Classics Review Techno

Florence – The Vineyard

Stefan Robbers, aka Florence aka Terrace, was among the first European producers able to capture the soulful spirit found in productions coming out of Detroit. His music holds a special place for many. The title of this EP, the first on his own label, which he ran with Wladimir M, pays homage to this influence. The homage was taken further with the Alan Oldham-esque cartoon artwork on the label and, unusual for European releases at the time, plastic shrink rap giving the package the same look as an imported release. This was no one-sided idol worship though, but a two-way exchange of like minds, with their music being released on stateside labels and stateside artists being released on their label.

The female spoken word lyric, in style as well as content, draws heavily from Blake Baxter’s When We Used To Play. Melancholic references to frustrated sexual desire, either through the passage of time or lack of opportunities, grace both tracks. A similar feel is on the Terrace track Bewitched, this time the theme being more about unrequited love.

While having definite inspirational origins, Robbers developed his own peculiar vibe, a haunting sparseness that comes from living in the flatlands – in this case, the ones of the Netherlands.

For those not inclined to collect quarter-of-a-century old phonographic disks, a compilation of remastered Florence tracks was released in 2020.