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Frontier



Frontier may operate around a basic guitar/bass/drums setup, but their sound is like nothing you've ever heard before. This band takes its listeners to a black hole where no one else exists and nothing else matters. The bass and drums are the rocketship and the guitar provides the fuel for this unique instrumental trio's strange variety of controlled chaos, which mixes space and prog rock with ambient music and live drum and bass. If feels a bit like a musical kishke made from the sounds of Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, and Kraftwerk, sliced up, and served to discerning listeners in tasty postmodern chunks.

The group -- featuring guitarist Steven Wessley, bassist Kevin Ireland, and drummer Michael Tsoulos -- is best known for its wild live performances, which feature unbelievable light shows and more smoke than the movie Towering Inferno. But Frontier has also recorded some great CDs, including several live albums. They started with a 1994 seven-inch and a self-titled 1995 LP, the latter a 74-minute experiment in ambient guitar feedback, on Humboldt Pie Reproductions. Frontier then moved to Tug-o-War, and released its first live record, Frontier Recorded Live at the Empty Bottle 7.23.96. In 1997, they released another feedback/drone project, Heater (including "Lakewood" and "Space Invaders"), recorded live in the studio by Steve Albini. Another live experimental project, 4, followed in 1998 on Emperor Jones. In 1999, Frontier released their Suture EP on Perishable. In 2000, they recorded another live show at Chicago's Empty Bottle, Frontier Presents Foam (which you can stream in its entirety).