Posts Tagged ‘Acheron’

UK electronic quartet CODE earned their stripes in the electronic scene of the early 1990s and were championed by the likes of John Peel, John Digweed and Kiss FM presenters Colin Dale and Colin Faver. Their debut album, The Architect, was issued on the Third Mind label in 1995 just as that company folded, but has often been cited as a cult classic. Its follow-up, Ghost Ship, finally arrived in late 2020 after a 25 year journey and was enthusiastically received by critics and fans.

Like that album, Continuum has been assembled by remodelling material from archived studio sessions and sounds like it could have been made yesterday. Emotionally engaging and exquisitely produced, it is timeless music that, although carrying traces of influences such as Kraftwerk, The Blue Nile, Talk Talk, David Sylvian and Depeche Mode, also has a romantic techno intensity all of its own.

‘Acheron’ is the second single to be teased ahead of the album. An instrumental, it sits in contrast to its predecessor, ‘Pleasure’, which was a slinky slice of pop existentialism. Acheron is known in Greek mythology as the ‘river of lost souls’, although sci-fi fans are likely to be more familiar with ‘Acheron LV-426’, one of three moons orbiting the gas giant Calpamos. It was here that a crew member of the USCSS Nostromo first discovered the eggs of a species of alien that would go on to spawn a highly successful movie franchise.

CODE had embraced the tactile nature of analogue tech from the outset and often jammed ideas as their DAT machine recorded, with each band member presiding intently over one or more pieces of kit, including their pre-MIDI SH101 and Korg PolySix synths, slightly newer Roland drum pads, guitar, 16 channel mixing desk and cassette deck. One of these sessions saw them focus on a version of an existing piece entitled ‘Atlantic’, with the resulting new track being entitled ‘Acheron’.

The band explain that “the challenge was to retain the warmth and idiosyncrasies of the original recording whilst subtly enhancing definition and clarity. This primarily involved reshaping the original nine minute jam into a more concise form whilst enhancing key elements to create a more dynamic soundscape.”
‘Acheron’ appears on the CD and digital formats of Continuum, with the 2xLP release featuring a remixed/remastered version of ‘Atlantic’, which had been included on their debut album.

Watch the video here:

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