DJ Stingray Kern Vol. 4 Tresor

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In recent years Sherard Ingram, aka DJ Stingray, has become increasingly focused on a particular strain of robo electro-funk that scales the walls with a palpable sense of dread. The Detroit artist’s ski mask-clad persona helps fuel an aesthetic of militant energy, while his role as the tour DJ for the mythology-weaving techno innovators Drexciya during their later days has enriched his name with a sense of mystique.

Stingray has been an unwavering figure on the Detroit scene for three decades now, first collaborating with Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir, Carl Craig and Kenny Dixon Jr. (aka Moodymann) as Urban Tribe in the 90s, before going to work with Drexciya.

Now based in Berlin, it’s both fitting that Stingray has contributed to the Kern mix series, which is curated the city’s Tresor club, and that he kicks it off with a sci-fi bleep-strewn track from Dopplereffekt, the project of former Drexciya member Gerald Donald. Dopplereffekt – whose music has been inspired by a mythological deep sea Afrofuturist world of water-breathing spawn descended from drowned slaves – appear five times throughout the 27-track blend, with the Kraftwerk-referencing Aquabahn being a welcome highlight. Appealingly, there’s also the inclusion of previously unreleased track Nationalised, taken from Stingray’s NRSB-11 collaboration with Gerald Donald. Elsewhere, Kern Vol. 4 mines a chromatic-rich, era-spanning selection of electro-centred classics, newbies and deep cuts that move through Silent Servant, Herva, Alex Cortex and Anna Meredith to Aphex Twin (as AFX).

Anyone lucky enough to have experienced a DJ Stingray set will be aware of his unrelenting, jackhammer style of mixing that’s arguably at odds with the pointedly artistic tendencies of deconstructed club fare. There’s just something about the melodic bombast of high-speed electro that makes it impossible not to dance with teeth-baring glee, and Stingray is the robotic pied piper owning the circuit.

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