A long time ago, while working in a grocery store far, far away, I met this crazy young punk named Bryan Elsloo. Like myself, he had been sentenced to the mentally stimulating evening grind of bagging groceries, pushing a broom, and fetching shopping carts. By day, we battled football jocks and rich "valley kids", regularly taking beatings for being gay (even though we weren't) and acting weird (which we did). We had a lot in common! We also discovered a similar taste in electronic music, and a nostalgic bent for post-punk, industrial, and goth subcultures. We decided to start a band!
However, the word "band" must be used cautiously when such an outfit consists of only two angsty immature teens with a preference for electronic knob twiddling over traditional string plucking. After a short stint as a three piece with a high school friend who was learning his chops on the guitar, Bryan and I decided to go fully electronic, forming "The Stricken". The name didn't last long before we changed it to "Star Chamber". After several recordings, we changed the name yet again to one that seemed more fitting - "Wrack Process". With this project, we would attempt to remind the world around us that the medieval days of inquisition and injustice weren't so far removed from the experiences of a couple of misfit suburban teens.
Inspired by post-industrial heroes like Skinny Puppy, Coil, and Cabaret Voltaire, we pursued music that was cold and electronic, yet live and improvised. We never "practiced" in the traditional sense (although we had been known to get kicked out of a department store or two for impromptu practice sessions on their latest selection of Casio keyboards). Instead, we composed and recorded everything "on the fly". The studio was always a mess of cables, cheap cassette decks, Radio Shack rejects, and entry level synthesizers. We would lock ourselves in whatever basement or warehouse we could get our hands on, and produce a cassette. No post-production, no edits, and no mastering. We'd drop down sequences, cassette loops, and samples mid-song, and Bryan became quite adept at producing "automatic" vocals. As a result, most of our recordings were raw, unpredictable, and not very accessible. But we had a blast making them.
By about 1998, Wrack Process was losing steam. Although our live improvisational sessions were still quite productive, our schedules and interests had become somewhat misaligned. Bryan began to concentrate on a career as a drum 'n bass deejay, and on his solo effort In Virus Tandem. I released a few tracks under my last name before re-assuming the moniker "Testube", which had been the name of a side-project we had produced some electro-tribal material under, some years before. The old Wrack Process cassette masters have been sitting in a metal ammo can in my studio ever since. As is the case with most magnetic tape-based media, some of them are not aging well.
For those who are interested in hearing what our early musical output was like prior to my solo work as Testube, I am pleased to present the old Wrack Process masters as digital downloads. They are slowly being digitized, as I find the time to do so. You can grab them for free at WrackProcess.com. Please keep in mind that the equipment used to produce and record them was very primitive, and that the transfer from analog to digital is not always so friendly. Add to that the fact that we were a couple of teens with zero experience in audio production, and you're in for an interesting experience. Listening to them brings back some awesome memories, but they probably won't have the same effect on most of you. So listen at your own risk. ;)