Forget farewell press releases and goodbye tours. Veteran Detroit techno DJ/producer Terrence Dixon has announced his retirement from music via a one-sentence post on his Facebook. “I’m retired after 20 years of making music. Thank you.” Dixon, who was aligned with fellow Motor City artist Juan Atkins, was known globally for his deep, minimal style via releases on Metroplex. His production career started in 1994, producing his Live From Detroit EP for Utensil Records. He went on to record for Tresor, Background and Rush Hour, staying away from the spotlight while producing music as he wished. An underground artist goes out on his own terms. There’s something almost poetic in that.
Welcome to the newest transmission from the 25th century. With Part One light years ahead of its millennium release, Terrence Dixon tentatively re-enters the system, sounding awestruck with a fluidity where feet barely touch the ground. The sublime, remote hum encasing “Dark City of Hope” leads the charismatic networks of fractals unlimited and sonic equations, careful not to splash too much in the brooks of bass while technical precision rules.
FTFF2 flouts any tag of withdrawn, milder-than-most techno. Dixon can get ruffled – see the chopper bladed “My Journey Here”, again upholding that near yet far continuum of sound. “Path to Mystery” is curter, self-explanatory storytelling, “The Switch” loops into a coming and going muddle, and the Motor City operative scatters seeds of doubt with trickles of synth mischief and pendulous filters. More tellingly or less obviously, it does sound as if a fierce techno album is being held back, the gliding pace suggesting a truant in a former life, a rebooted bad boy wanting to go straight who can’t quite kick the habit.
“The Auto Factory,” another self-describing automator, is the album’s most metallic assault, rotating as an industrial-sized fan. “Lead by Example” adds steel and industry to the calmly constructed, while “Navigate” is the rogue’s last stand. Techno that doesn’t side with either being passive or aggressive – and therein lies the enigma. File under: Population One, Steve Rachmad, Juan Atkins