3-4 Weeks
The Purple Universe


Musique Pour La Danse presents a double LP reissue of The Purple Universe, originally released in 1993 by Swiss duo Synectics (Marco Repetto and Stefan Riesen) on legendary braindance label Rephlex. Run by Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) and Grant Wilson-Claridge, this early release is one of Rephlex's best-kept secrets. The year is 1992. Electronic music is experiencing a golden age of sorts. Equipment, inspiration, people, and music are less and less tied to specific places and scenes. Repetto is driving in Bern, the car stereo locked on Radio Couleur 3. The Young Gods are being interviewed, and the pioneering Swiss industrial band mentions the word "psychedelic" enough times for the driver to take heed. Inspired by a magical performance by the same band, he decides to experiment by injecting a dose of psychedelia into his productions. The result is "The Final Moment", a 24-minute trip which began as a club track before turning into an ambient and yes, psychedelic tune, reminiscent of progressive rock forays but entirely synthetic. Repetto then meets Riesen, and the pair produce more tracks in the same vein. Some are resolutely geared towards the dance floor; others would not be out of place in a chill-out context. Demos are sent to labels with "The Final Moment" accidentally included in the package. Rephlex was enthused with all tracks on the release but was especially impressed by "The Final Moment" and released The Purple Universe soon after. This album is of course neither the first nor the only one to blend electronic music and psychedelia. However, its sincerity and candid approach are immensely touching, a reminder of the sort of naiveté and creativity prevalent in the pre-Internet era. It is ironic that a Swiss duo can be credited in part with writing the template for post-Detroit British techno, proto-IDM and braindance. But, it is not surprising either that this record was originally released by Rephlex, a very logical decision in hindsight. The Purple Universe is a versatile album, with a few club-ready bangers full of emotion, some more experimental cuts that feel both introspective and forward-thinking as well as "The Final Moment", a universe in itself and a masterpiece of sorts, an important artifact of a time where it became more and more obvious that electronic music and dance music did not have to be safe, straightforward or tame. Includes three tracks from original CD version, never available on vinyl before.