Jeff Mills, Sub Nine, Wellington, March 2001
Bass culture to me, before I went overseas, had always meant reggae, roots and dubbier end of the spectrum - no surprise in New Zealand really. Even in electronic music, it had always been the intersections with dub (The Orb, Renegade Soundwave, On-U Sound) or rock music (Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, The Chemical Brothers, our own Headless Chickens even) in which I had dipped my toes. Apart from shared dabblings with flatmates into Underworld or Orbital, I was a bit of a novice in terms of house, and especially techno. This all changed in London when a new crew of chums took me to a Lost party where Jeff Mills played. It was like 20 years of missing music dropped into place that night, and it was amazing to see techno unleashed by one of its originators - this repetitive, percussive, layered, industrial form of black electronic dance music. Wow. In London we went on to see the likes Mills, Stacey Pullen, Derrick May, Rolando, Juan Atkins, Richie Hawtin, or Underground Resistance whenever we could. No looking back from then on, and techno, breaks, drum n bass, even hard house. So having Mr Mill show up in Wellington once I got back to NZ was awesome. He was astounding as usual, and the venue was packed because (long before I ever got into it) there had always been a decent crowd for techno and electronic music in Wellington, let alone a superstar like Jeff. Super night. And afterwards I didn't have to wait for the Tube to open or deal with night buses, I just got a cab home to Newtown. Sweet. I still think Mills is part alien - there’s something about the spooky way he uses the mix live, you think its all crash & bash, then slam… he reveals sublimely perfect detail and order, like he is working on some quantum level. I think hearing Jeff Mills was life changing for me, it opened my ears to a whole new spectrum of music. (Thanks, Suresh!) If you have never heard this most artistic strain of Detroit’s techno, you can't do better than this mix of Mills’, probably one of the greatest techno mixes ever released… Live at the Liquid Room, Tokyo, 1995 Millsy, Millsy, give us a wave!