State Of Flux – Mercury EP – PDSK001

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Originally released in April 1994 on Finiflex (FF1009) and fetching upwards of £70 on Discogs, The Mercury E.P. by State of Flux (Dave Clark and Roger Elliott) has long been overdue a repress; it now sees the light of day once again with fresh remaster by Keith Tenniswood. State of Flux were an integral part of the Scottish electronic music scene, during what is now considered as the classic foundational wave of British “intelligent techno”. These tracks were written between 1992 and 1993, with the E.P. released to coincide with their first UK tour in 1994.

With the recent death of Andrew Weatherall, a hero and legend for so many thanks to his championing of all genres of music and endlessly supportive attitude, we saw a massive outpouring of grief and love – alongside a wealth of old mixes, personal recollections and tributes. One of his most beloved ambient mixes – billed online as Massive Mellow Mix; just Andy Weatherall 2 on the tape itself – featured both Mercury and The News, and was a firm post-club favourite, still keeping heads together over 25 years since it emerged. It is largely thanks to Weatherall and his reputation that the spotlight has been recast onto all sorts of obscure or well-known music, including this E.P.

In Dave’s words: “1994 was exciting for us. We first met and played with Weatherall early that year, and I remember he gave us his entire rider and sat chatting to us for hours until our slots came up. We were already big fans of him, both as a producer and DJ, and he’d given our latest record a great review in the NME or something, so we were blown away. By then we had started gigging seriously and toured in April and then in Europe in September, sharing bills and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Black Dog, Autechre, Higher Intelligence Agency, Derrick May, Psychick Warriors ov Gaia and finding ourselves on compilation albums together with Aphex Twin, Biosphere and Bandulu. We started to be invited to ‘music industry things’: record company offices, panel talks, an exclusive WARP party in Sheffield. Weatherall would pop up now and again, and he’d always be super-friendly, and – most importantly at a time when everyone was out of their nut – engaged and interested.”

Mercury was shortlisted for Warp’s Artificial Intelligence 2 album, but didn’t quite make the cut. Roger and Dave were young, skint and went their separate ways – burning brightly for a short period, then quitting while ahead. Dave has continued under a variety of aliases and always operated at the centre of Glasgow’s electronic music scene, working most closely with Numbers and Optimo to cement the city’s legacy.