Carl Craig Bio
Carl Craig rose to prominence on Derrick May's Transmat Records imprint, releasing material under names like Psyche (famed for the pre-trance "Crackdown" epic) and BFC (notably "Static Friendly"). Originally he had been inspired by Kraftwerk and early Human League, but after supporting May as a component of Rhythim Is Rhythim his tastes broadened, taking a more ethno-centric view of his surroundings. Following recording sessions for "Strings Of Life '89" with May he set up his own label, Planet E, before a six-month sabbatical to England in 1990 (during which time Fragile released "Galaxy").
Increasingly welcomed across two
continents as a prime mover in the Detroit techno sound, Craig
has issued a plethora of subsequent material. Most notable among
these are his collaboration with Maurizio ("Mind") and
his work as Paperclip People ("Remake Uno"), which
were licensed from Planet E to the Ministry Of Sound's Open
label in the UK.
He released his debut long-player (on Blanco y Negro) in 1995, but the follow-up More Songs About Food And Revolutionary Art offered more compelling evidence of Craig's superb melodic talent. Craig has subsequently recorded as Innerzone Orchestra. As Psyche, Craig released his first single, Elements (Transmat, 1989), and the seminal Crackdown (Transmat, 1989), later collected with other early tracks on Elements 1989-1990 (Planet E, 1996). Neurotic Behavior shows his musical debt to May, Chicken Noodle Soup sounds like future 69 singles, Please Stand By predates Bug in the Bassbin. As 69, he released the EPs Four Jazz Funk Classics (1991) and Sound on Sound (R&S, 1996), that contain experimental techno tracks such as If Mojo Was AM, Jam the Box, My Machines and Microlovr.
His most ambitious project, Innerzone Orchestra, was originally only a nickname to release the highly influential single Bug In The Bassbin (Mo Wax, 1995), but was revived in 2000 for the album Programmed (Planet E, 1999). This time Craig is truly conducting an orchestra, that includes seasoned programmers such as Richie Hawtin (Plastikman) and veteran jazz players such as Paul Randolph on bass, Craig Taborn on piano and jazz drummer Francisco Mora. Despite the collaborators, the cubist fusion of Eruption and Basic Math is quintessential Craig art. The album includes old-time favorites Galaxy, At Les, Manufactured Memories and Bug In The Bassbin.
Carl Craig finally recorded under his own name the album Landcruising (Planet E, 1995), and the effect was to distance himself from the dance floor. The clattering Mind Of A Machine and Einbahn are basically tributes to his two biggest influences: Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. The romantic and almost ambient A Wonderful Life and One Day Soon are equally indebted to another strong influence: Ennio Morricone's soundtracks. And for Landcruising and Science Fiction Craig turns to his third main influence: 1970s orchestral disco music. Such a fundamentally retro` album is crowned by Home Entertainment, a futuristic concerto for electrical objects. The fusion of past and future that has always been Craig's ideology achieves here its grandest statement.
The follow-up, More Songs About Food And Revolutionary Art (Planet E, 1997), indulges in this stately romantic techno (or "techno soul", as he likes to call it). From the intense Es.30" to the delicate Dreamland, from the robotic Butterfly to the hymn-like At Les. Movie soundtracks are still a major influence (the haunting ambience of Red Lights and Goodbye World), but the album is obviously trying to unify jazz and techno. The same kind of fusion is at the core of the vocal tracks (Attitude).