I have been catcing shows by FLUX INFORMATION SCIENCES over the last year or so.I have seen them go from a two unit (synth, sampler, Casio drum machine, and the most fucked up guitar I've seen in a while) to a three unit (using a drummer that sometimes plays a piece of metal). The best show that I have seen was at Artists Space. The drummer was gone, so Tristan droppped the fucked-up guitar and played the drum kit as he sang. The beats acted as punctuation to the words instead of traditional time keeping- the result being closer to Stravinsky(i.e.,"Rites of Spring") - thus breaking away from the blues rythms of rock 'n' roll. FIS learned to use this method to their advantage: while Tristan was screaming and bashing, his partner Sebastien was dishing out synth bursts, using the synthesizer as a percussion instrument sending out ugly slabs of sound (i.e., Tuxedomoon, Screamers) and sweet syrup hooks and sour samples that sound at times like low-budget European soundtracks from the 60s and 70s.
These guys were babies when the no-wave imploded under its own atomic weight. Sonic Youth brought rock/pop referents back into no wave, whereas Mars, DNA, teenage Jesus sounded totally alien. FIS combines all of this , bringing back the viscious absurdity of no wave with oddball pop reference. FIS also inject expression and personality to electronic music. In this sense, they are analogous to early Devo rather than Kraftwerk. (...) they manage to transcend artiness for expressiveness. (...)heavy on the d.i.y. side, their work conceptually incorporates philosophy, look, product, and sound (...) breaking it down to build it up. Flux Information Sciences is music for a new corporation.
FIS ran through the set sounding more and more like demented carnival music. Artist Space became a hot house and I had to get out of there.