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Lowfish



Lowfish is the work of Toronto producer Gregory De Rocher, who runs Suction Records with his longtime friend Jason Amm of Solvent. The pair share an appreciation for New Wave and early industrial artists like Skinny Puppy and Front 242, as well as a studio where distorted 808 drum beats and bouncy, melodic analog synth lines are the sounds of choice.

De Rocher has been producing for over ten years and it shows in his music. His work is fresh and distinct, with just enough graininess and noise to offset the lushness of the synthesizer melodies and grooves. On Eliminator, his self-proclaimed brand of "robot music" flows naturally as he takes simple ideas and evolves them in his digital petri dish. It's De Rocher's obsession with sound quality and delivery that sets his music apart from other electronic producers. His tracks exude a maturity in craftmanship, a pure focus, with rhythms and delicate textures that never become indulgent or overstated.

De Rocher was born in Toronto in 1972. Early in life, he was plagued with hearing problems and frequently found himself confined in soundproof hospital laboratories. Once cured, De Rocher became fascinated by music, especially his mom's disco eight-track of Giorgio Moroder's robo-electric "I Feel Love." His infatuation grew as he began to feverishly collect anything and everything that sounded robotic and modular. By age 16 he was already producing tracks in his home studio. De Rocher cites '70s acts Roedelius and Tangerine Dream, as well as '80s electro-pop legends OMD, New Order, and Art Of Noise as his biggest influences, along with some of the more crunchy techno found on Warp and Rephlex.

Along with numerous international compilation and remix appearances, Lowfish has released two full-lengths on Suction: Fear Not the Snow and Other Lo-fiing Objects (1999) and Eliminator (2000). Recently, Suction also put out Snow Robots Volume 1 and 2, a retrospective compilation of works by both Lowfish and Solvent, featuring several out-of-print releases from 1997, plus some new tracks by the pair. There is even a Lowfish remix by Germany's Lali Puna. "Subversive Rats" appeared on Snow Robots Volume 1 while "FatBlex" and "Glued Smile" came from the Eliminator full-length.

Meanwhile, "No Longer Accepting Complaints," featuring a dizzingly dirty and hedonistic synthesized bass line, was Lowfish's contribution to Ghostly International's essential robo-electro comp, Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau, a compendium of contemporary electronic artists doing exciting reinterpretations of the classic Giorgio Moroder-inspired austere disco sound. Later that same year, Lowfish recorded the four-song Accident Causer EP for Adult.'s Ersatz Audio label, then returned with another coldly funky collection of chirpy analog stabs, entitled Maintain the Tension. Lowfish is nothing if not a master of textures, and his mad layers of arpeggiated synths over tinny drum machines sometimes suggest the experimental computer music of yesteryear. Despite his obsessive-compulsive fixation on cleanliness and complexity, De Rocher retains a groovy dance floor energy, making Lowfish a brand of intelligent machine music sure to stimulate all parts of your cerebral cortex.