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Algebra Suicide

Idioma disponible: inglés
One of the most unique, thought-provoking acts to emerge from the American underground during the 1980s, Algebra Suicide consisted of poet Lydia Tomkiw and musician Don Hedeker. The duo's music served as a vehicle for Tomkiw's wry reflections on life, death, relationships, and other topics, spoken in a deadpan Midwestern accent over Hedeker's atmospheric guitars and minimalist drum machine patterns. Tomkiw's delivery often prompted comparisons to Laurie Anderson, though she much preferred being likened to Lou Reed or Patti Smith. During the '80s, the duo released three EPs and a cassette, collecting much of the material on the 1988 full-length The Secret Like Crazy. After releasing more complex, richly produced albums like 1991's Swoon, the duo disbanded in 1994. Tomkiw and Hedeker met in Chicago in 1980. Tomkiw was already known throughout the city's poetry scene, and Hedeker played in a band called Trouble Boys. The two married and formed Algebra Suicide in 1982, taking their name from one of Tomkiw's poems. The duo's first EP, True Romance at the Worlds Fair, was released through their own Buzzerama Records that year, and An Explanation for That Flock of Crows appeared two years later. In 1986, the duo released what was perhaps their signature song, the college radio favorite "Little Dead Bodies," as the A-side to their third 7". The track also appeared on their first cassette, Big Skin, issued that year. Most of the band's early material was included on their first LP, The Secret Like Crazy, released by influential noise/experimental label RRRecords in 1988. A limited live CD titled Real Numbers was released by German label Pursuit of Market Share that year. The more fully produced LP Alpha Cue was released by Belgian label Body Records in 1990. Swoon, a CD-only release containing the entirety of Alpha Cue, followed in 1991. Following a rocky European tour, the couple divorced in 1993, and Algebra Suicide released their final album Tongue Wrestling in 1994 before disbanding. Tomkiw released a solo album titled Incorporated in 1995, featuring Martin Bowes (Attrition) and members of Legendary Pink Dots, before devoting more time to writing. Hedeker played in alternative rock band Bouncing Balls as well as the polka group Polkaholics. Tomkiw passed away in Phoenix, Arizona on September 4, 2007. A live recording from 1990, Summer Virus Night, was issued by German label Dom Elchklang in 2009. In 2013, San Francisco-based label Dark Entries released Feminine Squared, an LP collecting the band's first three EPs and other early material, as well as a DVD of a 1984 performance. A further compilation titled Still Life was issued by the label in 2019.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
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