Dienstag, 24. Juni 2014



The Unofficial PCP Book

Content:

The Story Of PCP
PCP - When The Phuture Was Born
PCP - More Than Hardcore, Motherfuckers
How I Discovered Planet Core Productions
My Story With FFM Shadow Orchestra
Full Length Review: Purple Moon / Understand
PCP - Rare And Unreleased Projcts
PCP Reference Guide
The Art Of PCP
The PCP Sound - Made For Function
The Mover
The Beginning Of Doomcore

Now also available as a PDF for free download here

The Story Of PCP

to write down the whole story, history and context of pcp would demand a whole book, or rather, a whole library of books. so excuse that i will only focus on parts and occassions of the pcp history, and can not adress the whole - yet.
about the beginnings of pcp, not that much is known. the two key creaters seem to have been marc acardipane and thorsten lambert. acardipane played guitar before that, and had various rap projects. the first outing of pcp was, aptly named, a release by mescalinum united called into mekong center. this is still far, but not that far, from the sound pcp got later quite famous for. we find some sort of a cross between house, electro and EBM sounds, but also plenty of new ideas. this was 1989. the end of 1989. the decade ended. the pcp saga had begun.
of early influences is not much known, or rather, not much specific. in the alien underground interview marc acardipane denounced the industrial EBM influence of the likes of front 242, yet in another interview he says this, together with detroit techno, was the starting point for his own sound. this confusing stance on things runs through the history of pcp. they are not known to play their cards too much in the open, for good reasons.
PCP continued, and with the movers first outing, frontal sickness volume 1, and mescalinum united's reflections of 2017 ep, two of the most important records in the history of techno, in the history of hardcore, and in the history of music have been made. much has been said about these tracks elsewhere; i will leave it at this short notice right now.

in these early days, it was the height of the first techno wave, in germany, europe and britain. PCP thrived in this milieu, and as far as i know, were very welcome by this scene. we got plenty of interviews in early german and other techno fanzines, they played a lot of parties, even at the biggest rave than, the mayday rave by low spirit. hardcore and gabber was also a new thing; and pcp paved the way for that sound; they were celebrated by the dutch and belgium gabber crowd, and were legends even back then. but, even at that point, acardipane in interviews expressed the motion that, especially in germany, they were ignored in light of other DJs and producers of the techno scene who made it "big".

indeed, the techno landscape was changing. techno was no longer one sound, one family, one unity. a DJ wouldn't play all styles in one set anymore. the scene fragmented into further subscenes, such as breakbeat, jungle, "intelligent", hardtrance, and hardcore and gabber. the DJs and producers adopted, and went with the flow, instead of beating the system. pcp did not. they stayed true to their core. they kept putting out hardcore sounds en masse. for the german techno scene, this became problematic. hardcore was now seen as "childish", not being liked by the now stucked up crowd who demanded "intelligent" and "minimal" sounds.
this explained why, while other DJs that started together with PCP, rose to fame, mainstream fame, pcp did not, and instead became more obscure.

pcp did not only stay with their original sound, they expanded it, explored other venues. i think any type of dance and electronic music must have been covered by their catalogue. they ventured into krautrock, goa, jungle, EBM, speedcore, abstract; anything: you named it, they did it.

in this "second" period, in my opinion, fall some of the most interesting releases of pcp fall, as the outings by miro, or the movers countdown trax EP, or the jupiter pulse of mescalinum united.

in an interview, miro expressed disappointment that seemingly everyone had forgotton about pcp. and this was largely the case; pcp was more of a "secret hint", passed on by an elite circle. the parties were usually headlined by someone else.

yet, the tide for pcp changed once again. or rather, it ended, in a true phoenix style. pcp ceased to exist by the year 1997. but this was also the time when, as a live act, or marc acardipane as a DJ, under various names, such as marshall masters or kotzaak, they were increasingly booked at the "big" parties again, especially in holland and belgium. they released a marshall masters album which sold weld. "i like it loud" became a hit for the first time. acardipane records was started, which later led into resident e records.

so, the recognition was finally there. recognition by a larger audience.

after the 2000s, things changed even more. by the breakcore, the techno, the experimental hardcore crowed, pcp was no longer seen as "childish" finally anymore (yes, there was a time when you were ridiculed by self-appointed elitists, when you stated that you listened to pcp.)
pcp was rediscoverd again, its mysterios, excellent sound came into the open again.
and, a new generation of artists, of listeners, of human beings, discovered pcp newly again.

PCP - When The Phuture Was Born

"Phuture" is a concept central to PCP. it is referenced in tracks, record titles, project names, on backcover info and so on. and indeed, while PCP is known for great techno or hardcore, even more so it is futuristic music - or rather, phuturistic music.
the tracks by PCP evoke many a great imaginery before one's eye - the comet swarm rising. the purple moon. the blue sun. of suns and moons.
it was something that always stood out for me with PCP - even before i went fully in love with the label. the sound of PCP always sounded so much futuristic, modern, scifi, alien, outer space. 'music for huge-space arenas', as cold rush records said? rather music for huge space-arenas!
the cyborg unknown, the phuture project, the planet phuture, the dance ecstasy from 3001. PCP is so much riddled with alien, future, exotic references, tricks and hints.
i rarely had this "phuture" feel with any other artists - early Juan Atkins or Somatic Responses can maybe compare, and it is something verily unique with PCP, which makes it special, and i guess is also hugely for the large and dedicated fanbase PCP has now.
PCP is a lot like the best of science fiction movies, novels, art, comics turned music - but not only that, but also intensified, concentrated, enlarged. it feels as if you would really travel around space when you listen to PCP. a darkened room, or even better, a party situation, augments this experience even more, of course.
also noteworthy is that PCP supplies various types of Phuture. from the near-future suburban battles of the cyborgs unknown, to the interstellar travel to the coloured moons, to the esoteric aliens of the outer systems, to the computerised mind of the 303 nation technoville.

it is home to mystery what enabled marc and the others to create this extraordinary phuture vibe. a love for scifi movies? comics? substances? an attitude? regardless of this, they definately suceeded with their task

when enjoying regular scifi stuff, there is always a kind of detachment, that is not there with PCP. it brings the phuture home.

this focus on its own "scifi" earned PCP a special place in the history of electronic music - or rather, put it on a level of its own - maybe a planet of its own.

PCP - More Than Hardcore, Motherfuckers

PCP now is mostly known - and in fact, well known, with a huge fanbase - for it's hardcore, gabber and hardtechno productions. which is great - but also a shame - since there is so much more. even to add PCP's important role in doomcore (well, in fact, they created it!) and dark techno would not do the label justice, as there is a lot more to discover.
while PCP apparently was well received in the beginning of the techno scene in the 1990s, soon other producers and labels took over in germany... westbam, marusha, low spirit, you know the story. even worse, even the hardcore scene was on the verge of "forgetting" PCP, as miro noted in an interview from that era. this was the mid-90s then. but out of these ashes PCP, marc and miro rose like a phoenix. with a new label (but still encomparating the PCP classics into their live acts), acardipane records, and plenty of bookings at the big dutch parties, the "gabber" crowd was throughly reminded of the vital role PCP played in the creation of hardcore, and the status of the label soon rose to legendary. while this was what PCP and its members thoroughly deserved, it also created the negative fact that PCP and acardipane were now, by many people, almost 100% identified with "Hardcore" and "Gabber". true, PCP probably supplied more perfect productions and all-time classics in the field of hardcore than anyone else - slaves to the rave, stereo murder, 6 million ways to die, and so on - but as hinted above, the backcatalogue went far beyond there.
there is hardly a style and field of electronic music that has not been touched, and soundwise conquered by the PCP masters yet. they only did not do a accoustic guitar creation yet. you can find house tunes in early PCP and Dance Ecstasy releases. electro (in the old meaning of the word) on narcotic networks. even dark ambient, krautrock and psychedelic music. electronic and techno music in any form and shapes. notable are the ambient workouts of "shakira"'s 1987 metamorphosis or the jupiter pulse. the liquified drum'n'bass classic combination of "beethoven's greatest works", found on dance ecstasy. the rap(!) of the factory of freebase by FBI. the finishing thesis on minimalism via the mover's ruff traxx remix of the meltdown. the departure of all genre-bounds on, again the mover's, last breath of the homelands.
there is too much to explore to fit it into this specific text.
it is a huge shame that the "hardcore" legacy now to large part blocks the public access to the consciousness to most people around the globe for these sounds.
it is hoped that these sound treasures are discovered and noticed by more and more people. it is collection of gems that wait to be found by cunning explorers and that wait to be appraised by people.

How I Discovered Planet Core Productions

in 6 parts

1. First Contact

my story with PCP starts back in 1996. i had discovered the sounds of Hardcore Techno just a few months ago. i wanted to know more about this wonderful sound and started to explore the depths of the Internet about it. i soon ran into c8.com which was the electronic focal point of the hard electronic underground at that time, and hosted labels like Bloody Fist, artists like Somatic Responses, and the PCP website. i eagerly devoured the subsites and the information i could find. if i recall correctly they had a lot of previews of PCP tunes up, and i found them interesting, but i wasn't too impressed i must say - yet. then i came into contact with PCP in another way. i bought the compilation "ravers night III", which was put out by ruffneck records i think, in a big store. that was a time when gabber and hardcore techo (at least it's commercial variant) was part ofthe mainstream youth culture and CDs by the likes of Nordcore, Mokum, Industrial Strength were just a few meters away from mainstream rock and pop CDs in stores. back to the compilation. i don't remember if i checked the booklet first or put the CD in the player first. when i read the booklet i noticed the first track of the CD, "Inferno Bros. - Slaves To The Rave", was related to Planet Core Productions. i felt excited, a track of the mysterious underground hardcore scene that so far i only knew from the internet, in my hands on a CD!
when i put on the CD and put on the track, i was completely blown away. there are only a few tracks, maybe 3 or 4 in total, that hit me so hard, so extreme, when i first listened to them. it was like everything i had known about music faded into the past and was replaced by something new. it was a bit like experiencing lying on a beach in a tropical paradise during sunset, being peaceful and happy. so sweet, so exciting, so thrilling, so overwhelming. there was simply so much in this track, so much power, and emotion. needless to say, it was also much more intelligent and complex than most of the more known "gabber" during that time.

2. Checking The Catalogue

It may sound weird, but after my interest in PCP grew, i actually read through the whole catalogue of PCP records and wondered how these records with interesting titles (Cyborg Unknown, Planet Phuture, Reign...) would sound like.

3. The Phuture

after i became a regular visitor to the local store here that sold most of the hardcore vinyls and CDs, i decided that this was my chance to finally check out the PCP sounds more. i bought a CD called "PCP - Phuture". when i listened through the CD, i was actually disappointed. the tracks let me down a bit at that time - they seemed repetive and very minimalistic - quite different from the over-the-top hardcore by Mouse or Burning Lazy Persons that i listened to that time. the only track that stood out for me was MF Skulls by Program 1.
so while PCP was a love at first sight to me, it was not a love at second sight.  but would that change in the future?

4. A New Style

in the meantime the sound of PCP had changed a lot, and they put out records like Purple Moon, XTC Express, Reign - Time Machine, or vinyls on Futureworld and Narcotic Network Recordings. this was stuff i loved again. they all had that dreamy, spacey feel to them, that i adore in music.

5. At Last

then i slowly developed an interest in the older style of PCP too, yet a lot of the early stuff still seemed not that exciting to me - too repetive and simplistic.
then one friday night i was working on music, chatting with other hardcore artists, listening to music, checking websites till the morning. i eventually switched the Nordcore internet radio stream on. they were playing a PCP special. around 6 or 7 am a track came on. i don't know anymore if it was Headshop - Universe or T Bone Castro - Return To Planet E. this track hit me so hard again. when the choirs of the tune came on, i can't describe what i felt then. it was just incredible. bliss.  i now realised there was much more to PCP than i first had noticed, and it would soon become one of my favorite labels.

6. At Party

now i liked most of pcp, yet it seemed to me that tracks like Ace The Space - 9 is a classic and such, even if they were really sweet to me, might have been more powerful in 1992 then now - the beats, the synth, seemed a lot weaker, less impressive than later productions to me. maybe they were too much part of the then ongoing techno movement? this opinion of me soon fell too, though.
it was All-Out Demolition! II, the most succesful party we did then, 300-500 visitors or so (can't count the exact amount since the crowd was linked with another party in a different part of the building).
the party was almost over already, it was early in the morning again, the regular sets of the DJs were finished. Sampler19 started a PCP set, beginning with We Have Arrived and later Turbulence - Whurlstorm, i continued the set and played stuff by T Bone Castro, Marshall Masters and such, the Dance Ecstasy and PCP classics.
when playing this set, in this pitch-black, fog filled basement, on an super loud system, i noticed that they sounded quite different from normally listening to them. they sounded extremely powerful, hard hitting, varied, full of sound - the minimalism and "mainstream techno-ness" i criticed before that, had simply gone.
this was the time i learned to truly appreciate these tracks too.

My Story With FFM Shadow Orchestra

my appreciation of ffm shadow orchestra runs for a long time now. like most of the acts in my early days of hardcore, i discovered them through the c8.com site in the mid 90s. i remember when i first read the name, i assumed it must be a strange rap group from frankfurt. i soon learned better, since stevvi (who ran the old pcp website, which was hosted at c8) put up some preview tracks by them. they became some of the first underground hardcore tracks i ever heard, when i was 15 year old, and i instantly liked what i heard. i remember stevvi wrote that marc had send him some white labels, so he doesn't know who wrote these tracks, but he assumed it was the ffm shadow orchestra. since then, and probably before then, the orchestra was always associated with some sort of mystery. fast forward one year, it's 1997 and i'm in the container record store in hamburg. i spotted two new releases that really stood out from most of the rest of the vinyls. the cover art intrigued me, and on the backside there were printed lyrics to the song. that was really something stunning for me, underground hardcore with full vocals and lyrics! i immediately bought the records, without prelistening to them. i think only at home i realised i bought something by the ffm shadow orchestra, because of the weird font they used i couldn't really decipher most of the text at first.
the records were interzone 1 and 2 (the name of the label is a reference to william burroughs and/or the movie naked lunch, by the way), and i instantly fell in love with them. the tracks had such an outerspace feel to them, pure phuture, with long ambient intros that would make one feel as if one is travelling among the stars. over the years i've listened to a lot of futuristic music, but ffm shadow orchestra is still something that stands out with it's vibe, and there is something else to it, not just phuture, or rather, a special brand of phuture sound that no other artist did yet.
here ends the text of my personal story with the ffm shadow orchestra, so i'll talk a bit about the mystery surrounding this act. the first mystery is of course, who are they actually? they have not released on any other label outside of the pcp family, and almost nothing is known about the persons behind this project. needless to say, they seem to never have done any live perfomances either. in fact, for a long time, i thought it is just another strange project done by marc, miro or thorsten, or all three together, using a different name. it seems though that the people behind the orchestra have released under other names on pcp too, using aliases such as "terrorists" or "3 from i.o.".
another mystery is the nature of their releases themselves. around 2000 i noticed a release called "ffm shadow orchestra - radio inferno" in the phuture-rave record store on the web. it's a full album, only released on cd-r. who released it? why didn't it get a proper release? is it really the same guys - it sounds much different to their earlier releases? one might never know.
the biggest strange thing is maybe that the ffm shadow orchestra is still much less known than other acts of their era, or especially other pcp acts. they had a lot more going on than a lot of acts - fully lyricized tracks, big productions, good ideas (on one of their records all four tracks are an hommege to the classic movie "killing zoé", for example). they really would have deserved much more recognition, in my opinion.

note: since writing this text, a lot of the ffm shadow orchestra mysteries have been lifted for me. yet, i found it more interesting to keep the text as it is, so the mysteries remain, and it is ought to each one interested to lift them for him.

Full Length Review: Purple Moon / Understand

Review: Miro - Purple Moon / Understand - DE 2052
it somewhat doesn't feel right to review this record, as it has already be done a dozen times by other people. yet is one of miro pajic's most intriguing works, and worth reviewing.
when it came out, before, there was nothing. there was nothing like it. you can check the backcatalogues of the labels of that era, and you will see there isn't any record like this. maybe some earlier works of miro only can contend. and afterwards, there is nothing either. except for miro's tracks of course. but, as far as i can tell, no artist after this record has managed to pull off something similiar as this. it is definately one of the early highs of miro's music journey.

A1 Purple Moon

this is it. the purple moon. do i need to describe it? outer space beats open this records. we are moved along, more elements are added. while this track paces as a fast speed, it is nothing like the "hardcore" of it's time. this track feels more as if one of the great sonic pioneers such as jarre or klaus schulze had their go at techno, as if this was done by a techno man on a techno label. then, the breakdown, and the high-cutoff-synth-saws come in. i listen to a lot of music; especially melodical music. but this melody is something that is in a field of its own. i rarely heard something as beautiful; as sweet; as moving, as the harmonies of this track. it seems simple at first, but, in its simplicity it is extraordinary complex. the melody is what drives this tracks, and it creates a special track.

B2 Understand

this track is often overlooked in favor of purple moon. but, not rightly so. this too is one of miro and PCP's greatest work. the rising synth sound prepares us for what is to come here. i can't say what image this track invokes in me - a space station, space exploration, or an alien meeting somewhere far in the universe? but it is a powerful image.
the melody again is the main thing for me here, less melancholic, yet as powerful, and more complicated as in purple moon. i could listen to it in a loop for a long time.
the track is more of a hardcore affair than purple moon, yet again far removed from the normal "hardcore" of it's time. this track is a gem, and the whole record is a precious jewel.

PCP - Rare And Unreleased Projcts

a look at rare, obscure, exotic projects of the PCP crew.

Jack Lucifer Full Length Album

the second Kotzaak Compilation, From the Deepest Depths, features 3 tracks by jack lucifer (and 1 hidden track), that were supposed to be of a full length jack lucifer album release, that is announced to be upcoming.
they are in the later style picked up by jack lucifer, not the early kotzaak style, but his blend of death metal and electronic equipment. the name of the album was supposed to be "contaminated black planet".
in a later interview he said, this album was finished, but never released. he doesn't want to release it so far, unless he has re-recorded all the tracks again.

See Ya In 2017

See Ya in 2017 was a different version of what was later the Frankfurt Trax 3 Album. it exists only as a white label testpressing. it has almost the same tracklisting as the frankfurt trax album - but it has three extra tracks, which are not released elswhere. one is a techno track, one in white breaks style, and one in 303 nation style (probably done by them?).

Unreleased 1993 Mover Demotape

a tape marc acardipane made in 1993. not much about this is known. the tracks are in mover style, but could also be tracks supposed to be put our under other monikers of acardipane (nasty django, ace the space?).

The Praxis Tape

a rumor from the internet, that the "track 2" put out on the praxis CD compilation paraphysical cybertronics was part of a tape with much more tracks (thus the name "track 2") by the mover.

The Live Double CD

in the early years, the pcp liveact often didn't play pre-existing tracks, but did special live tracks, that were often improvised live. almost nothing of this surfaced later. there seems to be a split between normal tracks, that were put out on vinyl and CD, and the pcp live stuff, which was just for the liveacts. in an interview acardipane talks about a planned PCP live double CD with this material, but it never surfaced.

The Mescalinum United Ambient Album

in the famous alien underground interview, marc acardipane mentions having finished a mecalinum united album of twisted dark ambient tracks. it never came to light. could it be that later ambient releases (1987 metamorphosis, jupiter pulse) were originally part of this album?

Tomorrowland Recordings

this, and i think other labels, were mentioned in an old pcp feature in a magazine. these labels were planned, but never came to existance. one can only wonder what sound wouldve been put out on them.

the PCP DVD

around 2004, marc acardipane announced on the planet core forum, that he had rediscovered masters of plenty of unreleased tracks he done under monikers such as alien christ, ace the space. he said he wants to put them out on a big DVD, complete with unreleased video and live footage.
again, this never came to light.
the only thing that surfaced was the PCP mayday 1993 live video, which was planned to be released on this DVD.

PCP Reference Guide

references to books, drugs, concepts and other things in the works of PCP by title, artist name or other.


Labels:

PCP - 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)piperidine). the actual term for the drug "angel's dust". one of the most extreme drugs known to man. users regularly go completely mental when using it. causes hallucinations, voices to be heard and other insane things. linked to outburst of extreme violence. many people consider it to be the most dangerous drug.

Dance Ecstasy 2001 - ecstasy is a happiness inducing drug associated with "rave culture".

Narcotic Network Recording - narcotic networks are the drug traffiking networks by the drug syndicates.

Interzone - a concept by William Burroughs. also mentioned in the movie "Naked Lunch" about his life and works.

Adrenachrome - drug described in the movie "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas".

Future World - name of a famous 70s science fiction movie. sequel to "Westworld".

Gold Digger Records - a gold digger is a girl that dates men for money, i.e. to have the chance to marry a rich man and be well off.


Artists:

Cold Rush City Cru - possible reference to the rap group "Kold Krush Kru".

Dusty Angel - another reference for angel's dust, or PCP.

H flash - the high of a heroin user. (h is a term for heroin)

Mescalinum United: a psychoactive drug. mescaline.

Freebase Factory - freebase is a drug related to crack cocaine.

Free Base International - see above

French Connection - famous drug trafficing network. also name of two well known crime movies of the 70s.

Roy Batty (alias of Michael Hoppe, part of "Turbulence" and "Smash?") = Character from movie "Blade Runner".

Leathernecks - slang for US Marine Soldiers, or generally, tough guys (with "necks of leather", so to say)

Records and Tracks:

Killing Zoo - reference to the 1993 movie "Killing Zoe". samples from the movie are also used in 3 of the 4 tracks on this record.

Lightbringer - term used for "Lucifer". also used for Venus, the morning star, which "brings light" in the morning, which also has been called "Lucifer" in past times.

Subtopia - name for the underworld.

Louder than a bomb - reference to the public enemy EP of the same name.

Last Exit Interzone - possible reference to novel "Last Exit Brooklyn" by Hubert Selby Jr.. see also interzone.

The Art Of Shredding - reference to "The Art Of Stalking" by Suburban Knight.

The Eagle Has Landed - general term for signifying relevant events. has been used during the transmission of the first moon landing.

Yamantaka - ancient buddhist practice. also called "the terminator of death".

The Last Judgement - biblical term for the "judgement day". armageddon.

Skulls And Crossbones - traditional symbol used by the pirates

Leathernecks - "At War" ("Low Spirit, suck my cock"): Reference to German techno label "Low Spirit". [Also see: http://www.discogs.com/groups/topic/363778]

The Mover - Frontal Sickness 2 (1992) - track "Body Snatchers" = Reference to the horror movie(s) "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956, 1978) or "Body Snatchers" (1993).

Leathernecks - "Speedfuck" ("Speedfreak, you're so fuckin' slow"): Reference to German hardcore techno act "The Speed Freak" (Martin Damm).

"Friends of Alex": Possibly a reference to Alex Christiansen from U96; also contains a musical reference to Ramon Zenker from Interactive. [See: http://www.discogs.com/groups/topic/365652]

Digital Dictators - "Where the Rhythm Counts (Das Werk der Kraft)" (from FFM Trax Vol. 1, 1990) = Both linguistic and musical reference to German music group "Kraftwerk" (samples from "Musique Non Stop" and "Nummern").

Trip Commando - House Music's Not Dead (JVA Mix) (from FFM Trax Vol. 2, 1991) - "JVA" = abbreviation for "Justizvollzugsanstalt", the German word for "prison".

Konstablerwache = public square and metro station in Frankfurt am Main; famous for drug dealing activites.

Ace the Space - "9 is a Classic" & "9 mm Remixes" = Common gun calibre (9×19mm Parabellum).

Other:

2001 - one of the two dates that PCP continually references. the meaning of it is unknown.

2017 - the other date, that is even more referenced. again, the meaning is unknown.

FFM = abbreviation for Frankfurt am Main.



thanks to user inspector.godot for added information.

if you have more info, found an error or a correction, or generally have additional information, feel free to contact me: low.entropy.80@gmail.com
the reference guide is expected to grow a lot over time.

The Art Of PCP

there was not only the sound of PCP that was fascinating with me. there is so much more to PCP records; that are lost if you just click a link on youtube, a mix, or, dare you, listen to a "ripped" mp3. the artwork; the text; the liner notes; the artist names; the descriptions; even the credits. at a time when a lot of labels just put records in black sleeves, or a label used the same graphic for each release, PCP took record art to a whole new level. who did all this? the artwork is special, creative, strange, enchanting, delicate. we get space creations, image manipulation, doodles and sketches, or pictures of unknown source. one wonders who is behind this, the same 2-3 artists, or a whole team - a large crew?
the whole art adds to the whole PCP experience. it adds a second stage to it. it intermingles with the sound and the sound with the art. creating a whole experience. it is another expression of sound; two expressions; visual and sonic, interconnected. one could look at some of these artworks for hours. fill a gallery with it. the first pcp exhibition of the world.
but it is not only with the graphic; also the text; and maybe it's more important. many pcp records have almost a bit of a short story, a short novel around them, put down on the record printing. shout outs to imaginary gangsta crews, unknown people, strange organisations; that are usually acardipane and his friends under another alias again; and these names called have records of their own again, which mention other projects too; creating a whole net, a whole sphere, a whole world of persons, purposes, connections - cyborg, latin cowboys, robot troopers, secret cults - imaginary, but intricating, amazing.
which brings us to the artist names; which again seem to carefully chosen. in a time when "hardcore" usually resolved to easy to remember, "hard" sounding names - the 100 variations of 'evil' and 'fucker', with PCP each artist names seem much deeper, each as if there is a whole story behind him or her, or it. the nasty django, ace the space, mescalinium united, syrius 23... you get the picture. again, these are not portrayed as single persons, but part of teams, cults, crews, according to the record notes. a whole nation of psyched-out anarchist terrorists from the future. that just exist in the imagination of PCP - but yet might be armed and dangerous.
this brings us to the last part, the secret hints. obscure messages are written on the record covers, and the sleeves. made in pressure zones. take care, doom supporter! from the lost zones. a manipulated text by franz kafka. instructions and manuals, messages and infos. again, coming from this wonderful imaginary PCP universe.
messages that appear to be sent by individual cyborg soldiers to rise an underground army. or by LSD rappers to organise their next hangout.
again, these notes add to the whole PCP experience. if you listen just to the sound - you're missing a lot. these art, these texts, are engraved in the whole PCP experience, a sum of it, an expression.
they are stunning, amazing, and, again, create a whole, imaginery, enclosed world, of imaginary, imagined, terrorists, anarchists, and half-man half-electronic sages sitting on a planet far away in the galaxy somewhere.

The PCP Sound - Made For Function

when i devoloped my first liking for pcp, around 2000, i was often met with bewilderment by friends. 'yes pcp did some 'gabber classics'", "but how could you be so serious into this sound? it's from an older time".
i think this is because pcp ought to be listened in a certain way, that is not so obvious at first. in fact, a lot of pcp tracks sounded very bland to me, before i got my head around to it.
and, again, to others pcp might not sound that much - because of this.
what is it i am talking about?
pcp has a certain approach to music, in most of its musical outings, that makes it different to a lot of other music - even a lot other techno. which is that it is functional.
they are created to work on the dancefloor, in a party setting. the sounds kicks hard,
punch hard; to make you dance, to make you groove. acardipane said in an interview pcp records were created with a PA soundsystem in mind - not with the listener at home in mind. but the sounds not only make you want to dance. they also kick the mind. pcp has some of the most "mental" sounds i heard used in track. pcp tracks trip you, kick you, chill you, psyche you, phaze you.
this is how pcp should be listened. the signature of the rhythm, the harmonic of the melody is not so important - but what *effect* it has. how much it trips you. how much it makes you go mad on the dancefloor.
it is not made to be behold, to be watched from a distance - well, maybe that too - but to *effect* you, to push you along - in a hard way, often.
it is to my notice that a lot of people just don't hear this effect in pcp - or other music. they say, a lot of pcp "repetive" and "boring" - and don't realise that in these repetive rhythms and sounds lies a lot of energy - that can be looped for minutes, without being boring at all.
apart from the obvious thing to do to experience this "hidden" thing of PCP, i think it comes most clear in a party situation. pcp tracks sound so much different on a loud PA, in a strobe and fog filled basement - so powerful.
but indeed, the effect can also be experienced by listening "at home" - even if the tracks were not intended for it. there too, you can feel the mental effect of the tracks, and how they make your body want to dance.

The Mover

the mover is a project by acardipane, almost around since the beginning of PCP. the first outing was the the "frontal sickness" EP, followed by a second part; then we get the "final sickness" album, the signs of 96, the countdown tracks, as well as the post-PCP follow up, "frontal frustration". also various combined efforts (splits with other artists) and similiar projects.
the mover is highly praised and adored. among PCP fans, the mover releases are usually seen as special, or rather, the most special ones. the mover is often synonymously used with marc acardipane himself; especially the more sophisticated pcp fans usually call him just "the mover". so, the mover has engraved itself with pcp, and with acardipane.
what is so special about the mover?
stylistically, there is a continuity - this is in basically all pcp projects, but with the mover it's more visible i think. think of the changes nasty django had in sound in later releases. the mover has a common thread, a common sonic expression. the "countdown trax" is the only release that sounds slightly different; but aswell deeply connected with the mover theme.
so what can be said about the sound?
let us look at the first frontal sickness, which, to me, sets the sound of the mover. even for pcp standard, we get a removed, dislocated sound. the elements have been reduced to a functional, beautiful simplicity. melody created on a synth, a bassdrum, percussion and a bit of FX. that's it. but i think exactly this minimal, reduced approach add a lot to the wonderful sound of the mover. it is very unlikely the minimalism of other artists; there is, indeed, not much going on in these tracks, at first glance - yet it feels so full, so exciting. it has only the necessary elements - but these elements are the more powerful.
stylistically, the mover is hard to locate, too. this is with all of pcp; but again, even more so with the pcp. it sometimes feels a bit of a missing link between the pre-techno electronic days; the lofi "minimal synth" and EBM sound of the 80s; and the beginning of techno. but it also is reminiscent of the krautrock electronic days; and it reminds me a lot of the earliest electronic and sonic experimentation of the 1950s - or maybe even 1920s. it is out of time and creates its own style. i dare to call it even "techno". maybe electronic poems - yes, this fits.
yet the mover is also an experimental project, as can be seen in the weird electro outings and space synths of the "countdown tracks". experimental techno - at its best.
what sticks out, is that each track is seemingly focused around a single melody; and this is maybe what makes the trademark mover sound. each has a wonderful melody, at which the whole track is seemingly constructed around. again, it's simplistic - seemingly, and repetive - reduced. 4 chords, 8 tones going down and up again. but these melodies are again perfectly effective, and bizarre, enchanting - exotic. i wouldn't even dare to say in which harmonic, tuning system, or even music system, they would be part of.
to write this in words is very hard to do; listen to the tunes themselves, and you will see what i mean when i say that the melodies are a special part of the mover tracks.
one could almost say the mover is the punk rocker of cyborg techno: this is one chord, this is the second; now the beat and percussion, and go create a mover track[1]!
to finish this text, look at what is most important; the atmosphere of the mover. again, i said it brings up feelings of abstract art experimentation of past decades; but it is also so much in the future. PCP feels so much like space, scifi and the mover is an expression of it; but at a higher dose; a "hardcore" form of it.
the atmosphere is what gives the mover tracks life, and i guess it is why the mover is so popular. a wonderful project, interesting, unique - for the future.

footnotes:
1: related to an old slogan of the 70s new york punk scene.

The Beginning Of Doomcore

the story, the beginning of doomcore is synonymous with one label. at the beginning, everything doomcore was PCP, and PCP was everything doomcore. they created the whole genre. they started it. listen to the labels at that time; you will see there is not much that actually sounds similiar to the things pcp pulled off back then.
sure, there were other tracks to be found; and you might find even further; "the aftermath" on the adrenalin records EP; or some of the sound of rome works, to name some. but, as i said, at first doomcore was virtually the same as PCP.
PCP set the sound with some of their best records; with the cold rush records. with the mover outings. with the cold metallic sound of mescalinum united. techno, at its beginning, was dark. but pcp put the darkness even further. they had the idea to create technotic, or pounding, 4/4 drums with lush, sweeping synth pads, rave signals, dark choir outings. in a time when everyone seemed to focus mostly on the grove and beat of techno, PCP shifted the focus to the emotion, the setting of a track.
so that was it. the doomcore formula had been found. the dark dancefloor came into existence. and from that, the sound evolved even more.
PCP's outings became more intricate as time moved on, too. the reduced sound of the first mover EP later gave way to the complex melodic systems and spacious sounds of some of miro's work (the purple moon, the xtc express...).
at this point of history, doomcore was more or less a rarity. there were dedicated doomcore fans and doom supporters, but they were few. the core group was members of the dutch-influenced gabber sounds, oldschool techno heads who had "grown up" (at least technowise) with pcp, and the experimental underground scenes of techno, in the web surrounding the c8 collective, which to a large part was composed of PCP fans (that scene later gave rises to scenes such as breakcore or frenchcore).
that there was only one real label (or rather, label family) for doomcore didn't help with the spread of doomcore, of course. this changed by the mid 90s. other labels dedicated to the doomcore sound came into being. the most important were the crossbones tree of label, and fifth era. smaller labels and projects arose too, such as black blood and his frontline of sound label (still highly underrated), and even more obscure labels.

skip to the present. the situation couldn't be better for doomcore. doomcore is on the rise, and finally getting recognition and appreciation by people outside the small doomcore circle too. now we have whole events dedicated to doomcore with several acts (an impossibility in the 90s), and the doomcore scene seems to grow.
while this also leads to the danger of a commercialisation of sound, i think it will be a long while till this happens, and we still have plenty of time to enjoy the new doomcore outings. especially interesting to me are the large number of producers who are now interested in the doomcore sound and make great creations, on the internet and elsewhere.
the times are good for doomcore. let's enjoy them.

Credits

all texts written by Soenke Moehl / Low Entropy
contact: low.entropy.80@gmail.com

I wrote thest texts in a timespan around 2 years.

dedicated to everyone involved with PCP, and the fans.