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Basic Channel has become synonymous with a brand of stripped-down, ultra-minimal techno almost devoid of musical substance or intent. Both artist and label, Basic Channel was established by Berlin-based producers Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald (aka Maurizio) in 1993, and the pair have unhurriedly developed a slim but adored catalog of releases under such names as Cyrus, Phylyps, q1.1, Quadrant, Octagon, and Radiance -- working a single-minded concept of nearly featureless machine music ("nearly," of course, being the key to the music's success). Like many German techno artists and labels (Tresor, Studio 1, Mike Ink), Basic Channel harbors a reverence for early Chicago acid and house and first-wave Detroit techno, the latter of which in particular is manifested in Mark and Moritz's ultraconservatism with respect to rhythm and composition. Releasing under a dozen 12"s since their inception (a few of them, however, nearing album length), Basic Channel issued their first CD release in 1996 (the group otherwise remain staunch vinyl addicts -- they even assembled their own pressing facility) in 1996. Titled simply Basic Channel, the disc was a continuously mixed taster of their 12" releases, which continue to trickle out at a rate of only a few per year. Basic Channel is one in a network of artists and labels also including Thomas Koner/Porter Ricks, the Chain Reaction label (more avant-experimental techno), M (Moritz's personal label and home to his Maurizio releases), the Main Street label (pop house), and Imbalance (a CD-only experimental music label). ~ Sean Cooper
1993 in Berlin, Germany