Hyperbubble

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hyperbubble
Hyperbubble in Toulouse.jpg
Hyperbubble performance in Toulouse, France: left to right, Jeff DeCuir, Jess DeCuir
Background information
Origin San Antonio, Texas, United States
Genres Synth-pop, electropop
Years active 1997 – Present
Labels UK: Bubblegum Records, Filthy Little Angels
USA: Uncle Buzz, Fellowshipwreck, Socket Sounds
Germany: Pure Pop For Now People
Associated acts Spleen, Crevice, Pink Filth, Moonrox
Website Official Hyperbubble website
Members Jess DeCuir
Jeff DeCuir

Hyperbubble is an international visual and performing arts electropop/synth-pop duo from San Antonio, Texas, formed by Jeff DeCuir and Jess Barnett DeCuir. The music of this American group is variously described as "early Eurythmics meets Josie and the Pussycats," referencing "markers such as New Musik, the Normal and Thomas Dolby."[1][2] Their songs are "catchy synth pop that mixes kitsch, retrofuturism and pop art in a chrome blender and sets the contents jiggling to a hypnotic robo-rhythm" with "lyrics that offer quirky takes on SF tropes from cyborgs and clones to ray guns and erotic surveillance."[3]

History[edit]

Spleen, Pink Filth and Crevice[edit]

Jeff DeCuir starred separately in numerous bands leading up to Hyperbubble. An example is Spleen, a Jem and the Holograms tribute band, Jeff co-founded in 1989 and in which he played drums under the name Stormer.[4]

Jeff first performed together with Jess Barnett DeCuir in the experimental dark ambient group Crevice and later, the "bouncy AM retro-pop" Pink Filth, both recording primarily with Uncle Buzz Records.[5][6][7] In the latter band, the duo played under the stage names, Nick Velvet and Baby Jessica, working lead vocals and keyboards. The two married in 2000.

Both bands mixed art with music, foreshadowing the pair's efforts with Hyperbubble. Crevice collaborated with American visual artist and composer Christian Marclay on the premier of Marclay's now-annual touring exhibit, The Sounds of Christmas, in 1999.[8][9] Pink Filth created music that was part of an installation by Jess as well as producing the CDs included with the comic books Warrior Nun Areala Special Edition No. 3 and Shotgun Mary CD Edition No. 1 by Antarctic Press.[10][11]

Hyperbubble[edit]

The band started as a creation of Jeff. Hyperbubble first appeared as the attributed author of a track on the 1997 album Acid Ranch 2000. Several years later, Jess joined him after the dissolution of Pink Filth to re-launch the concept band. In 2004, Hyperbubble debuted their first album, Sol!d Pop. Described as "peppy synth pop par excellence," the album showcased their ability to apply "the breakneck pace of punk… to straight-up synthpop."[12][13]

Their music contained a wry sci-fi element, the duo labeling it "bionic bubblepunk."[14] Hyperbubble was described as a band "in the proud tradition... of musicians pretending to be robots," but "taking the android artifice to intentionally over-the-top extremes, then undercutting all the sci-fi hokum with flashes of genuine humanity."[15] Sol!d Pop also displayed their persistent use of sampling; the band's most popular downloaded song,[16] "Leon", even featured sounds from their cat.[17] With their penchant for mixing, a remix version of the album soon followed. This tradition continued for future albums as well.

Hyperbubble realized regional success with a showcase band slot at the South by Southwest Music Festival and their 2007 album, Airbrushed Alibis, named a best local album.[18][19][20] The band was later voted Best Electronica Band in 2008 and runner-up Best Electronic Band in 2009 and Best Electronic Act in 2010 in the San Antonio Current.[21][22][23] They gained international recognition with recordings released by UK label Filthy Little Angels, which included Airbrushed Alibis. The "retro-techno-bubblegum pop" album continued their "cartoonish, Hanna-Barbera view of the future, informed by 1960s visions of the 21st century as an era of flying cars and robotic romance."[24][25] A 2008 dub version of the album heavily remixed and slowed down the pace of the original tracks.[26]

Huw Stephens featured the Hyperbubble song "Supermarket Casanova" on his nationally syndicated BBC Radio 1 program in 2007.[27] Their tour of the UK the next year led to them being signed by Glasgow-based Bubblegum Records.[28][29] Their first EP with the label, Better Set Your Phasers to Stun, featured a collaboration with Welsh bubblegum pop punk rocker Helen Love in which they covered her song from the title, with an added vocal track provided by her from her 1995 tune, "We Love You". The release completed their transition to a truly international group. Later in 2018, Love promoted the band in their music video for "Double Denim".[30]

Their next full-length CD, Candy Apple Daydreams, was described as a "cartoon automaton symphony" and a "pop opera… utilizing an amazing overture theme that weaves in and out of the entire album."[31][32] The music "sounds something like Madonna would sound...if her music were geared more towards school kids."[33] The effort hit several best-of lists, including popular Scot Spotify blogger[34] the Pansentient League's top five synthpop albums, Electro and Pop's Top Albums of 2010 (France) and Favorite Albums Of 2010 by the Houston Press, which also dubbed it "the best electronic album to come out of Texas since Asmodeus X's Morningstar.[32][35][36][37] The title track further made the English Electricity Club's top 30 songs of the year.[38]

Releases in 2011 included their LP, Drastic Cinematic with the German label, Pure Pop For Now People.[39] Characterized as a soundtrack to an imaginary Jean-Luc Godard film, the album possesses a darker and more atmospheric mood than their previous efforts.[40][41] Manda Rin of the Scottish band Bis contributed guest vocals along with sampled sounds from her cat, Akiko. An extended CD/MP3 version from Bubblegum notably adds a remix of their song "Welcome to Infinity" by Mark Towns, who previously worked on Hits! The Very Best of Erasure. The collaboration with Manda Rin continued in a 2013 release, Hyperbubble + Manda Rin.

In 2015, the band released its first live album, Live in London, drawn from a performance a year earlier at The Lexington in London, England.[42] The concert was part of a larger bill featuring Helen Love.[43] The release primarily featured live versions of songs from their first three albums.

On their 2017 album Western Ware, they teamed with Scott Simon of Our Daughter's Wedding to record the missing title track of their 1981 Digital Cowboy EP. They also collaborated with Rikki & Daz on their cover of the duo's "Rhinestone Cowboy".

In 2018, Electronic Sound Magazine bundled with their print issue a compilation CD Man & Machine commemorating Kraftwerk that included Hyperbubble's "Bionic Girl" from their Sol!d Pop album alongside tracks by Devo, Ultravox's John Foxx, Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter and Meat Beat Manifesto.[44]

Hyperbubble as visual art[edit]

Hyperbubble performs in costume and in a giant TV at the 2010 Luminaria Festival in San Antonio, Texas

An intrinsic component of Hyperbubble is the integration of pop culture and the performing and visual arts into its performances, music videos and packaging. This is informed by the duo's art background. Jess received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is art department faculty at San Antonio College and at the Southwest School of Art.[45][46][47] Jeff who has a B.F.A. also from the University of Texas San Antonio serves as an instructor at the International Academy of Design and Technology San Antonio and designs show flyer and CD and album cover art.[48][49] In keeping with their art background, the band debuted at the Cactus Bra Space in San Antonio's Blue Star Arts Complex on November 6, 2003 and continues to perform in art spaces.[17][50][51] In 2007, the band played in support of an exhibit opening by new wave musician/artist of Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, entitled "Postcard Diaries."[52]

The duo views the band as "a complete audio-visual package."[3][17] The San Antonio Luminaria Festival invited Hyperbubble to perform as a multidisciplinary and visual artist.[53] One year, they played at the festival inside a giant pink TV set dressed as superheroes.[54] The San Antonio Current observed that the Hyperbubble aesthetic on stage and through their website "is defined by clean lines, lots of open space, primary colors, and a judicious under-use of words."[55] A local online magazine summed up the group as "more than just a band, Hyperbubble is a collection of symbols, including text, graphic art, audio, video, live performance, and photography."[56]

Hyperbubble has integrated their music into art and multimedia installations by Jess[57][58][59][60][61] and collaborated on a 2009 sound art project by regional artists Jen Khoshbin and Paul Lewis.[62] The band itself has produced stand-alone visual art to accompany their music such as for the Sleeveface photo exhibit and Covers and Sleevefaces release at Lieu Commun in Toulouse, France.[63][64][65] In 2016, they performed at the San Antonio Museum of Art in conjunction with their release of Music to Color By and a companion coloring book, Coloring Book Concert, illustrated by the duo.[66]

Side projects[edit]

Hyperbubble contributed music for Gracie DuVin, drum programming for The Gilliam Section's song "Solus" on their 2009 eponymous album (WMT/Habitual Grace Recordings) and backing vocals for Femme Fatality's 2008 One's Not Enough on Stickfigure Records.[67] They also provided vocals for "The Very Nerve Centre Of Art/Video Cliche" on Spray's 2016 Enforced Fun.

Hyperbubble also produced music for commercials, a podcast and films, including a stop-motion film.[68][69][70] In 2006, they supplied theme and incidental music for San Antonio-based Modsnap, a public-access television cable TV show on fashion.[69][71] They won Best Musical Score for Dee Dee Rocks the Galaxy at the 2014 San Antonio 48 Hour Film Project.[72]

Both members occasionally recorded for the electronic group Moonrox. Jeff also supplied the theme song for the webseries Nightlife the Series under the name "Macchio Man."[73] Jessica performed theremin for Wolverton's 2017 album Wizard Land.[74]

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Sol!d Pop, 2004 – Uncle Buzz Records (Socket Sounds)
  • Airbrushed Alibis, 2007 – Filthy Little Angels (UK)
  • Candy Apple Daydreams, 2010 – Bubblegum Records (UK)
  • Drastic Cinematic, 2011 – Pure Pop For Now People (Germany)
  • Music to Color By, 2016 – Pure Pop For Now People
  • Western Ware, 2017 – Fellowshipwreck

Soundtracks[edit]

  • Attack of the Titans, 2014 – Pure Pop For Now People
  • Dee Dee Rocks the Galaxy, 2015 – Pure Pop For Now People

Remixes of Hyperbubble[edit]

  • "Passing Phase (Remix)", Wytebred, 2005
  • "Passing Phase (Crazy DJ Mix)", Skyliber, 2005
  • "Passing Phase (Remix)", DJ 486, 2005
  • "Psychic Connection (Remix)", Psychomantis, 2005
  • "Psychic Connection (Remix)", Love in the Space Age, 2005
  • "Nervous System (Because of My Dog Mix)", Stolearm, 2007
  • "Hyperactive (Stolearm's Nightmare Mix)", Track No. 3 and "Supermarket Casanova (Stolearm's Nightmare Mix)", Track No. 9, Remixes + collaborations, Stolearm, 2010

Footnotes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Fortner, Stephen (June 2010). "Review of Candy Apple Daydreams". Keyboard Magazine. 
  2. ^ Review of ShiSho/Hyperbubble. LosingToday.com. May 13, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Allen, Sanford (January 29, 2010). "Made in SA: Hyperbubble". Missions Unknown. Archived from the original on February 22, 2010.  Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  4. ^ Garcia, Gilbert (January 30, 2007). "Glamour Boys". San Antonio Current. 7 (5). pp. 16–17. 
  5. ^ Crevice biography. Uncle Buzz Records. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "AP Recommends... Crevice – Crevice 2". Alternative Press. 12 (119). June 1998. p. 14. 
  7. ^ Raggett, Ned. Review of Hyperbubble. Allmusic. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  8. ^ "Merry Mixmax!". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2011.  Crevice collaboration on Christian Marclay exhibit at the ArtPace contemporary art center, San Antonio.
  9. ^ Timeblind bookings. Description of original The Sounds of Christmas commission by ArtPace in 1999. New Museum of Contemporary Art. New York City. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  10. ^ Navarro, John (November 7, 2007). "Pink Filth puff piece (San Antonio Current)". Uncle Buzz Records. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011.  Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  11. ^ Pink Filth discography. Psychedelic Music. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Raggett, Ned. Airbrushed Alibis review. Allmusic. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  13. ^ Schiller, Mike (November 7, 2007). "Hyperbubble: Airbrushed Alibis". PopMatters. 
  14. ^ Lai, Chi Ming (October 7, 2010). "Introducing HYPERBUBBLE". The Electricity Club. 
  15. ^ Martin, Jeremy (October 22, 2008). "Review of Limelight, Friday, October 17 performance". San Antonio Current. 8 (43). p. 49. 
  16. ^ Information from iTunes Store, Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Ryan, Robbie (July 28, 2009). "ILAB Artist Series: Hyperbubble". The I Love Analogue Blog. 
  18. ^ Saldaña, Hector (March 17, 2006). "This SXSW Has a 'Heart of Gold'". San Antonio Express-News. 
  19. ^ Blackstock, Peter, Cohen, Jason & Smith, Andy, eds. (2011). SXSW Scrapbook. Essex Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-292-72675-8. 
  20. ^ "Jingles and Bells". San Antonio Current. 7 (47). December 5, 2007. p. 16. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. 
  21. ^ "First Annual Rammy Awards". San Antonio Current. 8 (12). March 19, 2008. p. 30. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. 
  22. ^ "2nd Annual Rammy Awards". San Antonio Current. 9 (30). November 18, 2009. p. 54. Archived from the original on April 23, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Third annual Rammy Award winners". San Antonio Current. 10 (50). December 15, 2010. p. 47. 
  24. ^ Feldmar, Marcel (2008). "Reviews – Airbrushed Alibis". The Big Takeover. 29 (62). p. 184. 
  25. ^ Garcia, Gilbert (May 23, 2007). "Aural Pleasure: Computer Dating". San Antonio Current. 7 (21). p. 48. 
  26. ^ Wooldridge, Si (January 2, 2008). Hyperbubble - Airbrushed Alibis In Dub. Synthpop.net. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  27. ^ Stephens, Huw (June 21, 2007). Tracklisting. BBC Radio 1. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  28. ^ Hyperbubble 2008 ANALOG IN THE UK tour dates. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  29. ^ Pollock, David (August 20, 2009; updated August 26, 2009) Labels of love: Bubblegum Records. The List. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  30. ^ OriginalRock (June 23, 2018) Helen Love Reveal ‘Double Denim’ Video. OriginalRock.net. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  31. ^ Martin, Jeremy (February 3, 2010). Review of Candy Apple Daydreams. San Antonio Current.
  32. ^ a b Jef With One F (February 16, 2010). Post-Valentine's Day Blues? San Antonio's Hyperbubble Will Cheer You Up. Houston Press.
  33. ^ dONW7 (March 2010). Candy Apple Daydreams LMNOP review. babysue.
  34. ^ Blog Roll: Spotify. The Guide. The Guardian. July 25, 2009, page 32.
  35. ^ White, Jer. Top 10 Synthpop Albums of 2010. The Pansentient League. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  36. ^ Top Albums Sellon Stephen. Electro and Pop. January 1, 2011.
  37. ^ Gray, Chris (December 31, 2010). Rocks Off's Favorite Albums Of 2010. Houston Press.
  38. ^ Lai, Chi Ming (December 30, 2010). The Electricity Club's 30 SONGS OF 2010. The Electricity Club. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  39. ^ Drastic Cinematic release announcement. Bubblegum Records. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  40. ^ Lai, Chi Ming (July 1, 2011). "Hyperbubble: Drastic Cinematic". The Electricity Club.  Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  41. ^ Lai, Chi Ming (June 27, 2011). "Comentario del Disco de: Hyperbubble". Laganzua.net.  Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  42. ^ Lai, Chi Ming (November 21, 2015). "HYPERBUBBLE Live In London". The Electricity Club.  Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  43. ^ Lai, Chi Ming (December 20, 2014). "HYPERBUBBLE Interview". The Electricity Club.  Retrieved April 12, 2017
  44. ^ "Issue 40 Magazine & CD Bundle". Electronic Sound Magazine. 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018. 
  45. ^ Jess DeCuir art portfolio.
  46. ^ VISUAL ARTS Adjunct Faculty. San Antonio College. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  47. ^ Jessica DeCuir faculty biography. Southwest School of Art. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  48. ^ Catalog listing Jeff DeCuir in faculty of the International Academy of Design and Technology San Antonio. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  49. ^ Sample poster art by Jeff DeCuir. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  50. ^ Judson, Ben (2004). "Psychic in a Floating Bubble". Voices of Art. 12 (1). p. 14. 
  51. ^ Gupta, Anjali (November 6, 2003). "ARTIFACTS". San Antonio Current (704). p. 17. 
  52. ^ Pilmer, Michael (May 12, 2007). "POSTCARD DIARIES at FL!GHT Gallery - San Antonio, TX". 
  53. ^ Martin, Deborah (February 17, 2011). Who's doing what at Luminaria? Mysanantonio.com. San Antonio Express-News
  54. ^ DeCuir, Ron (December 4, 2010). Hyperbubble performance at Luminaria Festival.
  55. ^ Pomento, Dawn (June 3, 2004). "Art pop". San Antonio Current (734). p. 35. 
  56. ^ Sitz, Miriam (November 6, 2012). "PechaKucha Night Vol. 8: The Care and Feeding of a Full and Hungry House". The Rivard Report.  Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  57. ^ You Spin ME…, 2004 3Walls exhibit in San Antonio information
  58. ^ Ben (January 30, 2007). "First Friday in February". Emvergeoning.  Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  59. ^ Viva Leon. February 2007 REM Gallery exhibit in San Antonio. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  60. ^ Lindstrom, Ashley (January 30, 2007). "Current Choice: Art – Viva Leon". San Antonio Current. January 31 – February 6, 2007. 7 (5). p. 49. 
  61. ^ Hyperbubble in the Blurring the Boundaries exhibit and musical performance of Texas musician/artists at the Ellen Noel Art Museum in Odessa. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  62. ^ Khoshbin, Jen. {2009 Project} Low-fi Toll-free: Sound art via telephone. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  63. ^ Hyperbubble in Sleeveface CD / photo exhibit this month in France! March 5, 2009.
  64. ^ Winter Records volume 2 sortie à Lieu-Commun, jeudi 5 mars à partir de 19h30. ArtPresenceWeb Blog. March 4, 2009.
  65. ^ Art piece by Hyperbubble for San Antonio Chalk It Up! event. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  66. ^ Sweet, Shannon (February 23, 2016). "Hyperbubble to Release CD and Coloring Book at San Antonio Museum of Art". San Antonio Current blogs. 
  67. ^ Hyperbubble compilation discography. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  68. ^ Widge (November 25, 2010). The Sound Board No. 14: Hey Thanks. need coffee dot com. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  69. ^ a b Modsnap TV intro Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  70. ^ Sarah Booth. Stop motion film Slick with artist statement. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  71. ^ Modsnap. Videos with Hyperbubble music. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  72. ^ 48 Hour Film Fest Best Musical Score award press release. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  73. ^ Nightlife the Series – Web Series Review. choosen.tv, from Series & TV. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  74. ^ Wizard Land by Wolverton. Retrieved August 30, 2017.

External links[edit]

Official sites

Notable Interviews and Articles