Seattle's techno scene has added yet another potent weapon to its arsenal with From 0-1. Led by Midwestern transplants Justin Pennell (aka Milkplant) and Brian Sonnleitner (aka Sone), this label/studio/concept intends to "[explore] the space that exists between the archetypal zero and one," according to a manifesto on their website.
More about that idea later. In practical sonic terms, From 0-1 aims to be a repository for hard, heady techno barreling out of the studios of Seattle's deep talent pool. The new compilation The Black White Vol. 01 offers 12 specimens of mind-expanding, 4/4 excursions that explore dance music's more rugged realms. Sone and Milkplant's excellent contributions rub chafed elbows with brainy bangers by Jerry Abstract, Aaron Nesbit, Kris Moon, m.0., Electrosect, Ryan Bird, Justin Byrnes, and Kynd. Realize that this is merely the tip of the iceberg and marvel at our city's plentitude of high-caliber electronic-music producers.
Both Pennell and Sonnleitner grew up in Wisconsin and agree that they were "heavily influenced by our punk-rock backgrounds, Drop Bass Network, and the general shittiness of the Milwaukee winter." Both had their "eureka" moments in 1999: Pennell via Richie Hawtin's Plastikman recordings ("It was truly alien—the weirdest shit I'd ever heard"), Sonnleitner through the Even Further Festival, where Drop Bass and Chris Liberator blew his mind. Pennell moved to Seattle in 2004, Sonnleitner a year later, after he attended the Decibel Festival, fell in love with the city, and decided he needed to join this techno-hotbed orgy.
From 0-1 had been germinating in Pennell's mind for much of the last decade. "[It just] needed the right ingredients to manifest," he states. "Seattle currently has the right ingredients... mad fuckin' talent. It just needs focus." As for The Black White disc, it seems like Pennell and Sonnleitner are going for a tough, danceable style that also favors heady, disorienting sound design.
"We wanted it to build and break like a DJ set," Pennell observes. "We are into the hard, disorienting sound, to an extent. Sparse, big, epic sound design is a lot of fun. And people take their clothes off to it...."
From 0-1's members combine that hedonistic spirit with a philosophical grounding. "Many ancient traditions identify the concept of a dualistic nature of our reality," they note. "The digital one and zero is a modern representation of this archetypical theme. Exploration (via musical/mystical means) of the 'space between' is the intended, active disillusionment of this duality, revealing that they are in fact one and the same, inseparably connected, a higher reality." It makes more sense if you ponder it while dancing....
Pennell and Sonnleitner are already planning From 0-1's second comp and accepting demos. Show 'em whatcha got.