Rescued From The Fire: Heatsick on Dub Techno

An ongoing series in which we ask artists what record they’d risk life and limb to save from a burning inferno

Heatsick – aka British, Berlin-based musician Steven Warwick – has been making seditious cassettes and CD-Rs for years, warping susceptible minds and tape heads with his own particular take on experimental noise, ambient drones and jacking drum machines. Surfacing on labels like Not Not Fun, PAN, Relax With Nature and his own Alcoholic Narcolepsy, his unrelenting Casio-fuelled excursions to the furthest reaches of the dance floor challenge the head and the feet. We asked him which record he would grab without a second thought, should he forget to replace the batteries in his fire alarm.

Continuous Mode “Direct Drive” (Chain Reaction, 1997)

I never get bored of this song, and must have played it a million times. It’s just so minimal yet racy. The repetition is almost oppressive, yet you can’t help losing yourself. I find this record intensely psychedelic, especially when played loud. Once when I was DJing, a friend screamed to me, “THIS RECORD SOUNDS LIKE HAVING SEX,” and I think he’s right.

Direct Drive Mode 1

It’s strange how a song can at once sound so rigid, yet loose. Machinic repetition up there with “Warm Leatherette” by the Normal, or “I Feel Love”. It’s so simple – an oscillating synth pattern, bass drum and hi-hat – yet underlying is a quite complex subtle pulse which you just cannot help dancing to. Maybe the hi-hat is the part which I am most fascinated with. It sounds so cold and alien, yet is completely central and domineering in the track. Upon first listen it’s strange just how basic it is, but then you get drawn in and all of a sudden temporal sense has been smashed. I think this record truly captures the idea of the disco extended edit, or taking a sound and thriving on the ecstatic moment. 

By Heatsick on August 10, 2012

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