King Cobb Steelie
The music collective King Cobb Steelie was birthed in Guelph in 1991. Since then they have recorded and performed an idiosyncratic punch up of tape echo guitar collisions and hyperactive syncopated rhythms. The band gave away their first 7 inch single ‘One’s A Heifer’ at live shows as an attempt to subvert the ‘music as commodity’ model.
That same spirit has infused the band throughout its long tenure. 5 cd’s have followed along with 3 ep’s & a 12 inch as well as dozens of tours and collaborations (STEVE ALBINI, KINNIE STARR, ERIC CHENAUX, MICHELLE MACADOREY, BILL LASWELL, GUY FIXSEN, DJ SERIOUS, DON PYLE – AND MANY MORE). And, oddly enough, a few Juno nominations.
Somebody also said this about us – well actually it was Lisa Schwartzman and we copped this from her biography on iTunes which is WAY BETTER than anything we wrote – see above:
An anti-commercialism, community-minded collective of musicians, King Cobb Steelie play alternative rock that is a jumble of sampling, scratching, world music instruments and studio sorcery, showing a flair for seamless ecclecticism. Far from being a band that grafts diverse influences onto a Western rock sound, these musicians compose organic, holistic pieces that also create spaces for rich improvistional digressions during live shows. Their first CD, S/T (1993, Raw Energy Records/ A&M), which includes some scratching and samples, introduced KCS as a punk band with knee-deep grooves- a kind of superfreak Fugazi. KCS’s next effort was Project Twinkle (1994, Lunamoth), a spacier, bassier dub-jazz groove shower that demonstrated a Bill Laswell musical influence on the band (Laswell also produced the CD). This work has an emphasis on instrumental/ electronic sounds over vocals and jangly guitars. Exploring more electronic sounds than ever, KCS experimented with beats on Junior Relaxor (1997, EMI Canada). Martina Topley-Bird (Tricky’s singing partner) – influenced vocals and Trip-Hop stylings indicated yet another stage of evolution for the band, recapturing the edge of their live performances but keeping a low-key groove. King Cobb Steelie, with their expert use of Dub, Trip-Hop, Punk, Rock and Funk, are one of the few groups who can meld and interplay such influences with simple grace. Mayday followed in early 2001. ~ Lisa Schwartzman