There’s a school of thought that Carl Craig, like another mid 90s techno doyen with a similar geographical leaning, has lost the underground kudos that followed him round for the first fifteen years of his career. 2011 may have been the year that his record label Planet E imprint celebrated Twenty years of releases, but certain Detroit aficionados turned off after his cerebral version of Theo Parrish’s ‘Falling Up’ dropped.
Personally, I think that was arguably his most fertile period, with his remixes and productions hitting a stride where they shone from beyond the underground and gave his arpeggio heavy Detroit sound a more mainstream appeal. Check his remix Tony Allen’s ‘Kilode’ for unerring proof, up there with the best of his output from Paperclip People and Innerzone Orchestra era.
This Boiler Room set is similar in scope to that era of C2, and it’s pretty fucking special to my ears and eyes. There’s a great deal of debate about how much of the equipment assembled for the show he actually used and whether he ‘gives up’ playing live midway through the set. But there’s some genuine moments of spine tingling genius; check the way the Curtis Mayfield sampling ‘Ladies and Gentleman’ by alias 69 ripples through on the half hour mark.
Also worth noting the front row dancers who sometimes come off as a Vice Mag parody too. Click the image at the top to see more, and also check this rather good video from Ibiza dons We Love… Space with Carl and Paul Woolford waxing lyrical about Planet E.