Dienstag, 24. Juni 2014

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.

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