F.U.S.E. (RICHIE HAWTIN) and SPEEDY J – classic reissues from WARP records ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE series

Warp announces reissues of two more classic albums from their Artificial Intelligence series: Dimension Intrusion by F.U.S.E. (aka Richie Hawtin) and Ginger by Speedy J. Both records were originally released in 1993, and these new vinyl editions mark their 30th anniversary.

Although unique records by distinctive artists, there are some strands that tie the two albums together. Dimension Intrusion was the fifth album in the Artificial Intelligence series, originally released on 7 June 1993, whilst Ginger was the sixth album in the series, coming out two weeks later on 21 June. Whereas the rest of the series focused on elevating underground electronic producers from the UK such as Autechre, B12, Black Dog Productions and Polygon Window, these two entries in the series added an international dimension, representing North American and Northern European takes respectively on the techno genre.

Both albums were also released in Canada on Richie Hawtin’s own fabled Plus 8 label, with Paap putting out a domestic edition of Ginger in the Netherlands on his Beam Me Up! imprint, echoing the accidental Star Trek reference in Warp’s own name (actually a shortening of original name Warped). Both artists also recorded for NovaMute, a dance music subsidiary of Mute Records. 

The concept that unites this music above all however is the idea of crafting electronic music for home listening, charting the evolution of a musical form that had started out purely dancefloor-focused. Both Paap and Hawtin had started to make tracks with this idea in mind independently, and it chimed perfectly with the series that Warp founders Rob Mitchell and Steve Beckett were putting together concurrently to showcase exactly this development.

The compilation that gave the series its title and kicked things off, housed in a striking sleeve featuring a robot reclining in an armchair, surrounded by album sleeves, succinctly communicated the central idea with a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek humour. It was after Paap had contributed to Artificial Intelligence with Speedy J’s “De-Orbit”, alongside Richie Hawtin making an appearance using his UP! pseudonym, that Mitchell and Beckett invited them to come on board to the series with full artist albums for release on Warp.

Growing up in Windsor, Ontario, Richie Hawtin aka F.U.S.E. would make frequent excursions across the border to Detroit in search of record shops and new clubbing experiences. Soon he would take up a residency at the small subversive club The Shelter and develop his skills as a DJ. Together with his close friend John Acquaviva they launched Plus 8 Records in 1990 to release their own creations and to support other up-and-coming, like-minded techno producers who were in search of a musical home. Richie started recording under the cryptic alias F.U.S.E.- an abbreviation for ‘Futuristic Underground Subsonic Experiments’ – and released seminal tracks like ‘F.U.’ and ‘Substance Abuse’ (1991). The From Our Minds To Yours compilations released on Plus 8 would make a mark on the developing techno scene in Detroit and beyond.

At age 22 Hawtin released his first full-length studio album under his F.U.S.E. pseudonym. Dimension Intrusion was largely inspired by science fiction films and a collection of available vintage synthesizers and drum machines. Playing with their electronic yet warm sound effects, the young producer in turn discovered some of his favourite instruments. His heady manipulations of the Roland TB-303 acid sound helped develop an influential style that would have a lasting impact on electronic music. The tracks on Dimension Intrusion range from club-focused techno to soundtrack ambience and can be seen retrospectively as experiments leading to what would soon become Hawtin’s trademark acid-laced Plastikman sound. 

Rotterdam-based Jochem Paap began creating techno tracks such as “Three O’Three” and “Something For Your Mind” in his hometown to play out in clubs and chose the artist name Speedy J as a reference to his DJ skills. As commented on by All Music, Paap’s clear intent with Ginger was “to take his music out of the rave and into the home-listening environment,” and balance elements of the manic energy that defined his early releases with a lush sound palette.

Writing and recording on his own in The Plant studio, the album was released on a number of different labels internationally and brought his minimal but melodic production style to a far wider audience, with critics noting his meticulous attention to audio design, skilful use of track interludes (the “Fill” tracks on Ginger, something Black Dog Productions also explored on Bytes), and a careful balancing of four-to-the-floor grooves with ambient textures.

He released a second album with Warp, 1995’s G-Spot, and has continued to make a diverse range of electronic music, including releases on labels such as Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu and Peter Namlook’s FAX +49-69/450464, and showcasing a more experimental strand of releases via his own Electric Deluxe imprint. The music on Ginger has been highlighted as a seminal release in a number of retrospective features by the likes of Pitchfork, The Wire and FACT. 

Pre-order here

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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.