The South Florida collective, led by Jeremy Kolosine and Clark Humphrey, released only two vinyl records before disbanding in 1980. Those records, along with their explosive live show, have since become the stuff of legend.
Their first offering was a two-sided 7″, ‘The Sound of Futurism 1980’ / ‘Army Now’, a punkish anti-war anthem. A year later, the original line-up of the band had imploded; in came synthesist/recordist Richard Hess and his huge collection of Moogs, Oberhieims and KATs, and Jack Howard on syn-drums, joining founder members Kolosine and Humphrey to record the Player Piano EP – like its predecessor originally released via the bespoke Clark Humphreys imprint. Blending elements of electro-pop, punk and minimal synth, Futurisk’s sound was heavy and propulsive, with layered drums (both live and synthesized, recorded in a bathroom for maximum resonance), grinding guitar and mannered vocals from Kolosine in the vein of Bowie, Ferry and Fox.
The band counts James Murphy among its most strident fans. After chancing upon a copy of Player Piano in a second-hand store, the LCD ringleader included the track ‘Push Me Pull You (Pt. 2)’ on the 2003 DFA compilation put together for Parisian fashion house Colette.
And then there’s Veronica Vasicka. The brains behind the Minimal Wave label and all-round synth enthusiast, Vasicka has been reissuing lost gems from the late 70s and 80s for some time now, and came to the wider’s world attention with this year’s The Minimal Wave Tapes, a compilation co-curated with Peanut Butter Wolf and released via the latter’s Stones Throw imprint. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Futurisk, Vasicka is now releasing an expanded 12″ LP edition of Player Piano on Minimal Wave including previously unreleased alternate versions of the EP’s tracks. More information here.
Oh, and be sure to check out Veronica Vasicka’s excellent FACT article on the 20 Best Minimal Wave Records Ever Made, which we published earlier this year.
1. Meteoright (1982)
2. Lonely Streets (1982)
3. Army Now
4. Poison Ivy
5. Push Me Pull You, Pt.2
6. Split Second Decision
7. Damsel In Distress
8. Lonely Streets
10. Army Now (1982)
11. What We Have To Have