It comes as certain ideas from techno's fertile, experimental, mid-1990s period are being picked up by a range of underground musicians. Many of these ideas have permeated so deeply into the culture that it's hard to remember a time without them, but we wouldn't have Burial, to name just one of the duo's distant descendants, without Porter Ricks' seafloor crackle and mottled-granite color scale.The above quote is from Pitchfork's 8.5 Best New Reissue review of the 2012 reissue of Porter Ricks' 1996 debut, Biokinetics. The duo remained mostly inactive since their mid-late '90s period, but played a few shows recently and will play at least two more this year. At the moment, they're scheduled for the second annual Denovali Swingfest in London (with The Haxan Cloak, Thomas Koner and more), and they'll also come to NYC this week for Unsound Festival.
Porter Ricks were the duo of Thomas Köner, a sound artist and ambient composer, and Andy Mellwig, a techno producer who also recorded as Continuous Mode and, with former Monolake member and future Ableton founder Gerhard Behles, as Async Sense. Released in 1996, Biokinetics was Porter Ricks' debut album, gathering tracks from three vinyl EPs released that year along with three songs exclusive to the album. It had been years since I last listened to it, and the Type reissue surprised me first by reminding me how diverse the album is. "Chain Reaction" has long since become shorthand for a certain fusion of buoyant dub, hazy ambience, and coiled techno, but on Biokinetics, none of these has quite settled into place; it's a dynamic, unpredictable mixture of pulse and hiss.
Their show at Unsound happens on Saturday (4/5) at The Wick with a great lineup that includes Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (aka drone musician Lichens), Miles (the solo project of Miles Whittaker, who is one half of Demdike Stare who also play Unsound on Friday), Leisure Muffin, the duo of Ital & Aurora Halal, and Le Petit Garcon. Tickets for Saturday's show are still available.
You can stream Biokinetics in its entirety, along with the flyer for Saturday's show, below...
Porter Ricks - Biokinetics