Twisted metal electro by Gescom from 1995
The Sounds of Machines updates Kraftwerk’s legacy with stunningly original results that haven’t aged in the 15 years since it was produced. Puzl sounds like ‘Metal on Metal’, all hissing machinery and otherworldy percussion. Puzl makes judicious use of Cybotron’s Clear (it also inspired the name of the label), a seminal tune from back in the day that many believe kicked off the whole electronic music shebang in the first place. In the history books, Clear is the first single of techno music, released some 30 years ago in 1983. Beginning its activities in the early nineties, the shadowy Gescom collective has released material on Clear, Leaf, Chocolate Industries, SKAM, Warp, Worm Interface, and Source labels.Incorrectly perceived as simply an Autechre side-project, Gescom in fact exists as a platform for a number of aligned artists to work in various different combinations, whilst remaining otherwise-anonymous. Personnel in Gescom has varied from release to release and even track track. Releases have included ‘Minidisc’ in 1998 on the Or label, which was reportedly the first ever Minidisc-only release. This comprised of 45 tracks sliced into 88 portions, and encouraging the listener to loop and shuffle at will.Working members for the minidisc project were Russell Haswell, Sean Booth and Rob Brown. For its split series incarnation, Rob Brown was joined by SKAM DJ Rob Hall (aka Ad Vanz). Gescom continues to operate and shift its identities.
Early Gescom is probably best described as friends of Booth/Brown with production help by Booth/Brown, aka Autechre. Apart from that, the actual personnel seems to vary from release to release or even from track to track. Quote from the Autechre FAQ: “Actually the whole Gescom crew consists of almost 20 people. Sean Booth calls it an ‘umbrella-project’.But there are also a number of releases by a Gescom which is purely Booth/Brown. If it’s on Skam they call themselves Gescom regardless of cooperation, it seems.Gescom is an abbreviation of “Gestalt Communications”.The people behind Gescom continue to be a mystery, with the exceptions of Gescom EPs 1 and 2, where the “conspirator” names are listed. I doubt they want us to know, and I doubt they want us to care…
Anyway, regardless, there’s been a lot of good stuff released under Gescom, especially Keynell and the Keynell remixes (essential). I’ve heard people call Gescom Autechre’s “electro” outfit, which isn’t true at all. All the Gescom releases are pretty unique; people who say they’re electro probably just heard Sound of Machines, which is very electro. Kraftwerk would be proud of this creation and so am I to have finally got it in 320 bit rate!
Gescom : Puzl (the Sounds Of Machines Our Parents Used / Clear records : 1995)