XDS - Bicycle Ripper

Regular price $20.00


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It started in a cafe in Chico, California, with a flier, covered in glitter, wires, feathers, and assorted melted items, with a three-word advertisement: “Noise person wanted.” It wasn’t a sign. It was a sample. A tiny piece lifted from the visionary environment that the band XDS would continue building over the next couple of decades, hoarding an eclectic stockpile of collage materials/influences/approaches for assembling psychedelic dance-punk jams played with homemade instruments, blown-out samples, off-kilter drumming and dub baselines. Shoko Horikawa had come from Japan to (the small, music-crazy college town) Chico for school, and responded to Jesse Hall’s mysterious flier and a pitch to collaborate on making interesting sounds. The partnership would end up featuring her syncopated polyrhythmic drums alongside his vocals (through a duct tape-and-PVC-pipe mic) and custom-built Guitar-o-bass, plus synths/samplers and various noise-making devices. The two-piece Experimental Dental School eventually morphed into XDS as the duo moved the operation from Chico to Oakland to Portland and back to Chico, touring the world (playing alongside the likes of Deerhoof and other innovators) and releasing 11 recordings (on Cochon Records, German label TCWGA, etc.) as they went. On the new XDS album, Bicycle Ripper, the band’s genre-bending roots are as deep as ever, but the goal now is to be less “noise” people and more “fun” people. The songs are weird yet cohesive, with jittery grooves and inventive hooks. Throw a dart at the album and hit “Hot Panther, Cold Moon” for one random sample: an unrelenting fuzzed-out bass dances with a insistent drums; a sharp turn into sparse tin-can-guitar break; then a return to the dance floor with a bonus overdriven bass riff and full-throttle drums. The Panther stays hot whether she’s under the “hot hot sun” or the “cold cold moon.” It’s all very irresistible and, yes, really really fun.