LIQUID SON - "Garden of Eden" LP

LIQUID SON - "Garden of Eden" LP

Cold Blow
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Liquid Son - Garden of Eden LP (Cold Blow, 2021)

"Back in 2019, Cold Blow dipped into the bulging archives of long-serving British producer Jason Adkins, offering up an expansive collection of music released in 1993 and ’94 as Electro Music Union, Sinoesin and Xonox. Two years on, Cold Blow has joined forces with fellow archival electronic music specialists Musique Pour La Danse to showcase works from Adkins’ first successful project, the turn-of-the-90s UK techno trio Liquid Son.

Adkins formed the outfit with school friend Neil Chisolm and ‘executive producer’ Sean Smith at the tail end of the ‘90s, after spending his teenage years making electro and synth-pop in his bedroom. With the assistance of fellow Bedford producer Tony Boninsegna (a one-man dancefloor hit-factory then enjoying success with singles on Chill), Liquid Son released two singles on Luton-based imprint Bizarre in 1991 and ’92 respectively.

Adkins, Chisholm, Smith and Boninsegna shared many musical inspirations, most notably Detroit techno, jacking Chicago house, EBM, the industrial funk of Cabaret Voltaire and the pioneering bleep sounds of Warp Records’ earliest releases. As a result, the tracks they made brilliantly blurred the boundaries between contemporaneous electronic music styles while also adding layers of technical polish so often missing from British club tracks of the period.

Garden of Eden, the first retrospective of the outfit’s work, gathers together remastered versions of Liquid Son’s released output, alongside Adkins’ original 1985 electro style demo of their most celebrated track, ‘Tone Float’.

The completed, released version of ‘Tone Float’ remains an overlooked UK classic – a gorgeous mixture of squelchy acid bass, sharp TB-303 lines, ethereal chords and whispered spoken word snippets – while the accompanying remix, which is also featured on Garden of Eden, brilliantly re-imagines the cut as a funk-fuelled, deep electro beast.

Elsewhere on the compilation, Liquid Son’s commitment to an atmospheric, E’d aesthetic comes to the fore. ‘Rainfall (Garden of Eden Part 1)’ sits somewhere between glacial deep house, sci-fi techno and futuristic underground dance-pop, with the track’s sturdy dancefloor weight countered by a carefully crafted selection of rush-inducing chords, melodies and musical motifs.

‘Big Decision’, the weightiest and most raw-sounding cut in Liquid Son’s catalogue, harnesses the dub-fuelled heaviness of Yorkshire bleep and cloaks it in waves of druggy acid lines, while ‘Freedom We Feel’ brilliantly joins the dots between European EBM (check the Nitzer Ebb/Stephen Mallinder style vocals and surging electronic bassline) and the strobe-lit rush of early UK techno. Like the rest of Garden of Eden, it still sounds years ahead of its time.

Garden of Eden was restored and remastered by Thomas P. Heckmann at Trope Mastering. Album layout and design by Britt Brown (Not Not Fun Records)." - Matt Anniss