides with the Artificial Intelligence series and the advent of the phrase Intelligent Dance Music. Tracks by Speedy J and Psyance perfectly illustrate the bedroom listening style that had a stronger beat than ambient, but was still created for the head more than the feet. Tracks by Fred Gianelli (who released his strongest work for Plus 8 under the Kooky Scientist moniker) and V.F.T. contain a melodic sensibility that is acutely aware of the acid trance sound simultaneously evolving in Germany with Sven Vath's Harthouse label. Lesser-remembered Plus 8 artist Gary 7 and V-Room stick with the label's earlier sound, taking cues from the minimal acid-jack tracks of Chicago. While enjoyable, these pieces do not display the type of sonic evolution that was taking place in the international electronic scene. On the other hand, Plus 8 label head Richie Hawtin contributes two tracks. The first, under his F.U.S.E. alias, begins to reveal the slower tempo and dark-acid atmospherics that would later inspire his musical breakout, Plastikman. The second track, co-produced with Dan Bell as Cybersonik, shows the extreme end off their early cycle of full-frontal techno. Demonstrating various points in the cycle of techno styles, From Our Minds to Yours, Vol. 2 is a work in progress, some of which would become benchmarks in electronic history.