Abe Duque. The surname is pronounced â€œDu-keyâ€. He jokingly describes himself as one of the “few producers still licensed to use the 303â€. But with a career that started in the now infamous days of New York’s notorious Limelight, Abe Duque has been at the head of the acid house and underground techno table since his earliest releases way back in 1993.
And so LIVE â€¦ AND ON ACID is his career-spanning retrospective in reverse – starting with Abeâ€™s killer live set of today and ending with the classic acid and old-school house with which he DJed at his first performances. It started in 1993, with Abeâ€™s night at the Limelight, Abuse Industries.
His earliest releases were influenced by the madness of the Limelight’s club-kid audience.
From muscular and melodic techno to crazed cocktail jazz and cockeyed ambient interludes, his early tracks on his own labels Tension and Hollis Haus, releases under pseudonyms like Kirilan, Super
Secret Symphony, and releases on others’ labels like Disko B, Rapture!, Morbid, and Tresor, Abe was a figurehead of a particular period of clubbing history – â€œa great time,â€ he says, â€œfor musical experimentationâ€.
Back then, each month bought radical new types of music kit â€“ a lot of which Abe still maintains in his underground studio “the Cave” – plus great new track after great new track.
The music that has now become classic house, acid, and techno.
Those were also the first days of Abeâ€™s live performance, including performing as the ringleader of live techno “chillout supergroup,” the Rancho Relaxo Allstars – a weekly freeform live jam that included now famous techno producers like Duque himself, John Selway and Deitrich Shoenemann.
Abuse Industries itself, meanwhile, was Abe’s collaboration with the artist Andy Orel, a club night so strikingly visual that its artwork was exhibited in European museums, given page after page in Germany’s Raveline magazine, and used in shows by Helmut Lang.
It couldnâ€™t last, though. After NY Mayor Rudolph Guiliani decided to ruin his cityâ€™s nightlife by getting the freaks off the streets and getting the cops to shut down the Limelight, Abe Duque turned away from high-fashion gloss to become a man of mystery, releasing his next set of tracks as anonymous 12â€s stamped only with a catalogue number and etched on one side with oblique, hand-drawn messages from Duque himself.
A number of these appear on the compilation.
Despite the secrecy, that second stage of Duque’s performing life created a monster of success â€“ a run of increasingly massive 12″ hits: Champagne Days, Cocaine Nights; Acid, Disco Nights, and his monster smash with Blake Baxter, “What Happened?”, the track that launched Duque and Baxter out of the underground and into the spotlight.
It sold 25,000 copies on vinyl alone, earning Duque a string of huge mainstream remixes like the Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys, Miss Kittin, as well as underground acts like Remute, Chloe, Savas Pascalidis, Knart IV, Daniel Meteo and DJ Hell, with Duque becoming a regular on Hell’s Gigolos label.
Duque’s first album under his own name, “So Underground It Hurts, then provided a launchpad for his return to wild live performances â€“ a whiskey bottle in one hand and the other tweaking a 303, a drum machine, PCs, keyboards and a microphone.
CD1 â€œLIVEâ€ on the compilation recreates that half-crazed live show. CD2, meanwhile, â€œâ€¦ AND ON ACIDâ€ wraps up the Limelight acid-house classics â€“ returning Abeâ€™s musical journey right back to its beginning.
The compilation includes three entirely new tracks, plus Abe Duqueâ€™s originals and remixes reworked – roughed up so heavily, in fact, that this might as well be a new artist album.
And alongside the live performance thereâ€™s classics like Fingers, Inc â€˜Distant Planetâ€™, BamBam â€˜Give It To Meâ€™, Underground Solution â€˜Luv Dancinâ€™,
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