Some of my personal favourite blog posts that I’ve written are on bands or artists that I didn’t know all to much about. I had to do bit of Google sleuthing to find them and/or any information about them. After some protracted searches and second guessing I’m usually able to mine a small wealth of information from the faceless myriad of internet static. The subject of this week’s Sounds From the Other Side is one such artist… and so I present to you, MR 666.
Some time ago (maybe nine months or so back), I played a rather interesting mp3 that at the time, I had no clue who it was from, who it was of and that was labeled very oddly. So I went on Last.fm to do a little digging. All I had to go on was “Inerstate” was listed as the band’s name, “A2 Esteban” as the track title, which seemed odd and the contributing artist tag was filled with some random filename characters. I figured that I’d just have to settle with being forever shrouded in darkness over the track and the identity of artist behind it. But I couldn’t leave well enough alone and kept digging. After a bit of time I found more information hidden like gold in internet seams of chalcedony stone. And I eventually tracked it all back to the artist know as MR666. The germ of this search, track “A2 Esteban,” was an awesome doomy Krautrock/Italiano synth masterpiece, riffing along like John Carpenter on speed sailing the seas of an analogue interweb.
MR 666 hails from the current home of modern death synth, the always productive Chicago. An artist working with sounds dredged from the same underworld of 1980’s horror soundtracks, MR 666 utilizes the same droning synths to create moods and environments in a way similar to Gatekeeper, Zombi or Oneohtrix Point Never. However waht sets MR 666 apart from his contemporaries is that his dirges are relatively upbeat, a neon illuminated flag on the darkened dance floor. Soaring synth organ and string parts lift you from the darkness of the city, up through the smog layer to a world of drifting clouds into and angelic synth based orgasm.
MR 666 has been playing a few gigs here an dthere n and around the Chicago area for a few years it would seem, notably supporting Gatekeeper in the summer of 2009. But it seems he’s starting to play out more frequently as of late. Most recently MR 666 turned in a set this past Friday as part of Chicago’s Version 11 festival.
The MR 666 Myspace is a sparse and hardly attended to affair, but has some interesting tracks on it only found there. There are covers of the Doctor Who and A Clockwork Orange theme along with “Esteban” and another brilliant track called “Faustas.” Digging deeper I managed to find MR 666’s Soundcloud, which was sadly a totally empty affair. No followers and it was following no one itself. No links, No image but it did have tracks and damn, if you couldn’t recognize from the sounds that both MR 666s were one and the same. All the tracks there have been uploaded within the last two months, which also coincides with MR 666’s re-engagement with performing live.
Feeling quite pleased with my sleuthing I was about to start writing this entry when I found this video on YouTube, and damn if some of my assumptions weren’t warped a little! Up until this point I had thought this was a solo bedroom project but in this live video of MR 666 from 2010, if you look carefully you can see there are three band members rocking the synth stands. For me this takes the band up a level to become something altogether more brilliant, this is a proper line up, a proper band with live potential and by the looks of it some great live visuals.
Then the final dawning recognition struck my mind like an Easter nail through my temporal palm and the source of the “Esteban” mp3 was revealed to me, of course 20JazzFunkGreats! What other blog would have been as privy to such a tune as this. Their post from just over nine months ago still has the track available to download which is a great thing as there is nothing else to download anywhere else… that is as of yet. record label Ghost Arcade seems to imply there is a release by MR 666 coming soon.- Fokkawolfe