Articles | A Minimal Wave Interview: Futurisk’s Jeremy Kolosine
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A Minimal Wave Interview: Futurisk’s Jeremy Kolosine
posted by Snowy
Futurisk was a pioneering electro-punk group that recorded and performed in the pre-midi era of the early ‘80’s. They had two vinyl releases that sold out, a legendary live show and some videos, but for a number of reasons by 1984 Futurisk was history. Eventually the main core of Futurisk would be the Kolosine/Hess/Howard line up, but in ‘79 when a teenage Jeremy Kolosine won studio time & money in a competition with his drum-machine triggered guitar-synth act called ‘Clark Humphrey & Futurisk’, he decided to form a band around the name to record a more punk release “The Sound of Futurism 1980/Army Now”. It was an ambivalent anti-war anthem, with Jack Howard on drums, Frank Lardino on synth and Kolosine on vocals and guitar synth. In ‘81, Kolosine, who had gotten absorbed in a new synth/sequencer replaced Lardino with synthesist/recordist Richard Hess who had a myriad collection of Moogs, Oberhieims and KATs,etc, and the line up for the “Player Piano EP” was cast. The EP, like the live show, was a strange blend of punk/minimalist/disco influenced electro pop, with drum-machine triggered synths and often frantic real drums all led by Kolosine’s schizophrenic Bowie/Ferry/Foxx adulations (and about 20 seconds of punk-funk guitar). It was recorded by Rich and the band in the rooms of Ron K’s house.The drum sound, gotten in a bathroom, rocks, even today. Reportedly, Futurisk may have been the 1st synth-punk band in the American South…or something, and 1981’s track ‘Push Me Pull You (pt. 2)’ was an early pre-‘Rockit’ excursion into electro-funk.
The following is an excerpt of a Minimal Wave interview with Jeremy Kolosine of Futurisk, published in The Quietus, http://thequietus.com/articles/06933-futurisk-jeremy-kolosine-interview
“Futurisk received quite a bit of local press, and you were even featured on the Ed Rich Rock show. How did you guys handle all this at the time? How did the public describe your music?
JK: At the time the main frame of reference the general public had was Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ and other songs that maybe had a syndrum crack on it or some songs by The Cars. When the Human League Dare, Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ and Devo’s ‘Whip It’ too, things got less one dimensional in the descriptions given. We encouraged writers just to use the the word ‘electrpop’ since that’s what it was, but sometimes other silly names were used to describe it like ‘Bleep’ and such. The term ‘electro-punk’ was used by one reviewer at the time and we used the term on a couple of flyers for show we knew we playing that were less dance oriented and there would be a punk crowd. And the term ‘minimalist’ was used often. As always, lazier critics would just use comparisons to other songs by bands that were popular at the time for five minutes, but the more initiated knew to at least compare it to Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode or Devo, or Eno’s Roxy.
It’s funny looking back how new it all seemed to most people, and many were ambivalent towards drum-machines and synths, especially, it seems in most US markets at the time. The West Coast was really the only region that seemed to embrace it slightly, with bands like The Units and The Screamers and Chrome, and ODW, I think due to The Residents’ presence out there, and some pockets of groups in places like Akron, and Suicide in NYC. But even NYC was so totally immersed in the guitar wave that I think the synth support was negligible. The overtly macho stance of most punk music left most of those supporters feeling out of place at an electronic show, except for the more intelligent and explorative fans, in my opinion. Everyone wanted to be part of some rock gang again, and electronic had none, so only the most individually minded, like Devo fans, would get it that the gang ideal was all part of the scam and uniform.”
Full interview available here: http://thequietus.com/articles/06933-futurisk-jeremy-kolosine-interview