Motor Klunk

Duo Mr. Nô (Paris) and Bryan Black (Minneapolis) formed Motor in 2003, and began making relentless dance floor-driven electronic beats where acid meets minimal techno. Yet their sound is left utterly unsanitary unlike many explorations of minimalism in dance music — it’s shorn of the bland predictable precision and instead maintains a shredded, torn-up quality about it. Developing out of their previous collaborative industrial noise act XLover, Motor’s new militant motto is "to turn drummers into drum machines.” The series of singles released last year can all be found on their first highly acclaimed release Klunk, where they take their self-proclaimed boredom with DJ-friendly techno to new levels challenging DJs and arousing dancers with abrupt changes in the internal arrangement of songs, movements away from formulaic 4/4 compositions and novel fusions of dance music genres. "Black Powder,” their most recent club hit in Europe, has a heavy driving beat yet provides minimal sensibilities with clean, crisp hi-hats that rhythmically support a Kompakt-sounding fat, fuzzy synth crescendo cyclically rolling in and out for a good seven minutes. Most of the album features dark and menacing vocals, and blistery cold, glitch-y beats no doubt leaving a legacy of hot and steamy dance floors on their current tour.

Often times, the commentary regarding your production style states that you "practice a punk ethic.” What exactly do you take this to mean? We abuse our studio in everyway. Our goal is not to make pretty sounds through perfect engineering. We try to find a way to make every sound in the mix unique and expressive. To do this, we often have to turn things upside down, occasionally bang them against the wall.

How are your live performances? What kind of set-up/instruments do you use? For the live show it’s all about performance and energy. We decided to approach the live show as if it were a live band. We decided to play all the instruments live — keyboards, drums, vocals, etc — and give the audience a visual representation that is as bold as the music.

You described Klunk as "dark music for dark times.” Is your music as symptomatic of or an anaesthetic for some dark times of the present? The hard sound has been embraced again in dance music. It’s probably more about trends and genre recycling than about George Bush. We started making music because of the bold industrial dance records I heard in the ’80s. Somehow the energy connects with people. But there is a sense of "fuck this” with all the wack politics we have forced upon us, and perhaps that in turn gives people a reason to lash out on the dance floor. (Mute)