In the radio.wazee
spotlight this week Crystal Method. The L.A. grown
pair has been referred to as America's answer to the
Chemical Brothers. A dance-based electronic duo with
a definite rock band feel, the comparison would seem
appropriate, although it tends to erase what makes
the group distinct: a solid base in American hip-hop,
rock, soul, and pop.
1993 by Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, Crystal Method
is the most recent stop in a string of projects that
led them from their native Las Vegas (and some forgettable
4-track stabs at vocal house music), to the early-'90s
L.A. rave scene. Drawn in by its youthful idealism,
Jordan and Kirkland became absorbed by L.A.'s underground
club culture and began knocking out tracks inspired
by their experiences.
On the strength
of one of their demos, Crystal Method signed to Steve
Melrose and Justin King's City of Angels imprint in
1994, and their debut single, "Keep Hope Alive,"
appeared soon after. The title was in reference to
L.A.'s waning rave scene (burdened by constant police
pressure and a string of random violent incidents)
and became something of an anthem due to the endless
barrage of remixes and alternate versions that appeared.
The pair's demand to be taken seriously as a band
(as opposed to the enforced anonymity of most techno
acts, and something of a new concept for American
dance producers) extended to incessant live performances,
and Crystal Method's increasing popularity both in
the clubs and among radio jocks led to a deal with
Geffen affiliate Outpost Recordings in 1996.
debut LP, Vegas an unabashed party record bathed
in acid, funk, rock, and big-beat hip-hop appeared
in mid-1997. Sean Cooper, All Music Guide