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The Essential… Jeff Mills

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  • The techno godhead guides us through the highlights of his peerless back catalogue.
  • published
    4 Nov 2011
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    Jeff Mills
    The Essential...
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(AXIS 12″, 1995)


An EP of wall-to-wall bangers, created using little more tough 909 drums and sampled disco juice: the Latin-swung ‘Reverting’ rages elegantly short of tribal delirium, the electroid loops of ‘In The Bush’ and ‘Casa’ launched a million imitations from lesser producers, and the tunnelistic title track is a one-way ticket to the sweetest dancefloor oblivion. It’s no exaggeration to call The Purpose Maker, which gave its name one of the four or five greatest club techno 12″s of all time. It also gave rise to Mills’ label of the same name.

JM: “The initial Purpose Maker tracks were originally designed only for me to play. Around 1994, I had started making a collection of tracks that only I would have in my DJ sets. I needed to have reasonably simple tracks that would allow me to layer three or four of them at the same time to give the illusion that only one track is playing. Tracks that were easy to play and had various key frequencies so that I could reshape the impression with a EQ in real time.

“They were designed to be as DJ tools. Not conventional songs. After playing them out and realizing how effective they were, I changed my strategy and decided to release one 12″ vinyl EP to see how DJs used it. The first indication was…OK. Not great, but OK. This was at a time when strong tribal techno was the trend and DJs were looking for instant power, so these Purpose Maker tracks were kindly considered, but not at the thrust of that current trend. It wasn’t until really until the fifth or sixth release that people began to notice the sound and label.”



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