STM 159 - Shawn O’Sullivan

Shawn O'Sullivan aka 400PPM

Photo by Phuong Dan

Shawn O’Sullivan aka 400PPM drops a mind-blowing 150 BPM selection of wild 90’s techno.

Shawn O’Sullivan (b. 1981) is an electronic music producer based in New York, whose background stems from the darker and heavier fringes of techno music and roughed edges of minimal wave. Having grown up in the small community in Fairfield, Iowa, Shawn started experimenting with intense sounds pretty early and was quickly immersed into noisy sonics of beat driven techno. However it was New York, which shaped Shawn’s musical landscapes further on. Synth/minimal wave has emerged in his creative path, which resulted in his involvement in mellow post punk/wave explorers Led Er Est together with Sam De La Rosa and noirish monolith disco/wave duo Further Reductions with Katie Rose. The diverse background formed the concrete and beautiful soundworld of Shawn. It is primarily reflected in his vast array of releases ranging from mellow atmospheric tech wanderings of “Free Flight” released under his own name to abrasive, almost industrial pulsations of Vapauteen. Shawn always manages to elegantly capture the essence of groovy futurist darkness and melancholic melodic twists. No wonder that he was featured on diverse labels ranging from Sacred Bones or Wierd Records to L.I.E.S.

"Secret Thirteen Mix 159" is a powerful 150 BPM selection showcasing Shawn’s earlier influences and presenting the colorful variety of 90’s techno, acid and hardcore. The mix is very consistent and maintains the high voltage intensity from start to finish without losing its atmospheric and emotional power. It starts straight-forwardly with PCP’s Phuture Project hardweight beats, which set the pace for the remaining part. Later on it nicely dives into the shimmering, cold and tough sublime of Lorenz Attractor’s “Complexity Crisis” or mellow acid attack of 303 Nation before going back to Marc Trauner’s bouncing basslines and raw mechanic physicality. It gets even more intense with “The Hacker” by Jeff Mills, who introduces the crystal and sharp noisy element into the game. Towards the end Shawn introduces more abstract notes with harshly hypnotic Christoph De Babalon’s piece “Opium” or industrial wanderings of Society of Unknowns. The mix provides listener with a dynamic physicality of sound and gives an opportunity to experience the core essence of wild and heavy 90’s techno underground in all its charm. It nicely transfers the technogenic and futurist mood of the scene and its raw punkish vibe. The gritty elegance of Jock McFadyen’s image “Tate Moss” nicely reflects the urbanist associations of the mix. It has similar visual intensity embedded in the static moment of heavy suburban architecture.

The artist on his mix:

It's all 150 BPM and all old 1990’s stuff, some gloomy techno, acid, a bit of hardcore, and then ending with some stranger stuff. I wanted to revisit records that were favorites from my teenage years, so it's actually a very personal mix, despite being hard dumb techno :) The whole mix was done with vinyl. Some of this stuff is a bit hard to beatmatch, especially the weirder stuff towards the end, but I felt like it was important to showcase this stuff in the context of a dj mix. There are a lot of tracks from PCP - Marc Acardipane is one of my absolute favorite producers of all time and has been a big influence since I was very young. I also feature stuff from Lory D, Praxis Records, and of course Drop Bass Network, all which have also been very important sources of inspiration. I mostly featured rarer or more obscure tracks, although there are a few obvious classics peppered in there.

Reveal Playlist
01. PCP's Phuture Project - Escape From 2017 (The Theme) [Planet Core Productions, 1996]
02. Trip Commando - 3rd Trip-Phase [Dance Ecstasy 2001, 1995]
03. Barracuda - Braineaters (The Mover Mix) [Elastic, 1997]
04. Lorenz Attractor - Complexity Crisis [Praxis, 1995]
05. Restaurant Tracks - Varta [Cheap, 1994]
06. 303 Nation - Barcelona (Model # 1) [Dance Ecstasy 2001, 1994]
07. Program 1 - MF Skulls [Planet Core Productions, 1994]
08. Choose - Slowgan [Drop Bass Network, 1996]
09. The Mover & Rave Creator - Atmos-Fear [Cold Rush Records, 1994]
10. Woody McBride - Unlimited [Communique Records, 1995]
11. Jeff Mills - The Hacker [Tresor, 1992]
12. pHon - Saturday Nightmare [Ript Skin, 1998]
13. Society of Unknowns - Dead By Dawn (The Endless Mix) [Praxis, 1997]
14. Argonic vs. Atom X - Clinic - B (hall99) [Audio Illusion Recordings, 2000]
15. Christoph De Babalon - Opium [Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR), 1997]
16. Lory D - Effetto M [Sounds Never Seen, 1994]

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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