Our friends Steve EP and Katie Petix have jettisoned their past catalog for a new-look Technophobia, which is set to perform backstage at the Black Cat on Sunday.
The experimental electronic duo already made their local reintroduction opening for Laibach at the Black Cat in May. In the interim, I caught them with their compatriots Pleasure Curses (opening for Ki:Theory) at DC9 in June.
Technophobia affixes Steve to his keyboards and Katie on vocals, at times sampling various dialogue or sounds and at times soaring high into alt-dance rhythms that invite you to get your dark groove on.
The new songs from Technophobia seem to focus on emptiness or nothingness. And they demonstrate an affinity for Jean-Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit,” as lifted from a film version, in their sampling of dialogue.
In “Negative Space,” Steve inserts lines from lesbian Inez: “You can’t throttle thoughts with hands.” The sparkling synths that follow belie the lyrics sung by Katie of places in between other places, where lies nothingness.
Watch Technophobia perform “Negative Space” at the Black Cat on May 11, 2015, in a fan-made video:
Another song “Fall to Nothing” lifts dialogue from Garcin of “No Exit” for its intro: “I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the fire and brimstone, the torture-chambers, the burning marl? –Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is other people!”
This of course sets the stage for Katie to sing of a moment transfixed in time when a powerful loss occurred. The song is chilling but buoyed by layered synthpop.
Technophobia open for DC doom metal band Citadel backstage at the Black Cat on Sunday. Tickets are available online and at the door.