Minneapolis duo of Steve Cruz and Chris Heidman began a collaboration in the early 1990s, creating lo-fi, samples-and-guitar based tunes that caught the attention of Seattle, Washington labels Sub-Pop and Slabco. At Slabco, Sukpatch became the unlikely standard-bearer of the casio-core sound, though their early efforts were much more based on distressingly overdriven guitar sounds than twee blips and bloops.

Soon retro-funk, disco and pop samples (origins unknown, but possibly ranging from Coke Escovedo, through Disco Tex and the Sex-o-lettes, and all the way to Steely Dan) melded with the pair’s oddly elfin vocals, super catchy melodies and obscure, pot-friendly lyrics to catapult them onto the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal label.

The collapse of that label put the kibosh on what surely would have been a rise to hipster stardom, which (in neutral parlance) is a damn shame. A 2006 album, Twenty-three (one of only two from this EP-friendly band) on the Moshi Moshi label saw a return to early form, with more aggressive guitar, but more professional production than early singles.

In 2008 Sukpatch released another EP, Light’s End … Love’s Swell, under Creative Commons guidelines. The work is probably their most assured, blending slack grooves with at times furiously upbeat melodies, and at other times with acidic guitar work. The EP also highlights more than ever compositional differences between the high-voiced dude and the low-voiced dude (not sure who is who) while remaining a coherent whole.

Edited by kurtdahlke on 6 Jan 2009, 04:19


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