A good DJ is both historian and scrapbooker. In a few short hours, their craft manages to capsulize a moment in musical, and often cultural history. Unfortunately, ever since the advent of the crossfader, people have been confused as to the role of a good DJ. Nowadays, more often than not, the Disc Jockey is looked upon as a wetware synthesizer; churning out seamless strings of generated tones for ecstacy addled teenagers to grind to. Many people have seem to have forgotten that a DJ is only as good as the records that he plays. Mike Textbeak has not forgotten, and because of this, he stands as the most important DJ in the modern underground movement.
Whether playing live at his residency KVLT in Columbus, Ohio or broadcasting over the internet for Karnival Radio, Textbeak flawlessly weaves the sounds of classical dark dance and industrial with many of the newer voices coming out of what Mishka dubbed Grave Wave. Hearing the sounds of today’s dark artists next to the sounds of Coil and Ministry and Bauhaus does more for the credibility of the movement than any article or blog can accomplish. With an emphasis on humor and self-deprication, this new crop of transgressive artists do more to sabotage their place in music history than help.
With most physical releases restricted to extremely limited editions, and a nearly endless flood of free music being distributed over the internet, it is almost hard to take the genre most commonly reffered to as Witch House seriously. Debates over whether this confusion and confutation is purely intentional seems meaningless when one listen to one of Mike Textbeak’s broadcasts. Within the span of two hours TXTBK’S CHVRCH XV BRXK3N 7ANGvAG3 is always an educational voyage into the reprobate world of subterranean sound, carefully mixed and manipulated with an ear for music that makes the soul ache for corruption.
Call him the Haunted Harvey or the Malificent Mancuso, Mike Textbeak is truly one of the most important figures on the music scene today. On top of his own work, by himself and with his band BATH, Mike’s significance as a prophet of the profane places him firmly in the center of one of the more exciting movements in recent history. These are dark times, and with them music begin to get grittier and more corrupt. If any of it is fit to stant the test of time, it will owe much to the efforts of Mike. You can catch Mike’s radio show on Sundays from 10PM to 12AM EST on Karnival Radio every week, with a replay on Wednesdays 8PM-10PM EST. If you happen to be in or around the Columbus area, check out KVLT’s Facebook page for details on this monthly event.- Nattymari