Outside the Reactor

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Blue Room Released was founded by Simon Ghahary in 1994 to provide a “futuristic soundtrack” for the trailblazing loudspeaker company of the same name. Outside the Reactor, their first full-length release, was compiled by Mike Maguire, who remains entirely faithful to this mission. His selections trend toward the more techno-oriented side of trance music, and the overall vibe is relatively dark and mysterious for 1995. Juno Reactor’s instrumental remix of The Loyaliser is an obvious highlight, but I also appreciate both contributions from Jean-Loup Kehrig and Thierry Gotti, who appear here under their Spectral and Moog aliases. Voodoo People’s Quadsep is a bittersweet classic, doubly so since the full-length album mentioned in the liner notes never saw the light of day, and Ausgang’s Wires provides a prescient template for the entire psychedelic techno movement. Several of the other tunes aren’t exclusive to this release and add little to its collectability but still sound great. Overall it’s a solid effort, although this now-legendary imprint would go on to release much more impressive and influential material before long.

Not long after it was released, pseudonymous reviewers on TRiP, one of the earliest psytrance forums, shared opinions that generally agree with mine. Here is one comment, likely made in 1996 or 1997:

Other Blue Room releases have a memorable electronic magic that this one just lacks.

Another comment goes into greater detail in May of 1998:

To me, it’s not “complex” enough. It’s not really dynamic either. I definitely would listen to other BRR stuff before this CD.

These criticisms are valid, but this compilation will still be of interest to collectors and music historians. Given Blue Room’s legendary status, an examination of their origins is not without reward, particularly for those with a taste for techno. For more about the history of Blue Room visit Future Shape of Sound.

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