An encyclopedic selection from the Dutch label’s catalogue.
As a DJ, Fraser is associated with a loose network of artists who have been known to take the BPM down a notch. Alongside his peers – including Andrew Weatherall and Andy Blake – he is often linked to a slower brand of house music, the mixing of which requires patience and results in a platform where each track has space to breathe, showcasing the details and subtleties in its production.
But it is his love for quality music of any tempo which lends to Fraser’s credibility, and ahead of his appearance at Nibiru Halloween for a five-hour back-to-back set with Lord Of The Isles, he’s chosen a rare collection of high intensity ‘90s releases from Dutch powerhouse label DJAX-UP-BEATS.
“Why DJAX-UP-BEATS?…Well, simply this – I would not have started making my own music if it was not for this record label.
Over a long and fertile period – particularly through the 90s – Saskia Slegers released some of the best house and techno ever to grace the planet. Also, technically I would wager this was one of the first quality re-issue labels. I would not have been introduced to some of those raw industrial Chicago jams by the likes of Mike Dunn, Armando and Ron Trent were it not for them being re-released on DJAX – many with remixes and collaborations.
Then there is the artwork by Alan Oldham. Timeless and still looking absolutely out of this world, I can honestly say that the artwork on these records went hand in hand with the music in a way that few other labels have managed to achieve even to this day. On many occasions I would buy on sight just because I loved Alan’s artwork so much.
Needless to say it was very difficult to pick 20 never mind 10, but these ones are important to me for many reasons and some have never left my record bag.
So in no particular order and for reasons detailed below…” – Scott Fraser
Scott Fraser plays Nibiru Halloween at London’s Bar A Bar on October 28. Grab tickets here.
1.Terrace – Seventh City (Club Mix) (1992)
I could choose from stacks of Stefan Robbers records (in fact I’ve had several after hours Terrace offs with Domenic Capello still with no clear knockout either way…). I do think it’s safe to say his sound and label Eevo Lute Muzique have hugely influenced me as a DJ over the years. I’m going to pick this one though as it’s so good, it’s also a remix by Erik Van Den Broek of Shiver Records, so killing two birds with one stone for me. Probably captures lots of elements that make DJAX and Dutch techno so special, all on one handy record. Essential.
2. Mike Dearborn – Strictly Underground EP (1993)
This EP really started it all for me, all the tracks on here are killer, dark and brooding techno (deviant sums it up well really… music to scare your parents with). This record also bears probably my favourite piece of Oldham artwork ever.
3.The MD Connection: Tracks that move ya Vol 1 + 2 (1992)
Introduced me to Mike Dunn properly and encouraged me to go on and seek out more. Me and Joe still fight over who’s playing this at Body Hammer. Every track is an absolute belter which is good because even if he does play it I can play one of the other ones avoiding the dust up.
4.Glenn Underground – Future Shock (1993)
Odd bouncy Chicago house, and I don’t really have another record that sounds even remotely like this. As good on the warm up as it is a peak time viber – never left the box.
5.Thomas P. Heckmann – Kobol Tracks Vol 1 (1995)
This is a very stark techno record, it’s almost industrial in nature but it’s also got a real Chicago bang to it. I bought many Heckmann records through the 90s and some of them sound as absolutely terrifying now as they did then (which is great I may add). Pre-minimal minimal.
6.Urban Electro – Vol II (1997)
Marty McKay played this at Club 69 one night I was there and I immediately ran behind the camouflage net to enquire as to its name… “Some new DJAX number mucka”. The other volume is not half bad either, very weird, spooky and dark Dutch electro (the best kind of course).
7.DJ Skull – Stomping Grounds (1993)
I love this record, it’s on mad grey marbled vinyl which was pretty unusual back then (I dropped mine one night and it’s got a chip out of the outside edge now). I think Stuart McMillan used to play this a lot too. The A cut is a sort of minimal pumping thing, and then you have these lovely house tracks in there too. Pleased to say we were first to bring Ron to Glasgow – way back in the mid-90s at the Sub Club.
8.Planet Gong – Phases EP (1993)
Beautiful deep double pack from Mr Hermelijn. I could have picked from several Gong 12″s but this one shaved it in the end. Played it a few months or so ago when we did Body Hammer at Bloc. Still sounds amazing.
9.Hiroshi – Hiroshi (1994)
All in all, this is quite a mad double pack and some of it not for the faint hearted. It’s from Japan and this track is absolutely beautiful. Sounds like the Aphex Twin drove to Chicago for the weekend with Terrace for company in the front seat. Stay with it and you will be rewarded over and over again.
10.Stephen Brown – Atomic Radiation (1996)
For those that don’t know, Stephen comes from Edinburgh, went on to do many EPs on the label and also recorded for Transmat, amongst others. A prodigious Scottish talent and included for that very reason. I think this was his second EP on the label. Edinburgh’s answer to Derrick May.
Actually, can I have another one, it would be monumentally wrong not to include this….
Ron Trent – Altered states EP (The Remixes) (1992)
Not much to be said about this EP that has not already been really, both the Terrace mix and the original are worthy of classic status and one can argue till the cows come home as to which one is best, so I’m going to leave that up to you to decide as I love them both equally.