Milk Cult was a Steel Pole Bath Tub side project spearheaded by bassist Dale Flattum (aka C.C. Nova, aka Agent Nova) and guitarist Mike Morasky (aka Bumblebee). More electronics-oriented than their main vehicle, Milk Cult gave the duo an arena to explore their interest in sampling, tape manipulation, and found instruments. The results sounded more like industrial music than the guitar-driven SPBT, but were often just as noisy and chaotically surreal. Nova and Bumblebee kicked off Milk Cult's existence in 1990, and issued their debut album, Love God, in 1992 on Boner Records; a portion of the record was devoted to their score for the Frank Grow film of the same title. Flattum subsequently issued a solo C.C. Nova album, confusingly titled Milk Cult Dispatch, in 1994 on Communion. Milk Cult's next effort was 1995's Burn or Bury, released while SPBT was in the middle of its short stay on a major label. Burn or Bury featured guest appearances from Faith No More's Mike Patton and Billy Gould, Jawbreaker's Blake Schwarzenbach, and the anonymous Conko, among others.
With Steel Pole Bath Tub stuck in label-imposed limbo in 1997, Nova and Bumblebee managed to score a grant from the French government to join an artists' collective in Marseilles. They spent a year recording the material that would eventually become 2000's acclaimed Project M-13, which featured deconstructions of traditional Corsican singing, Buddhist chanting, and a large African orchestra, among a vast array of other sources and guests. Morasky then moved on to work as a special-effects technician on the [RoviLink="VW"]Lord of the Rings films, and Flattum took his Agent Nova alias to a new project, Novex, which reunited him with SPBT drummer Darren Mor-X. ~ Steve Huey
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