Perfect PorridgeBy Todd • Nov 23rd, 2009 • Category: Interviews
Robot Rock: Who’s Who in Twin Cities Electropunk
By Greg Swan
Not familiar with the burgeoning electropunk scene here in the Twin Cities? What better place to start than the annual compilation album curated by Todd Millenacker from Avenpitch?
In years past it’s introduced me to bands like Thosquanta, Avenpitch and Screaming Mechanical Brain.
I asked Todd a few questions about Volume 5, this weekend’s CD release show and where to get the album.
What’s the Electropunk scene like in the Twin Cities?
It just keeps on expanding. Over the course of five years TC Electropunk has been associated with 43 acts and bands just keep coming out of the woodwork. It’s pretty amazing actually!
Tell me about the TC Electropunk Compilation. How did it start? How has it been received?
The compilation started as a grassroots method of getting our music in front of people. Ya know, strength in numbers! I basically collected a bunch of electro-tinged acts around the Twin Cities, we printed up 1,000 CDs and each band involved gave the discs away for FREE to every and anyone willing to listen.
Since then we’ve started posting the compilations online @ tcelectropunk.com for download and it’s taken on a life of its own. I think we’re somewhere around 75,000 downloads or so thus far… not bad for a simple little concept!
Volume 5 – how has the series progressed since Volume 1?
The general idea behind it is still basically the same. It’s about taking a guitar or keyboard, plugging it into a computer and making some noise! I guess you could argue that some of us TC Electropunkers have become better musicians, but regardless – I think the essence is still the same.
What are some of the highlights of the new album?
Overall I think this is probably one of the strongest Twin Cities Electropunk discs we’ve done – every track is well written and the production keeps getting better and better!
Personally, I really like “Nihali’s Song” by St. Anthony Falls. St. Anthony Falls is a collaboration between myself and David Miller (former synth player in Avenpitch). He sings while I handle the music. Lyrically the idea is to make every song “Twin Cities-centric” – hence all the seemingly random Minneapolis references in the track. It’s so “light” compared to the high-energy vibe of Avenpitch.
As for other tracks – I’m quite fond of the Thosquanta track (they hit the “TC Electropunk Formula” right on the head – 2 minutes and fast!), I love the vibe of the milkbar track (acoustic guitars on top of electronics) and I love the energy of One Two Three Dead cut (chaotic!).
You mentioned this is the final Volume. How come?
It’s been a fun and rather successful experiment, but to be honest, I just don’t have the time to keep it going. Putting out a compilation once a year gets to be a lot of work. Plus, with what free time I do have, I want to focus on Avenpitch, production and some other promotional ideas I’ve been pondering.
Who knows? In two or three years I might feel totally re-energized about the concept and you’ll see a Volume 6, but – at least for the foreseeable future – I think it’s best to give the series a break.
Tell us about the release show at Club Underground this weekend and where people can get the album.
The release show is going to be awesome! The main stage will have Rabidine, OBCT, The Eighth, Thosquanta, Pop Inc, milkbar and the Thought Thieves. Avenpitch will be set-up on the floor “house party style” playing in between acts. St. Anthony Falls will also be making its debut performance. Should be a great night!
On top of that, everyone in attendance gets a physical copy of Twin Cities Electropunk Volume 5 for FREE at the door! What a steal, eh? However – if you can’t make it don’t fret – you can download all five Volumes of Twin Cities Electropunk @ tcelectropunk.com.