Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. Porter RicksBiokinetics

Techno Animal’s first tour was in Germany, set up by Mille Plateaux, Force Inc., by the crazy man Achim Szepanski. We’d gone from being very experimental as Techno Animal, to suddenly going to very early shows by Jeff Mills, Plastikman, and early jungle raves, which were all completely synapse-snapping. Around the same time we were invited to tour Germany with who DJ Spooky, DJ Rush, Porter Ricks, Alec Empire… and more techno-orientated DJs that Force Inc. had at that time. It was a short tour, but it was an absolute revelation. We were used to rock venues, playing shitty sound systems to dudes dressed in black. Then suddenly, we were playing this tour with a collection of very unusual personalities. I remember the first time we met DJ Rush in the car getting picked up for the first show, he had metal blocks stuck to his shaved head, and his boyfriend was wearing an American football outfit with his ponytails coming through the helmet of his outfit. They ended up dancing their asses off behind Techno Animal for every show. We were playing places we could finally hear the bass that we’d started utilising at the levels of volume and physicality that we wanted, but to see an audience that was as full of women as men was also a revelation. It sounds stupid to say now, but back then it was like, oh, it doesn’t have to be just white dudes dressed in black that can get this music.

Every single night on tour me and Justin made sure we checked Porter Ricks’ set, because had elements of everything we were trying to do, without the noise assaults that we would commit and in terms of being a new form of dub. This is where we discovered smoke machines to obliterate, and they became the trademark for Techno Animal and The Bug. Everything was there to fully disorientate you and please all your senses. I was never a raver – ravers were like hippies to me – but the idea of losing your shit on a dancefloor really started from that time.

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