Fiskadoro: A Techno Adventure In Dubai

"When Jen and I moved to Texas multiple people told us not to do it 'because they killed Kennedy.' The JFK assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby etc. - it seems to be to be a metaphor for the start of all the madness around us."

- Fiskadoro's Richard Kimball

At our day job, we have a small selection of albums that we put on whenever we want to encourage some of the more annoying customers to leave. Houston's Fiskadoro is amply represented in that stack.

Their series of free EPs is not for the faint of heart. There's something about their sound that is deeply unsettling, and their latest release, Dubai, is no exception.

"The EP is about this strange year we find ourselves in," says Richard Kimball. On one hand there's all this paranoia and dread and a continuation of policies of perpetual war. On the other hand you have people like the #occupy (yes, I speak in hashtags now) movement working on a grass-roots level trying to instill radical change worldwide.

The idea of Dubai, this scary, futuristic looking place that lives and dies based on the whims of the oil industry seemed like an appropriate metaphor for all of that. And it relates back to Texas. In the end all of our songs are about Texas.

I guess we just tend to be preoccupied with the dread. But really we just want to make people dance."

Achieving dance-act status is certainly something that Fiskadoro has accomplished, though the eight-minute title track may be an endurance trial for those who aren't used to shaking it to something like the album cut of Sisters of Mercy's "This Corrosion."

The sound of Dubai is much more club-friendly than their previous outings. We sensed a great deal of Chemical Brothers influence in the work, particularly in "Dubai" itself.

Part of the switch has a great deal to do with the evolution of Fiskadoro's tastes towards straight electronica. The band is big fans of Heaven 17, Human League, and Houston's own //TENSE//, and they stage regular techno listening parties. Synth player Kirston Lane Otis has also been a tremendous influence in the changing sound since he joined. Formerly difficult to described, they've now settled comfortably into the genre of techno.

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