Despite the best efforts of the teenagers who served as babysitters for me in the 80's and early 90's, the hipper musical trends of the era generally went over my head. 'E' was understood as a prefix to a number to be avoided in my food products, rather than something you had to take to enjoy House music, so the thinly veiled drug references that frequented Top of The Pops at the time went over my head. Similarly, the whimsical melancholy of indie music, and in particular The Smiths, with their downtrodden tales of alienation and 'going home and wanting to die' somehow failed to resonate with me at the tender age of 7. Much to the frustration of my temporary teenage guardians, it was the sounds that emanated from my Commodore 64 computer that proved most stimulating to my musical palette, and many an hour between the ages of 4-10 were spent with my Fisher Price tape recorder pressed up against the screen compiling lo-fi mixtapes of 8-bit monosodium glutamate.
Its 2007 and things have moved on (I'm now a fully paid up member of the Morrissey fan club), but Freud would undoubtedly cite my affection for lo-fi boy/girl Canadian 8-bit duo Crystal Castles as a subconscious desire to regress to these halcyon times of youth. Regardless of such psychobabble, Crystal Castles are ace. I first came across the band via their track 'Air War' on a Rough Trade sampler sometime last year and I've been smitten with their distinct brand of glitchcore ever since. Whilst their 7-inches on the uberhip Merok label are now sold out, the Fisher Price can mercifully be left to gather dust as Hype Machine have enough of their material (as well as their remixes for the likes of Liars, Klaxons, Bloc Party et al) up for download to satisfy even the most ardent completist. Counting 'blank expressions on girls' and 'knives' amongst their influences, Crystal Castles sound like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might if you replaced the guitars with gameboys- a violent cacophony of indecipherable girl shouts, Atari bleeps and 8-bit electro bass; punky in attitude, poppy in execution.
They're touring the UK in a few weeks on the Vice curated Unitaur with the similarly great These New Puritans, and since it's free there's really no excuse not to go see them.
Check out the live video of their excellent remix of Klaxons 'Atlantis to Interzone' remix below and go here to download more Crystal Castles stuff.