Back in 2018, two mysterious twelve-inch singles appeared in underground record sthops. Credited to Blotter Trax, a previously unknown outfit who cherished “faceless” anonymity, the pleasingly twisted and mind-altering music on show was a mutant form of electronic psychedelia. The included tracks were variously informed by analogue techno, acid, electro and minimal, but inhabited their own clandestine sonic space. These tracks were, we later discovered, lightly edited “straight to tape” jams, crafted on the fly by their creators in one of Berlin’s most admired studios.
By the time Blotter Trax delivered their follow-up on Clone offshoot Frustrated Funk a year later, the secret was out: the project was in fact a collaboration between two storied artists, techno titan Magda – a DJ/producer who should need little introduction – and serial underground aggravator (and man of many aliases) Jay Ahern, sometime Hauntologists member and acid techno royalty thanks to years spent releasing similarly shadowy EPs as T.B Arthur.
In the years that followed, and before the COVID-19 pandemic grounded them in Berlin, the pair took their incendiary, modular-driven live show to esteemed clubland institutions (Fabric included), on an acclaimed tour of Japan, and onto the stages of festivals across Europe.
Four years on from that appearance on Frustrated Funk, Blotter Trax are back in updated and expanded form. Now a trio thanks to the addition of bassist Hannes Strobl, the band is set to release their far-sighted, funk-fuelled debut album, Super Conductor – a pulsating, thrill-in-minute ride includes contributions from a swathe of notable guests (Nina Hynes, Ilhem Khodja and David Moss provided vocals, Shigeru Tanabu played guitar, Matthew Styles mixed the set and old friend John Tejada mastered it).
While rooted in electro and acid, the album is impressively low-slung, stylish and funky, with nods towards Blotter Trax’s mutual love of Arthur Russell, early ‘80s NYC downtown disco, leftfield new-wave pop and flash-fried punk-funk. Released by JD Twitch’s Optimo Music imprint, it charts the ongoing dancefloor evolution of a band whose days of mystery and mischief are now a distant memory.