Since exploding onto the techno scene in 1995, with the now-classic ‘Surgeon EP’, DJ and producer Anthony Child has been remoulding his area of contemporary techno. His early releases on Downwards caused a ripple of excitement through the techno cognoscenti of the time, leading to more widespread exposure via remix work for Dave Clarke and inclusion on Jeff Mills seminal ‘Live At the Liquid Rooms CD’. Further output on Downwards, such as the ‘Pet 2000 EP’ (containing the familiar growl of ‘Badger Bite’), along with releases by label mates Regis, Female and Portion Reform, helped to place Birmingham boldly on the techno map.
However, these early works, for all of their raw energy and their unusual harsh, funky edge were merely hinting at what was to come. Surgeon’s more esoteric influences began to manifest themselves on his first Tresor album release ‘Basictonalvocabulary’, a record which contained a depth of musicality, without sacrificing any of the edge of earlier works.
This idea of balance between the dancefloor and more cerebral influences was to become a recurring theme in future releases, through the ‘Balance’ album for Tresor and, later, Surgeon’s own Dynamic Tension and Counterbalance label releases. This became increasingly evident as Tony’s ability to incorporate the more left field aspects of his musical background into his club-based material developed. Tape based experiments from 1984, which can be heard on the ‘Boys, School Showers and Swimming Pools’ release on Downwards, show a pre-Surgeon fascination with experimentation and the diverse influences of Industrial music and Musique Concrete became more apparent in each Surgeon release.