Buckfunk 3000 - First Class Ticket to TelosIt's tempting to look at electronica during the '90s and see only two types of music: first, the sterile experimental techno that innovated but never entertained; and second, the big, dumb dance music that seemed to appear in all the commercials and soundtracks and video games. (The closest fusion being the Wipeout XL soundtrack, with Aphex Twin, Daft Punk, and Future Sound of London, among others.) Shame that no one ever bridged the gap and made intriguing music that was also fun to listen to, eh?

Actually, there were a fair number of artists making music just as advanced as it was exciting. Aside from those above, Mouse on Mars comes to mind, first and foremost, but one artist and one album that never got the same exposure is Buckfunk 3000's First Class Ticket to Telos, which appeared in 1998 on the Crammed label. Si Begg, the producer behind Buckfunk 3000, never rated a worldwide release, but in the late '90s he was making some of the most exciting electronica ever produced.

The first thing that strikes you about First Class Ticket to Telos is that you need to be playing a video game to it (Wipeout XL, a futuristic racing game, would be the perfect choice). Jumpy and driving, with ideas and effects constantly popping up and then disappearing just as quickly, tracks like "Fried Funk & Microchips" and "Panic Button" make Mouse on Mars sound dumb in comparison and Fatboy Slim positively prehistoric. It never lets up until the final track, the 10-minute "Feedback," and by then your funk is already fried and your microchips are beyond repair.

Here's to the brave soul who can resurrect this forgotten classic and get a new generation of listeners and gamers addicted -- although Wipeout would inevitably have to give way to MarioKart for the Wii.

  • "Fried Funk & Microchips"

  • "For Funk's Sake"