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16 years on, it doesn't quite generate the same excitement as the original did,
This review is from: X - 102 Rediscovers The Rings Of Saturn (Audio CD)
The original 1992 vinyl version of "X-102 Discovers the Rings of Saturn" was a genuinely spine-tingling prospect - released by Underground Resistance at their artistic peak and made all the more mysterious with its Ron Murphy-mastered locked grooves and stylus-damaging etchings. The sound wasn't exactly what you would expect either - The Orb's "Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld" it wasn't. Instead it was a full-on rave album from the grossly overlooked Detroit hardcore period.
Initially, the prospect of this revised version of the LP promised much as well, given that it contains the first new work from the definitive UR line-up of Jeff Mills and Mike Banks since they parted ways shortly after this was released the first time around. Unfortunately this reworking doesn't generate anywhere near as much excitement as the original. What it does do is expand the 40 minute running time to around 70 minutes. A few tracks from the original album are omitted and many new tracks are added. The new tracks are far more ambient in nature than their predecessors and are very much in the style of Jeff Mills' work for his Axis and Purposemaker labels. Only one of the new pieces seems to have a strong Mad Mike influence: "The Flyby", which sounds like a funkier version of the Star Trek theme and, along with "Pan", is probably the best of the new material.
As for the originals, these are left largely untouched - "Enceladus" and "Titan" still sound mighty, but from the point of view of anyone who might be hearing "Rings of Saturn" for the first time it's disappointing that the political theme of "Discovers" has more or less been stripped away. It's also sad to note that the other former UR member Robert Hood does not get a credit on the sleeve - despite having contributed to all the original tracks. Not to mention the planetarium samples which have been left off the new version - they added a more sinister feel (and if anything else were educational!)
That said, these embellishments to this classic Detroit techno release do not detract from it - nowhere near. If your old vinyl copy has seen better days this is well worth getting your hands on; likewise if you're a Detroit techno fan but missed out on its relatively limited release the first time around. Good on Tresor for seeing fit to re-issue what was probably the label's best ever album release. However if you're new to Underground Resistance you might find the Galaxy 2 Galaxy compilation is a better place to start.