Various Artists

Plus 8 Classics, Vol. 1: 1990-1992

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This promotional sampler serves as a summation of the three-part series of Plus 8 retrospective albums. Featuring what compiler Richie Hawtin considers the ten most representative -- or perhaps the ten best -- tracks from Plus 8's first phase of existence, this sampler is undoubtedly a remarkable listen, especially when one considers the roster of featured artists or the amount of influence these tracks had on techno music in general. In terms f artists, Plus 8 was always centered on the esteemed accomplishments of Richie Hawtin, and that fact is illustrated well on this album. In addition to Hawtin, the sampler also features Kenny Larkin, Dan Bell (as a member of Cybersonik), Jochem Paap (as Speedy J), Theorem, LFO, and Silvershower. In terms of influential tracks, what the guys at Plus 8 once pompously described as "the future sound of Detroit techno" on the record's label art, "Technarchy" leads off the sampler, laying out its template for a harder, more minimal style of techno than what was being produced by anyone else in 1990. Furthermore, Plastikman's 909-constructed jaw-dropper "Spastik" gets featured alongside Fuse's "Substance Abuse," a track that stands beside its very similar cousin, Joey Beltram's "Energy Flash," as prototype hardcore techno. Though the three individual retrospective albums provide a much more comprehensive look at why Plus 8 has become so revered by those in the know, this sampler works well as a rough sketch.

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