Terrence Dixon: Train of Thought

Train of Thought is not only significant for being the latest album by Detroit legend Terrence Dixon but for being Yore's premiere full-length release. Dixon, of course, is well-known for his Population 1 releases on Juan Atkins' Metroplex imprint as well as for deep material issued under his given name on Tresor (From the Far Future) and Utensil (Live in Detroit ). Other career highlights include co-producing Atkins' Skynet album (under the Infiniti alias) and Dixon's recent standout, Minimalism III, on Background Records.

Dixon's uncompromising sound is heard in full effect on Train of Thought. The album's tracks range from ‘80s-sounding Cybotron-like excursions to raw, stripped-down techno and warm, chord-driven house. The double-vinyl set includes rapturous settings of synthetic sound (“Intro”) and swinging cuts whose burbling keys, pounding kick drums, and brisk hi-hats evoke the brilliant sheen of Detroit techno (“Twilight,” “Splender”). The striking “Links” showcases Dixon's most artistically innovative side by pairing a locomotive tech-house pulse with complex vibraphone patterns that may remind listeners of Steve Reich's music; it's no exaggeration to state that nothing like “Links” has ever been heard in dance circles before. In “Ivory Coast,” Dixon weds a relaxed, midtempo groove with dreamy chords and evocative melodies to suggest the onset of twilight at a remote African outpost. Throughout Train of Thought, his conceptual reach elevates his music to a highly personalized realm where dance rhythms seamlessly blend with inspired compositional ideas. Though his music may invite comparison to Drexicya and Atkins, Dixon's music—often imitated but never duplicated—ultimately stands alone.

September 2007