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Neil Landstrumm

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Neil Landstrumm has played upon the verge of experimental techno music, a form no less innovative though its steady beat has been perceived as having little room for intelligent musicians. Influenced by the Sheffield school of industrial bleep techno pioneered by LFO, as well as electro and Miami bass, Landstrumm is also respectful of colleague Cristian Vogel, who more than shares his tendencies toward the obtuse. His playful sense of humor and penchant toward unpredictable song structures and bizarre sounds have often led to his music being described as "wonky techno." Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, Landstrumm released several albums and EPs for classic techno labels Peacefrog and Tresor, including 1995's Brown by August, 1997's Bedrooms and Cities, and 2001's She Took a Bullet Meant for Me. His late-'00s releases on Planet Mu, such as 2009's Bambaataa Eats His Breakfast, leaned closer to dubstep and experimental hip-hop. During the 2010s, he released the full-length Dragon Under on Sneaker Social Club, as well as dozens of techno, electro, and acid EPs on labels such as Central Processing Unit and Unknown to the Unknown. Landstrumm began producing in the early '90s within a variety of groups, but began solo production in 1993. He met Vogel one year later while DJ'ing at Edinburgh's Sativa club, and released a single for Vogel's Mosquito label; the duo also combined for several EPs recorded as Blue Arsed Fly. Landstrumm began recording for Peacefrog Records through Vogel's connection to Luke Slater, and released his first album, Brown by August, on Peacefrog in 1995. Increasingly splitting production chores with occasional partner Tobias Schmidt -- who records on his own as well -- he released his second LP, Understanding Disinformation, in 1996 for Berlin's sympathetic Tresor label. Landstrumm's formation of the Scandinavia label that year took up much of his time, with the release of solid singles by Adam X, Stephen Brown, and others; nevertheless, in 1997 he managed to issue another full-length, Bedrooms and Cities. Though Pro Audio followed just one year later, Landstrumm (who had temporarily relocated to Brooklyn) took some time off to work on his label and on a series of projects with MTV and video-game developers. Finally, 2001 brought another Tresor LP, She Took a Bullet Meant for Me. When he returned to the U.K., his music blended elements of breakbeat hardcore, electro, and acid house with the then-emerging grime scene. He signed to Mike Paradinas' Planet Mu label in 2006, releasing the single "Kids Wake Up" in advance of his 2007 full-length, Restaurant of Assassins. Appearing on the label around the same time as releases by Boxcutter and Pinch, the album gained Landstrumm a new audience of dubstep fans, even though he expressed disinterest in the genre. The album was followed by two additional Planet Mu releases: 2008's Lord for £39 and 2009's Bambaataa Eats His Breakfast. During the 2010s, he continued releasing off-the-wall singles and EPs on labels such as Killekill, Don't, and Rawax, with the full-length Dragon Under arriving on Sneaker Social Club in 2013. Collaborations included The Strange Self EP (with the Horrorist) on Domina Trxxx in 2017, and two 2018 EPs with Brain Rays, Go See Thru and Dark Magus. In 2018, Peacefrog released Threesome, a reissue of Landstrumm's three mid-'90s EPs for the label.
© John Bush & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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