Speedy J


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If any one electronic artist merits comparison to the Beatles, it would have to be Jochem Paap. Because while the Fab Four may far outpace the Dutch techno producer when it comes to global popularity, his catalog of releases easily matches the Beatles in terms of diversity, development, and absolute quality. This first album, released on Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva's Plus 8 record label, finds Paap at roughly the same point on the growth curve that the Beatles were during Rubber Soul. After establishing a fan base with energizing yet simplistic acid 12"s like "Three O'Three" and "Something for Your Mind," Paap reins in some of the manic energy of his early releases, concentrating more closely on the lush and fulfilled sound palette and thoughtful composition that would be his trademark until the rampant experimentalism of his third album, Public Energy No. 1. The chopping intro of "R2 D2" gives way to a light electro beat garnished with tickling synthesizer bleeps and grandiose waves of machine sound that are at once playful and intense. "Basic Design" introduces Paap's signature drum decay, while the bubbling-forward bassline would become a hallmark of early proto-trance recordings. Every sound is magnificently structured, in perfect pitch and timber with every other sound, making Ginger a masterpiece of techno music as audio design.

As a vehicle of the times, Ginger singled a furtherance from techno's dancefloor mandate that would be followed by revered groups such as Autechre and the Black Dog. This advancement in techno's sound would advocate the first use of the Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) tag. While every track on Ginger still relies on a 4/4 beat for its composition, none possess a tempo or percussive element hefty enough to meet dancer's needs. Although remixes would turn cuts like "Pepper," with its weightless ambient sweeps, into trancing dancefloor jams, Paap's clear purpose on Ginger was to take his music out of the rave and into the home-listening environment. And not until the decade-later hard techno of Loudboxer would Paap return to his dancefloor roots, similar to the Beatles' return to rock captured in the Let It Be sessions.

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