Supercollider: king of the overlooked

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Overlooked? or FUCKING overlooked?

Not "Super_collider" the UK trip hop thing, nor the music making software.. but the Los Angeles duo from the early 90s that made two grossly overlooked stunning records "Supercollider" (1991) and "Dual" (1994).

well before Disco Inferno, Pinback, or any slew of current sampler/computer based mood makers.. these guys (well, Michael Horton and Philip Haut) laid out the groundwork for a simple but effective take on Durutti Column, Wire, This Kind Of Punishment....

Brian MacDonald, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

As a huge fan of them as well, Brian's very much OTM. His description captures what's best about them perfectly. They were on Emigre Records, the spinoff of the font design company that also brought Basehead to the world. A cassette of the first album can be bought here and the second album on CD here, both for astoundingly cheap. There are some mp3 clips up for you to investigate more thoroughly, while the first link also has a 1992-era interview. Go forth!

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

holy crap. going by the mp3s this is great stuff, like it would fulfill my urge to hear more things that hover between "in debt" and "di go pop." thank you, brian and ned, for the tip.

your null fame, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

In thinking about it, I should qualify Brian's statement a touch -- Disco Inferno essentially found their own synthesis of samplers and rock around the same time. So consider them both pioneers without much audience in their respective countries, but Supercollider were even more obscure. After all, I read about Disco Inferno semi-regularly in MM during that time; Supercollider barely got a smattering of reviews.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

If they're half as good as Super_Collider...

Keiko, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Saw them at Munchie's in Pomonoa ca. '92 -- totally great. Old Nasa footage behind them, wonderfully thoughtful, slightly dark music. Couldn't ever figure out how come they barely got noticed at all. Great call, Brian, I can't think of any other bands at the moment with as broad a disparity between how good they are and how many people know it.

John Darnielle, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Needless to say, John, I'm most envious!

Another comparison leapt to mind just now -- this has all prompted me to listen to the albums again, and the band's title track "Supercollider" itself makes me think of Earwig/early Insides. The comparison is not exact, but it's that same minimal drive that's so captivating and precise.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
got Dual off slsk (& every second user seems to want a copy, despite having "l.a. band" in the folder name).

initial thoughts - SLINT! the whole scrapy guitar & scrapy voice thing, tho they use completely different dynamics (dynamics - it's possible the two Swans tracks I've heard, "Cop" & "Raping A Slave", seemed to do a similar crawl, but with completely different sonics - Supercollider's stuff sounds like it's falling upwards (haha like "Breadcrumb Trail") as opposed to sinking into the mire).

haven't really picked up any samples (unless they're doing it in a Young Gods sense instead of in the Disco Inferno sense).
the drummer's baddabaddabaddabaddabaddabaddabadda tendency is odd but not, so far, offputting.

ooh, some quasi-orchestral bits just cropped up (& less scrapy singing).

Ess Kay (esskay), Saturday, 24 May 2003 17:58 (sixteen years ago) link

finally placed whom the vocals reminded me of - Patrick Fitzgerald of the Kitchens Of Distinction. They haven't struck me as jarring as Patrick's were (= their jarring nature is way more suited to this sort of music?).

the way the tracks never "take off"/"ignite" is nice to these postrockcliche-weary ears.

Ess Kay (esskay), Saturday, 24 May 2003 18:12 (sixteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
It's definitely one of their finest qualities, Ess Kay -- relistening to the first album now, and I'll be reviewing both of them for long overdue entries in the All Music Guide. Such a great band.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 15 February 2004 20:14 (sixteen years ago) link


(I assume the reviews/bio are coming soon?)

(And "Dual" was from 1994, if I'm not mistaken)

donut bitch (donut), Saturday, 21 February 2004 00:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Don't correct me when I'm wrong. Oh wait. (I'll have them update it when I get my brain to work again, and yes reviews soon.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 21 February 2004 01:29 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
OK... truth or bullshit?

The two albums are getting reissued and remastered by Thrill Jockey sometime this year.

I've heard this from two sources that don't know each other... (though both sources could be taken with a grant of salt, I suppose.)

donut debonair (donut), Thursday, 2 June 2005 04:27 (fourteen years ago) link

! Well that took long enough. Better late than never, but let's see if it pans out.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 2 June 2005 04:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Super_collider ain't trip hop! i'd be amazed if Supercollider were anywhere near as fierce as them!

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 2 June 2005 11:56 (fourteen years ago) link

If people are calling Super_Collider triphop, then its them who be overlooked!

peepee (peepee), Thursday, 2 June 2005 12:14 (fourteen years ago) link

fine fine... Super_collider are not trip hop. 'twas an innocent mistake years ago.

Supercollider though. (Fierce as Super_collider? Who cares. if you do care, start your own thread or find a previous one.) News, people. reissues are happening or not?

donut debonair (donut), Thursday, 2 June 2005 14:16 (fourteen years ago) link

I thought this thread was about Fountains Of Wayne's brilliant Oasis pastiche called "Supercollider".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 2 June 2005 14:17 (fourteen years ago) link




Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 2 June 2005 14:18 (fourteen years ago) link

six months pass...
I forgot to update a while ago... not too long after, I got an email from some at Thrill Jockey saying, very politely, that he or she didn't know what I was talking about.

So it was just two parallel rumors. :( either that, or Thrill Jockey is planning to reissue/distribute Super_collider -- the Lidell collab., and that person didn't immediately recognize the point of confusion.

dali madison's nut (donut), Monday, 12 December 2005 19:04 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

fuck you for autocorrecting my Supercollider plays as "Super_Collider"

System Jr. (Mackro Mackro), Sunday, 15 February 2009 09:22 (eleven years ago) link

"Supercollider" is a great Oasis pastiche by Fountains Of Wayne. :)

Geir Hongro, Monday, 16 February 2009 04:43 (eleven years ago) link

ten years pass...

Ten years later but some news! There's an official FB page:

And the two albums are due for reissue via Bandcamp in the very near future, while archival material and new music is being planned.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 September 2019 23:34 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

First album now reissued:

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 October 2019 22:18 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

Second album reissued and my interview with them for Bandcamp is live!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 6 January 2020 16:15 (one month ago) link

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