Ignacio – Sidra / Sikora [Music Man] (1999)
Ignacio - Sidra
Ignacio - Sikora
This kind of style made me fall in love with techno. Steve was the first DJ I ever saw playing techno. It was exactly this kind of hypnotic groove that sucked me into the genre. Ignacio was my favourite alias of Steve for a long time. I selected both ‘Sidra’ & ‘Sikora’ as they sound so alike (possibly from the same recording session?) even though they are on different records. These are the kind of track I like to keep in the mix for as long as possible. I never get tired of these grooves.
A Scorpion’s Dream – Aqua Dance [Fragile] (1993)
Fragile was ‘only’ a sublabel of Transmat, but it probably spawned at least as many classics as its parent label, so I can only imagine what an honour it must have been for Steve to release a record on it for Derrick May. His record fits perfectly on the label in the company of eternal techno classics like Garnier’s ‘Acid Eiffel’, Brikha’s ‘Groove La’ Chord’ or Denham’s ‘In Synch’ (the list is endless). This record came out in a time where everything was called techno, even while some would classify this under trance because of its specific synth use. The driving tom-rhythm and hi hat work gives it an unmistakable techno feel though. Best of both worlds! Probably one of Steve’s biggest classics.
Steve Rachmad – Tir Na Nog [Rotation] (2000)
This track was everywhere when it came out. This was probably one of his biggest dancefloor successes (next to Ignacio’s ‘Virton’?). I absolutely adore the clap programming here, signature Rachmad. Still madness on the floor, everywhere I play this.
Sterac – Sinosphere [Sino] (2001)
I still remember picking this up in the recordshop when it came out. It’s still my favourite tune by Steve ever (if I had to choose). The signature tom-work and off time claps create a perfect swinging groove. Add the lush melody and you just have a magic masterpiece. The build-up is so calculated, so well executed. It’s again a perfect marriage between a driving techno groove and a more trancy and musical song approach. Steve is not just a producer, he is a real musician. Tracks like these are perfect proof of that.
Sterac – Alastria [100% Pure] (1998)
There is my favourite album by Steve. A masterpiece from start to finish, this could have easily been on Planet E. So many classic tracks on here, but this always was and is my go-to track. Still playing it regularly today.
Sterac – One With Hats [Tresor] (2000)
Hood v2. When you look at the M-Plant catalogue you see only Hood records. There is of course that one Patrick Pulsinger record & the Memory Foundation one and more recently a Broom 12”, but apart from that, 97% of the catalogue is Robert Hood himself. I thought it spoke volumes that Steve was one of the only artists that got the honour of doing a record on M-Plant, as to me Steve is the only one to this day (still) that can do what Hood does and take it even one step further. The record on M-Plant (Skreel-Ah) easily could have been in this list too, but when it comes to Hood-styled tracks, the Tresor release stands out more to me. Essential.
Sterac Electronics – Legacy Of A Lost World [Interpersonal] (2002)
I was never a big electro fan and in all honesty I slept on Steve’s Sterac Electronics alias for a long time, but this is one that got to me. I never played it out, but this track is so perfect in every way. It doesn’t get more timeless than this.
Parallel 9 – Vestras [Music Man] (2005)
Parallel 9 was Steve’s more dubby, atmospheric alter ego. I never really played these out a lot, as back in the day I was more into the ‘punishing’ Scorp style, but I used to listen to these at home regularly. This is probably not the most ‘classic’ Parallel 9 tune but it’s easily the best in my book.
Scorp - New Energy [Scorp] (2000)
The most famous tune of the Scorp catalogue. This track absolutely haunted me. It took me a long time to even know what the title or artist was. Then I couldn’t find it anywhere while everyone around me was playing it. Because of that, I still (to this day) buy it everywhere I see it, if it has a reasonable price. It was a big anthem at the Kozzmozz parties I visited as a kid, before I came a resident dj there years later. A lot of memories attached to this one.
Scorp - Repaired [Scorp] (2003)
It’s funny, when I listen to this track now, it just screams ‘Berghain’: the whole space that’s being created, the patience in the build-up, the reverb, this deep driving energy. Of course there was no Berghain back then, but it was always a big warehouse anthem to me. I think it’s amazing how music goes in cycles and how this track is still relevant nowadays. I expect this to be relevant forever though.
Scorp - Energetix [Scorp] (2000)
I still play this every set. Why? The title says it all. It’s so easy to pull this up anywhere in your set if you want to lift the energy level. The claps, the hats, the rides, the bass boosts. This track is executed with mathematical perfection. Everything in its right place.
Scorp - Perdition [Scorp] (2000)
Hypnotism to the fullest. I remember Hood playing this a lot and it’s not hard to understand why. The bass synth, the bleeps, the way how the claps, hats & snares speak to eachother. This interaction creates the perfect tension. The arrangement is flawless.
Scorp – Malhela [Scorp] (2004)
This was the 6th and last Scorp release and definitely the most surprising one. Although both cuts are still very stripped back, there is more melody here. He had also never used offbeat rhythms before on the Scorp releases. It’s definitely one of the most interesting records of the catalogue. Steve again proved he can master any style.