swingset

Type Records

Fluxion- Vibrant Forms- (Type)

Techno music in the 1990s was largely an anonymous pursuit. Producers generally shielded themselves from humanity with abstract names and bland non-imagery. For every superstar electronic icon like Aphex Twin and Plastikman, (two artists with a brilliantly inherent sense of marketing) there were thousands of grey, faceless 12”s with no indication of an artist behind it, as if produced and manufactured by machine alone. But while the artists generally were obscured, the record label became the star, representing a distinct signature sound. At the time labels like Mo Wax were exploring breaks and trip-hop, and Metalheadz represented jungle music, Chain Reaction, was among Europe’s premier underground labels of the 90s, specializing in a dub infused IDM that was hypnotically minimal and entrancing in its rhythms. Twenty years down the road, Fluxion, a premier member of the Chain Reaction crew, is having his work collected and reissued. As future music from the past, Fluxion has aged exceptionally well. Decades later, the music still exudes a pulse that still resonates with contemporary sounds. Rather than the grey, stark imagery of the original editions, Type has housed these discs in a warm abstract colorful cover image. Suddenly the title takes on new meaning, and though relatively anonymous and grey, the music itself seems vibrant, even in its repetitious nature.

by STEVE LOWENTHAL on 11/25/2013 in Reviews, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Hair Police – Mercurial Rites

illustration by Chris O’Neal

Bands in underground music seem to come and go quicker than ever, with fickle audiences shifting interests as attention spans shrink and browsers constantly refresh. What’s touted as extreme and exciting one month is often forgotten in the greater timespan as years and decades roll on. From their earliest days Hair Police has always been an anomaly, a strange mishmash of personalities and musical styles. Drummer Trevor Tremaine would be playing manic free energy drumming with a sparkle boa around his shoulders and white plastic sunglasses blocking his gaze while front-man Mike Connelly, shrieked in bouts of boundless hysterics and ripped at his shredded, detuned guitar. Dressed in black, a menacing coil that explodes on impact, his presence causing audience members to shake their fists in celebration. Robert Beatty, off to the side would be twisting bizarre frequencies like something out of the BBC radio phonic workshop, the whole while his cord wrapped around his throat like a noose. Watching them play became something to behold.

continue reading "Hair Police – Mercurial Rites"

by STEVE LOWENTHAL on 2/22/2013 in Features, Interviews | Tags: , , , , , ,