DZ Lectric + Anthon Shield
DZ Lectric + Anthon Shield
DZ Lectric and Anthon Shield were a pioneering duo prominent in the experimental and minimal electronic scene of the 1980s in France. They first met in Paris on April 23, 1981, when they were in their early 20s. Each had been involved in various other projects (Shield - Unholy Three and Norma Loy, and DZ - Garçons Sauvages and Magnétique Bleu) and they came together with shared influences. These ranged from classic 70s rock bands like the The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, and The Doors to the early industrial, no wave and post punk stuff that was coming out of the UK and USA at the time, namely bands like Throbbing Gristle, Joy Division, Suicide, and Tuxedo Moon. DZ and Shield met during the recording of a tape compilation called Les Electriques (the title inspired by a chapter from “The Wild Boys” by W.S. Burroughs) which was eventually released by the luxurious fanzine known as Style.
DZ Lectric and Anthon Shield began seeing one another at rehearsals, concerts given by their respective bands or underground live acts, and performances and exhibitions. Once they clicked, DZ and Shield began recording tracks together. They had a modest set up: an old Akai 2-track tape deck, a Mini-Korg 700s, two rhythm boxes (one of which was made by Philippe Fichot from Die Form), a small microphone, some special effects and a Fender Mustang. Quite soon, they ended up with an abundance of tracks that they then proposed to the Belgian tape label Présence for a release (the Philosophies cassette).
DZ Lectric and Anthon Shield continued to release quite a few tapes on various other labels, like DMA2, Fraction Studio, Cause & Effect, and Emergence du Refus. Working in the studio together allowed them to get out of both the “band” pattern – which perhaps sounds too “collective” – and the solo creative pattern – which is often egotistical. As far as live shows went, DZ and Shield gave performances in various festivals like the Divergences / Divisions in Bordeaux, and the Fraction Studio Festival. During a concert in an abandoned church in Troyes, their live performance evolved into tribal trance improvisation, and a large part of the audience followed them until the police turned up and stopped the concert. All this contributed to persuading DZ and Shield that they had found a style that their “master”, Antonin Artaud (an artist they regularly pay tribute to in their songs), would surely never have repudiated.
Other influences included the writings of Burroughs, Castaneda, Bataille, and Mishima. Native American mythology was also a strong source of inspiration (Nagual, Tonal, Eau de feu) along with Chant Sorcier. These influences were particularly revealed during their live shows as they incorporated props like stones, pigments and branches to engage the audience and produce more of a stage performance. An example of this ‘staging’ was at the DMA2 festival (see MW047 album cover photograph) in 1986. And so they continued as a strong collaborative force until then. The last track they recorded together was a stunning cover of Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground; it was softer and less abrasive then their early works.