CODE – ‘Acheron’ : second single from new album by UK electronic act 

UK electronic quartet CODE earned their stripes in the electronic scene of the early 1990s and were championed by the likes of John Peel, John Digweed and Kiss FM presenters Colin Dale and Colin Faver. Their debut album, ‘The Architect’, was issued on the Third Mind label in 1995 just as that company folded, but has often been cited as a cult classic. Its follow-up, ‘Ghost Ship’, finally arrived in late 2020 after a 25 year journey and was enthusiastically received by critics and fans.

Like that album, ‘Continuum’ has been assembled by remodelling material from archived studio sessions and sounds like it could have been made yesterday. Emotionally engaging and exquisitely produced, it is timeless music that, although carrying traces of influences such as Kraftwerk, The Blue Nile, Talk Talk, David Sylvian and Depeche Mode, also has a romantic techno intensity all of its own.

‘Acheron’ is the second single to be teased ahead of the album. An instrumental, it sits in contrast to its predecessor, ‘Pleasure’, which was a slinky slice of pop existentialism. Acheron is known in Greek mythology as the ‘river of lost souls’, although sci-fi fans are likely to be more familiar with ‘Acheron LV-426’, one of three moons orbiting the gas giant Calpamos. It was here that a crew member of the USCSS Nostromo first discovered the eggs of a species of alien that would go on to spawn a highly successful movie franchise.

CODE had embraced the tactile nature of analogue tech from the outset and often jammed ideas as their DAT machine recorded, with each band member presiding intently over one or more pieces of kit, including their pre-MIDI SH101 and Korg PolySix synths, slightly newer Roland drum pads, guitar, 16 channel mixing desk and cassette deck. One of these sessions saw them focus on a version of an existing piece entitled ‘Atlantic’, with the resulting new track being entitled ‘Acheron’.

The band explain that “the challenge was to retain the warmth and idiosyncrasies of the original recording whilst subtly enhancing definition and clarity. This primarily involved reshaping the original nine minute jam into a more concise form whilst enhancing key elements to create a more dynamic soundscape.”

‘Acheron’ appears on the CD and digital formats of ‘Continuum’, with the 2xLP release featuring a remixed/remastered version of ‘Atlantic’, which had been included on their debut album.

Over the course of twelve songs (2xLP), or a more compact eight (CD & digital), ‘Continuum’ sees CODE rework both sides of their chunky, industrial techno-tinged early single ‘505 345 675 Delta 9’ / ‘Straight to Hell’, which contrast neatly with the uber-cool minimalism of ‘Pleasure’ and ‘Metal Of Lesser Proportions’. The songs ‘Atlantic’, ‘Bleak Moments’ and ‘The Architect’ all appear in remixed form from their debut, with the cosmic, improvised version of the last of these being a rare treat. Originally entitled ‘The Grand Architect’, it sounds even grander now. Six further songs are released for the first time ever across the various formats.

‘Continuum’ is further proof that the music produced by CODE in the 1990s stands up well against more recognised electronic acts of that era. Songs by the group have also recently been licensed for several electronic dance and chill-out compilations, while 2021 saw two members act as prime movers behind the stunning ‘Love And Death’ album by H2SO4.

1 Pleasure
2 You’re The One
3 Sky Forever
4 Acheron
5 Love Is A Liquid
6 Metal Of Lesser Proportions
7 The Architect
8 Bleak Moments
9 Downhill Ski
10 505 345 675 Delta 9
11 Straight To Hell
12 Light Years

1 Pleasure
2 You’re The One
3 Sky Forever
4 Acheron
5 Love Is A Liquid
6 Bleak Moments
7 505 345 675 Delta 9
8 Downhill Ski

pre-order C O D E  |  CONTINUUM

About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.