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Advent

Author: Andrez
Sunday, 1 January 1995
Over the past three years a London-based duo known as The Advent have been asserting themselves as an enigmatic deviation away from the contemporary dance music norm, while still maintaining a strong dancefloor ethic that's hard to deny let alone avoid. With other producers such as Luke Slater, Cristian Vogel, Russ Gabriel, Neil Landstrumm and Tony Childs (aka Surgeon), they've been at the forefront of the UK's more progressive techno tangents and helped to redefine that country's grasp of the sound and style of electronic dance music. Along the way The Advent have unleashed a string of singles, a remix EP and two albums that are as much inspired by the legacies of Detroit and European techno's underground flourishes as they are by the basic concepts of electro, minimalism and a strong funk ethic. All this has culminated in a global tour this year that's already taken in cities as far afield as Moscow, Munich and Tokyo and is about to include Melbourne.

As a working project The Advent is the collaborative brainstorming of (Fran)Cisco Ferreira and Colin McBean; together they produce a soundscape that's occasionally eclectic and lo-fi, that veers towards minimalism without stripping away the funk. Typically there's an undercurrent of echoing breakdowns interlinked with sweeping chord breaks and a definite tendency towards nu-skool electro.

The guys themselves have been heard to describe their music - in less words - as "Motor City Martian techno oxy-torched into a galactic bass blast electro whirlpool." After the recent release of their second album in April - titled 'A New Beginning' - does such a description still apply-

"Yeah, but forget the Motor City part," Cisco asserts, "because everyone likes to associate with Detroit, whereas everything we do has nothing to do with Detroit - we live in London, our vibe is from London . . . Detroit for me is very old techno that's very soulful; we don't do soul, we do very funky tunes."

How then would the protagonists themselves describe their music in 1997- It's Colin who answers first. "Funky for the mind, via the floor, man. First of all the groove will lick you, you know, and it might take awhile but when you get into the groove you'll realise it's strong and that you're caught in a trap. Then it'll fuck with your mind. The funk elements in our music appeal to the old and the young, the black and the white. It's there for everyone."

"The Advent stands for E-Funk," quips Cisco. "It stands for Electronic Funk."

"Yeah, we just make music, but it's good funky music - that's our main criteria," Colin concludes.

Capturing this stance, let alone the musical sensation that comes with it, has been a long time coming.

While their shared project called The Advent has been in existence for only three years, both Cisco Ferreira, age 27, and Colin McBean, age 36, have been around for the long haul. Cisco worked as a sound engineer at Middle Street Studios in London at the same time as Traxx were bringing over US artists such as Derrick May, Marshall Jefferson and Fingers Inc, giving him exposure to all these people and their peers during the pre-natal stages of the dance music explosion in the late 80's. After hooking up with CJ Bolland and R&S Records at the turn of the decade, Cisco is credited with helping to pioneer the Euro-techno sounds of 1991/92 by co-writing Bolland's 'Nightbreed', 'The 4th Sign' and 'Camargue' as well as releasing his own compositions under the alias of Space Opera.

Concurrently his future partner Colin had graduated from a fashion course and subsequently worked with the likes of Zandra Rhodes and Issey Miyake; on an ulterior level he was DJing around the traps and boasted an almost encyclopedic knowledge of music that covered the broad genres of techno, indie, jazz, reggae and dub.

It was in 1990 that Cisco and Colin first came together to work with Fade To Black for the release of 'Bio Rhythms 2' on Network, then they combined t

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