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Ian Crause

Experimental-minded songwriter Ian Crause first cut his teeth with the acclaimed but little heard British group Disco Inferno, whose melancholy futurist sampler-based pop inspired rock critic Simon Reynolds to invent the now much-dreaded "post-rock" appellation. While the group's contribution to '90s experimental rock music cannot be overstated, Crause broke up the group in 1996 due to financial difficulties and audience indifference. For a time, he pursued another frustrating project called Floorshow, recording a batch of new songs that never saw release on an album. But when a new posthumous '99 Disco Inferno EP revived interest in the group, Crause released his first EP under his own name, Elemental (on the Rough Trade sub Tugboat), which featured a pair of songs from the Floorshow recording sessions. Two years later he returned with a second EP, Head over Heels, on the terrific Spanish indie Acuarela. More conventional in structure than the mid-'90s Disco Inferno stuff, both revisit Crause's fascination with early '80s New Order-style melancholic dance-pop, which colored early Disco Inferno material. Crause's gentle, melodic, English singing style occasionally recalls his early '90s contemporary, Ian Broudie of the shimmering English pop combo The Lightning Seeds, but his material is more interesting, with nuanced production that features a pretty but ever-shifting mix of golden guitars, pert rhythms, and oceanic sampler-derived effects. Crause may be less devoted to pushing boundaries than he once was, but his idiosyncratic pop music remains compelling.

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