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Smoke Machine

Baby Ford & Benno Blome

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Album Review

Of all the crazed producers from the heyday of England's acid house mania, Peter Ford has remained the most relevant by reinventing himself as a master of deep minimal techno passages. His 1996 album Headphoneasyrider pointed the way for the current wave of German minimal funksters such as Thomas Brinkmann and Steve Bug while Sacred Machine continues on this dark voyage. But what makes Ford's music stand out from the current crop is the fact that his acid umbilical cord remains uncut. Within these land-mapping techno movements, you will still find traces of the rambunctious acid days of "Chikki Chikki Ahh Ahh/Fordtrax," be it the shimmering 16th-note hi-hats on "Bad Friday" or the carnival-esqe acid bleeps that drift in and out of "Tea Party." No matter how po'faced these tracks may seem on the surface, you can tell that the dilated spirit of raving excess still lingers in the back of Ford's mind. The gapping space between the bubbling beats of "Word for Word" is eventually filled with the archetypical galactic siren speaking, "Time waits for no man." It would be an awful cliché at the hands of anyone other than one of the originator of techno's mystical acid experiences. Even if Ford chooses to exist in the realm of techno chin-strokers, as he does with the Rhythm & Sound-referencing dub beat of "The Healing," he still places a divine female vocal deep in the mix to remind you that even the most serious of techno exploration can still be uplifting spiritually if not chemically.


Born: Bolton, Lancashire, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Peter Ford is one of the most recognizable names in current dancefloor techno and was one of the founders of the U.K. acid house scene. He's released records under a slew of pseudonyms, including Casino Classix, El Mal, Solcyc, Simprini Risin', and his most frequent, Baby Ford. His early work — heavily influenced by the late-'80s acid house sound, as well as Chicago producers such as Marshall Jefferson, Ron Trent, Armando, and Larry Heard — appeared primarily through the Rhythm King label,...
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Smoke Machine, Baby Ford
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