Alexander Shulgin passed away today. He brought MDMA to the masses. I honestly think “E” is quite a different drug than any of the others. I think it really does help people.
“Born in California, he is credited with discovering and synthesising over 200 psychoactive drug compounds for psychedelic evaluation alongside his wife. Among these was MDMA, which is believed to have been originally synthesised by German pharmaceutical company Merck in 1912. Shulgin famously rediscovered the drug and was instrumental in bringing it to the attention of the wider world. Without him, dance music culture would be very different today.” – mixmag
For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shulgin
In 1994 I performed my first live show in Europe at a huge event called “Hellraiser Immorality”. It took place in Amsterdam and there was well over 30,000 people going crazy. I was with John Selway and we were performing under the name Disintegrator. I remember being pretty shocked how large the event was. I remember there was an ecstacy testing booth (to make sure your pills were “safe”) and a place to get your head shaved! As far as my memory serves me Robert Hood was also playing that night and several people from the classic techno label R&S. I remember Hood had some issues because he didn’t play hard enough for the Dutch crowd. I remember R&S because of certain things I saw backstage (I was innocent back then!).
There was a Dutch act called Haarlem Hardcore Source also performing that night. It turned out they were fans of our music and I noticed a strange red box in their live set up. When I asked what it was they told me, “A home brew TB-303!”. Then to my amazement they offered it to me… for free! You simply don’t turn down offers like that. It didn’t have the interesting sequencer of a real 303 but the basic sound was extremely close. With careful Midi programming (back then on Atari Cubase) you could fake the slides and accents that made the 303 so wicked.
I stayed friends with the HHS crew for some years. I went out to Haarlem and recorded a 12″ with them called “Future Fuckers United“. The title made sense back then for some reason. HHS doesn’t exist anymore but one of the group members William Jordens is a well known DJ in Holland known under the name The Rapist! William also works with Multigroove which throws huge events and has his own event business called Your Dance Company. He books me several times a year. How’s that for a friend? The red clone now lives with a friend of mine in NY who records under the name 8-bit. Over the years I also owned two real TB-303s but they were stolen in the 90s. These days when I am looking for the acid sound I open Audiorealism’s Bassline 2. Using the software let’s me have as many 303s as I like. I challenge you to be able to pick a real one vs the software especially inside a mix.