The name Traversable Wormhole first appeared on the scene in the spring of 2009, stamped onto an anonymous series of white label techno 12″s. These dark tracks designed for the dancefloor were quickly picked up by big time techno DJs, thanks in part to the obscurity of their source.
By 2010, following a conversation with Chris Liebing at Berghain (the club was the inspiration behind Traversable Wormhole’s music), the mysterious moniker was revealed to be none other than that of Brooklyn-born techno veteran and vocal industrial proponent, Adam Mitchell aka Adam X.
A series of remix 12″s were subsequently issued on the CLR label (as opposed to Adam X’s own Sonic Groove label), with contributions from heavyweights like Surgeon, Terence Fixmer and Marcel Dettmann. Along with this, the first five volumes of Traversable Wormhole 12″s were released as a full length mixed compilation in 2010, leaving an indelible mark on the techno scene – one laden with dark, sci-fi brilliance.
This month will see CLR putting out Traversable Wormhole’s last five 12″ releases, from Vol. 6-10 (originally issued between 2010 and 2012). Like Vol. 1-5, the collection will consist of 10 tracks mixed by Adam X himself, one of which is ‘Negative Energy Density’ – reminiscent of the lovely tripped out affair that was Superluminal from Vol. 3, but with a whole lot more reverb and metallic-sounding elements.
‘Four Dimensional Manifold’ starts off sounding like a right stomper, then segues into a welcome steady hammer-strike, akin to what you might hear in Kutiman’s “industrial” music experiment for the Craftsman line of tools (made solely with actual tools). Rolling, warping bass and space sounds complete the subtle build of momentum on this unconventional third track. The gothic synths on the offbeat, syncopated opening track that is ‘Centauri Dreams’ on the other hand, could definitely run as an alternative soundtrack over the tech-noir backdrop of Blade Runner.
‘Subliminal Warp Drive’ is a relentless driving groove, punctuated by industrial stabs and sound effects that make you think assembly lines rather than world lines, all overlaid with plenty of white noise and reverb. Speaking of which, track 6 is one to get lost in as it takes you through four dimensional spacetime with its deep, dark, 4/4 vastness. Just add a darkened club floor and a blue light tunnel.
Traversable wormholes (as the name implies) link distant points in space that would normally take years, decades, or centuries to cross. Just by reinventing himself, and bringing forth the kind of music he wanted to hear in his favourite club – a stripped down, sci-fi-industrial sound that crosses genres – Adam X got the scene to sit up and take notice, rising up not from obscurity but with it. And true to his alias, he did it all within a short space of time, in (inter)stellar fashion.
Traversable Wormhole Vol. 6-10 comes out on April 19.
01. Centauri Dreams
02. Negative Energy Density
03. Four Dimensional Manifold
04. Present Hypersurface
05. Subliminal Warp Drive
07. Universal Time
09. The Wormhole Nexus
10. Paradoxical Consequences