Drexciya

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For the Ghanaian short documentary, see Drexciya (film).
Drexciya
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres Techno
Years active 1992–2002
Labels Underground Resistance, Clone, Rephlex, Hardwax, WARP, Submerge, Tresor
Associated acts Abstract Thought, Arpanet, Clarence G, Der Zyklus, Dopplereffekt, Elecktroids, Glass Domain, Sherard Ingram, Intellitronic, Japanese Telecom, Lab Rat XL, L.A.M., Shifted Phases, The Other People Place, Transllusion
Past members James Stinson
Gerald Donald

Drexciya was an American electronic music duo from Detroit, Michigan, United States. James Stinson was the only officially identified member of Drexciya, but it was considered an open secret that he had a partner, Gerald Donald. However, due to the group's extreme levels of secrecy, no one is able to prove whether Gerald Donald was actually a member of the group.

Style[edit]

The majority of Drexciya's releases were in the style of dance-floor-oriented Electro, punctuated with elements of retro, 1980s Detroit Techno, with occasional excursions into the Ambient and Industrial genres. Tracks are mostly centered around the TR-808 drum machine, with bass, melodies, and synth textures ebbing and flowing in time. Anecdotes suggest that Stinson and Donald recorded tracks while playing the instruments live, making use of analog equipment and sequencing methods.

Drexciya combined a faceless, underground, anti-mainstream media stance with mythological, sci-fi narratives, to help heighten the dramatic effect of their music. In this aspect they were similar to artists within and close to the Detroit collective Underground Resistance.

History[edit]

Drexciya released their first 12-inch single in 1992.

Their name referred to a myth comparable to Plato's myth of Atlantis, which the group revealed in the sleeve notes to their 1997 album The Quest. “Drexciya” was an underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant African women thrown off of slave ships that had adapted to breathe underwater in their mother's wombs.

Reports of Drexciya's disbanding in 1997 were contradicted two years later when a new Drexciya track appeared on the Underground Resistance compilation Interstellar Fugitives, followed by three more Drexciya albums. It appears that these were the solo work of Stinson.[citation needed] Both he and Gerald Donald continued to be prolific in their respective side projects.

Although both members of Drexciya remained completely anonymous throughout their active recording career, Stinson was identified posthumously in 2002. The members of Drexciya have never been photographed, although they have given interviews, throughout one of which they wore Star Trek masks to conceal their identity.[citation needed]

Afrofuturism[edit]

Scholar and media critic, Kodwo Eshun, has emphasized Drexciya’s relationship to the movement of Afrofuturism. Thematically, Drexciya has engaged with both water and outer space, pulling on certain tropes in order to replicate a kind of alienation for the listener. According to Eshun, in his article “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism,” science fiction and by extension, much of Afrofuturism, “focuses on someone who is at odds with the apparatus of power in society and whose profound experience is one of cultural dislocation, alienation and estrangement” (298). The construction of new narratives, such as Drexciya’s quasi Atlantis myth, is part and parcel of the Afrofuturist project—narratives that question, criticize, and trouble modernity, technology, and history as they navigate past, present and future simultaneously. In so doing, these narratives, through specific tropes, attempt to dislocate and resignify as much as they aim to represent the black experience.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • The Quest (1997), Submerge
  • Neptune's Lair (1999), Tresor
  • Harnessed the Storm (2002), Tresor
  • Grava 4 (2002), Clone

EPs and singles[edit]

Compilations[edit]

  • The Quest (1997), Submerge
  • Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller I (2011), Clone
  • Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller II (2012), Clone
  • Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller III (2013), Clone
  • Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller IV (2013), Clone

References[edit]

  • More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures In Sonic Fiction by Kodwo Eshun, pp. 06[083] - 06[085] (Quartet Books, London, 1998)

External links[edit]