Rephlex @ The Boat Race, Cambridge
(14th November 2003)

As Cylob slaps it onto the decks, the spiral groove uncurls from the 12's horizontal face upwards in a corkscrew of sound, a gyrating flow of gabba beats and mutant electro that whirls around the Boat Race, breaking tunes into fragments like Dorothy's shack in the twister. And talking of Dorothy, you wouldn't be surprised to hear Toto in this mix. Or Wizzard. Rephlex have been taking the piss, sticking the beat in, and ripping the guts out of their samplers in the name of electrotainment for years, only now it seems like maybe a bigger audience is coming round to their way of thinking.

The first person I see on the way in is Pete. We used to do community radio together years ago and he was playing the early Rephlex records back then, evangelising and hectoring and pushing them onto anyone who stood still long enough in the studio. He hasn't changed. In the lulls between aural bombs from Bogdan Raczynski and Astrobotnia's semi-automatic breaks, he bellows into my ear a list of "fucking essential" records I've never heard of, runs through items on the Rephlex back catalogue he hasn't got (it doesn't take long) and pumps me full of how good the Venetian Snares and Mike Paradinas were in Cambridge recently.

Pete hasn't changed. And neither have Rephlex. They might've evolved, they might've got bigger and better at what they do, they might've taken on a whole load of new artists (or old artists with new names) and they might've been elevated into the outer consciousness of your mate who only buys the Kiss-endorsed compilations he sees on the telly, but they haven't changed the essential core of what they do. And what's that? Whatever the hell they want. Electronically. Loudly. Quietly. Or both.

That's Rephlex: you don't know what you're going to get and you know exactly what you're going to get.


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