Transparent Illusion – Still Human

ANNA 032-CD.2010

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Transparent Illusion ‎– Still Human

Label: Anna Logue Records ‎– ANNA 032-CD.2010

Format: CD, Remastered, Limited Edition, Album 

Country: Germany

Released: Aug 2010

Genre: Electronic

Style: Electro, Minimal

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16,00 €

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 Transparent Illusion was the brainchild of Roy Young (a pseudonym), hailing from Haverhill, Suffolk, UK. Equipped with just one synthesizer and a drum machine, he entered Octopus Studios located in Stowupland, Suffolk sometime in 1980 to record the ultimate minimal electronic music album. Roy’s music is quite unique and exemplifies the fact that limitation can be the perfect source for heightened creativity: his rather raw sound is based solely on his Korg MS-10 synthesizer, a monophonic synth. As illustrated on this album, Roy had a great imagination and even though the tracks are mostly quite short they are far from being poor texturally, with brilliant analogue synth sounds all throughout (bass, monophonic lead synths, effects, synthetic percussion). Engineer Dave Hoser is said to have helped in the performance, thus it can be concluded that, as a team they truly mastered the MS-10. While the lyrics are testimony to an angst-ridden teenager living in Thatcherian Cold War Britain (“This cage is barred – I’m trapped inside”, “I just recede – I dream I’m you”, “Dead bodies decaying – all over the town”, “There’s no way out of this nightmare”), the music, to some surprise, reveals many uplifting moments in terms of unexpected melodic parts. So, over the recent years, some people have described “Still Human” as being the ‘Holy Grail’ of minimal electronic music, while others say it is totally overrated.

From my own experience, it can be said that the album needs a good amount of time and attention to be understood. The original vinyl album “Still Human” and the single “Vortex” were released on Roy’s own label Vex Records but only a few copies were sold. Transparent Illusion and Vex Records then vanished into obscurity, but the album and single were remembered by a select few.

The value of these rare records continued to rise and over the last decade four-digit prices were asked and paid. People not only tried hard to find those records, many also tried hard to track down the mysterious Roy Young himself. Nobody managed to succeed – until one day in 2009. It wasn’t an overnight success – and that’s why Anna Logue Records refers to the ‘Holy Grail’ in terms of the true quest that was undertaken to find Roy – but Jochen Lange had persevered for more than two years. Public directories and government records were thoroughly checked and letters were sent.. and received when finally the TRANSPARENT ILLUSION materialized: the highly anticipated letter from Roy himself! The quest was over, the myth became a reality. The result of this chain of events is now in your hands. Released on Annalogue Records, limited quantities available.


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