Disco Inferno were formed by teenagers Ian Crause (guitars and vocals), Paul Willmott (bass), Daniel Gish (keyboards), and Rob Whatley (drums) in Essex in 1989. By autumn of that year, Gish was no longer part of the band after its restructuring; he would later join Bark Psychosis; the remaining trio began gigging around London to indifferent pub crowds. The band's early work, summed up on the accurately titled In Debt, bears the heavy influence of Joy Division, Wire, and other significant post-punk bands of the late '70s and early '80s. Though derivative and not nearly as experimental and imaginative as the band's later work, the material on In Debt successfully pays tribute (and at times rivals) the output of their predecessors. Without knowing it, you might think them to be a Factory band, circa 1981 -- dark, jagged, and haunting.
Crause soon became infatuated with the unique sounds of My Bloody Valentine and the Young Gods, as well as the Bomb Squad's revolutionary production and sampling on Public Enemy's records. A major turning point for Disco Inferno, they began to issue a series of some of the most uncompromising and experimental music of the mid-'90s. The Summer's Last Sound EP in 1992 marked this new beginning. Percolating indifference and economic troubles on the part of the band's label, Cheree, came to a head, and Rough Trade came to the rescue and began to issue the band's releases. The new label saved the band's life, as the members believed that they were too challenging for anyone else to understand or care for. The years of 1993 and 1994 turned out to be Disco Inferno's most productive and creative, yielding four EPs and an LP, D.I. Go Pop. Disorienting, confusing, and highly schizophrenic, the challenging releases were in direct contrast to the prevailing Brit-pop scene of the time. They took A.R. Kane's futurist pop a couple steps further and secured a devout and small following that found solace in their wildly imaginative, peerless nature.
After the It's a Kid's World EP, Crause found himself in a creative rut and hadn't the slightest clue as to what their follow-up should entail. Feeling creatively drained from Go Pop's boundary-breaking vision and inability to gain sustainable recognition, Crause and company mustered enough creative strength to record Technicolour, which didn't find release until 1996 and failed to register a blip on the commercial and critical radar. By that time, the group dissolved out of frustration and a seemingly endless, downward financial spiral. The band's last recording session saw posthumous release as a six-song EP on the Tugboat label. Crause continued to record under the Floorshow alias, but none of his work surfaced commercially until a single of salvaged material (issued under his own name) hit the racks in 2000. Ten years later, the One Little Indian label issued a disc compiling the five EPs released from 1992 through 1994. ~ Andy Kellman
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