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Speedy J — Loudboxer

Written on 27 October 2022 by Andrijan Kalashnikov

Ravers and raverettes, last weekend as I was browsing through some internet pages to discover new music from the industrial sphere of sonics, I stumbled upon this guy Speedy J, a name that I’ve encountered several times before, but for some reason never went beyond to explore his offerings. Researching his work, it’s not unreasonable he was tagged with ‘industrial’ as his first IDM releases are like somebody would’ve mashed JK Flesh and Aphex Twin together haha. But IDM is not my cup of tea most of the time, I just haven’t found the mindset to properly allow myself to enjoy that, even though Speedy J’s stuff was definitely something I could listen to, if I play them at the right time.

But that aside, what surprised me more is discovering his album Loudboxer released in 2002, back from an age when 1 hour albums were a thing, and techno was at its peak. This album was a shift from his previous IDM stuff, so I was very curious to listen to what this guy’s vision of techno was, so I did my thing, downloaded the album, and tuned in. First time I listened to it, it was just running in the background while I was working on something else, a good companion for me to get concentrated, similar to a good DJ mix of sorts.

But few days after, it was the weekend, and my dopamine levels were over-flooding. At this point in time I haven’t danced for maybe a full year. I decide to play Loudboxer once again. I blasted my studio headphones at full volume, and alone in my room like some kind of a freak, I turned off all the lights except my trippy monitor screensaver and gave myself to the experience. I had no idea what to expect, I just wanted to make an intimate rave for myself, and I thought because I liked Loudboxer when I played it before in the background subconsciously, it was the perfect pick for this ride.

Headphones blasting full volume without any distortion, it gets very close to a proper club soundsystem, with perhaps a little less bass — which is not a bad thing, the other spectrum of frequencies, the details, the dynamics are much better. Those who believe club soundsystems have better sound than studio equipment are simply delusional, but another time on that topic.

Loudboxer enters. It introduces you to the world, and as it goes through — if you allow yourself to — your body simply moves along, enters these soundscapes and goes through tunnels, his introduction which lasts the few first tracks is simply wild, but at the same time gentle. It’s an album, it’s one hour. After the introduction, there is this moment of intense awakening, a very bright light as I imagine it in my head, and just an expectation to brace myself for something big.

And you know what? Techno today rarely does this. It’s one of the reason people say proper techno was back in the 90s and 00s, because people back then didn’t give a slight fuck about certain things, they had their moment with the gear which enables them to transfer their art into sound, and they gave it to the listeners whilst rarely doing compromises which today sadly plague the whole genre.

Let me get back to the album. Yeah, the first breakthrough in energy. Oh my god. Keep in mind that Speedy J was tagged as industrial, so I was expecting a very rough techno album, but oh my god, I’m so glad it wasn’t. Loudboxer is like a mix, all the tracks connect with each other and have a storyline of their own. When the first intense section with these blaring 4/4 kicks enter — another realm enters into the sound, all of the effects and elements simply have evolved into bringing you (or me, the listener) into a state of ecstasy. At these moments, I feel this absurdly powerful emotion inside my soul, and I imagine with my eyes closed that this music with its powerful repetition helps me destroy my inner demons, at least that’s how I use it when I rave (even if it’s only with myself). The kicks are blasting, all the elements compliment each other and only give and give and give… the only thing this music takes from you is your negative energy.

As I was listening to this album dancing with myself at 4AM inside my own bedroom studio, I was thinking to myself about how techno is perceived to be devil’s music by many, simply because hedonists and drug addicts have found it to be a safe place for them to flourish their toxicity, and when you have a couple of junkies together in one place, the meaning of what techno is or might be for somebody is simply lost into an oblivion of fake opinions that comes with… well… fake techno.

I believe it’s not without a reason why our ancestors from the times when we were tribes had rituals that involved dancing, most frequently with a percussive rhythm, which again is very repetitive at its nature.

And Loudboxer, yeah… Let me get to the album. In religion there are multiple holy books spread throughout, and I see techno (and music in general) the same, there are these `holy` or magical albums that if you discover them at the right time in life, they can guide you through and overcome some difficult problems torturing your soul or consciousness.

Speedy J is a don, he has reached such a level of hypnosis whilst retaining the hard and aggressive energy throughout the release. Don’t forget it’s 2002 when this was released, but if you ask me, techno should sound futuristic or simply time-irrelevant if it’s good. Years are just years, good techno is going to be good techno in 100 or 200 years from now.

Drugs or not, alone or not, I highly recommend playing Loudboxer from the beginning until the end on a good sound. Give it a chance and experience absurdly wild, powerful, spiritual, hard and constantly grooving and evolving techno — definitely one of the reasons of why I fell in love with the genre.

And I’ve ventured into all kinds of techno so far, I’ve learnt to enjoy various of styles – from the extremes of schranz to… idk, what’s on the opposite spectrum, minimal techno? I even produce some ghetto techno, you know? It all has a philosophy behind it, a meaning of when it’s appropriate to play a certain kind of movement within the genre. It doesn’t matter. At the end, I can only put things in two sides: it’s either good, or it’s bad. It’s either going to give you the power to free yourself from negativity, or it’s going to abuse you and try to fool you with a cheap dopamine fix that lasts for a couple of hours.

So, you know, I guess I wanted to say with all of this, don’t forget the roots of techno, the golden ages, the previous years releases. Year is just a year, it doesn’t mean shit. Explore and dive into this vast universe of unlimited harness of energy, find your thing and flourish with it.

Until my next techno “awakening” lol,


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