A real gem here from Onionz; circa 1992. Some of my favorite early techno and trance jams pitched way down and blended with that mysterious element which made young Onionz so magic. A common phrase uttered by DJs and trainspotters in the early 90’s whenever O was playing was “Where the f*#@ does he get his records?!” This is because he frequently dropped weird or overlooked records that either no one had heard before or didn’t have the balls to play. To this day, much of this tape remains a mystery to me.

Besides being a savant of early esoteric house and techno, young Onionz had a reputation for being a bit of a loose screw; stories abound. First hand: at Essence in NYC, after Dubtribe tore the roof off (their first big gig on the East Coast and the first time many of the scene had ever heard of them), O went on and proceeded to slowly play a record backwards with his finger for ten minutes or more while 3000+ people looked on with our jaws agape. Can’t remember if he was pulled and someone else went on or the party ended early. Second hand: some New England promoters were in the process of driving O to a gig when they made a pit stop. They came out of the store just in time to see a bus driving away with O waiving from the window. They had to chase down the bus and retrieve the DJ. First hand: while playing at the Warehouse in Portland, Onionz got frustrated with several mixes and each time smashed the offending record against the side of the booth. What gems were lost?!

As with the Garth @ Vision tape, what I really appreciate about this mix is how disparate styles are blended together into something really interesting. Rather that banging out one homogeneous track after another as 99.9% of DJs do, he demonstrates that he’s open to a variety of music and can tie it all together effectively with a common mood …and what a mood! Too bad about the last track on the first side (42:43); ick.

A couple interesting things about the mix: There are a lot of tracks on here; many records he plays for just a minute or two. You might recognize the Ege Bam Yasi track from Tin Tin @ Blue; there pitched at +8, here at -8. Another highlight is what is in my opinion Richard James (aka Caustic Window, Aphex Twin) best work, “Joyrex J4.”

Would love to know what the unknowns are; hope the trainspotters can fill in the gaps. Thanks!


00:00 Rhythim Is Rhythim “Kao-tic Harmony”
05:25 Dark Comedy “War Of The Worlds” (Dark Room Mix)
07:43 Spatial Understanding “Red Light, Green Light” (Stopp!! Mix)
10:13 unknown
11:55 unknown (Doctor Who sample: “Intruders! Intruders!”)
14:10 Funky Green Dogs From Outer Space “Reach For Me”
18:00 The Hayden Andre Project “Tribal Life” (Bang D Drum Mix)
20:00 unknown
21:39 DJ Hell “My Definition Of House Music”
24:57 Ege Bam Yasi “Bubble” (Active Ingredients Mix)
28:05 Capricorn “Taste”
32:20 Orson Karte “Tonight”
34:47 unknown
37:00 Orbital “Halcyon”
40:00 Brainstorm “Untitled” (side B)
42:43 unknown
45:30 Dark Comedy “Siren”
46:15 Transform “Transformation”
48:48 Trancesetters “Ooh I’m In Heaven”
50:04 Paradise 3001 “Long Distance Call To Heaven”
52:03 808 State “Reaper Repo”
57:17 unknown
58:36 unknown
1:00:55 Outerzone “The Deep”
1:02:25 Lemon Sol “Sensory Delight”
1:05:25 Tuff Little Unit “Join The Future”
1:09:04 unknown
1:12:08 unknown
1:14:00 Moby “Go” (Delirium Mix)
1:17:02 unknown
1:21:06 Caustic Window “Joyrex J4”
1:23:12 Zero B “Spinning Wheel”
1:26:22 unknown
1:28:30 Tricky Disco “Tricky Disco”

Thanks for your help with the tracklist: Overload, Keith Walter