It’s all about the new ‘Theory of Modern Isolation.’
With the onset of all this break-neck advancement of technology, anybody can do just about anything, including music, with the touch of a button in even the most darkest of bedrooms, basements or converted living rooms.
I’m in one of those converted rooms now, shuffling through a drawer of creative memos scribbled on Post-It notes that could read like Harmony Korine’s Crack-Up at the Race Riots novel if it was so meant to be.
“Don’t pay attention to the note that says ‘Fuck You Shawn,’ ’’ Fuxter Schittly says.
He laughs. I laugh and hand the drawer back with everything still in order.
Yes, in this so-called “Modern” age of the music industry, everyone’s fingertips are sore from hitting the buttons and their ears are raw from headphones. The response from them, concerning any question, is “What?” Because in turn, they're all deaf from the loud volumes of sound so close to their eardrums.
Fuxter explains that you don’t have to play any “real” instruments nowadays to create music. This is a beautiful thing. If this technology was available in Akron in the mid-’70s, would DEVO have formed? I ask this of Fuxter, real name withheld like a goldenage superhero. You see, enemies aren’t necessarily villains.
Enemies are enemies.
Ronnie Regan’s “Just Say No” program is still talked about as reverse-subverted ideaology. Its message lives. Its OK to talk about “it.”
Fuxter tells me that DEVO wouldn't have come together if they had all these buttons, switches and power-strips around. I agree.
Fuxter is one man. Two hands. Nine sore fingertips (one is missing from a lawnmowing accident) and two very raw ears.
To explain his delivery brings forth a bit of uneasiness. Are they songs? Yes. In the definition of songs, Fuxter’s CDs are definitely packed full of songs. Are they art? Yes. They are art “pieces” in CD audio form.
Fuxter is the modern music industry giants’ enemy, armed with a sling full of spacious think-twice left wing situationist sloganeering mind-fucks, like “Kollie- Wobbles” or “Transmission Drive” from his 2008 release.
“The giant thought he had us,” Fuxter proclaims.
But the people’s hero is aiming straight for the blinded giants’ foreheads.
And Fuxter’s aim is true. Imagine all those commercials you watch on TV and hear on the radio (remember that thing?) becoming haunting entities. They aren't bound by a mere time limit of 30 or 60 seconds. They are not bound by grouped subject matter. Imagine these commercials dissected and respliced, thrown back at you like an “I told ya so.” Some phrasing repeats almost reaching mantra-like proportions.
There’s a beat to it, but not the kind of beat that you want to dance to. It’s the sort of soundtrack for a maddening product nightmare that makes you pound your right fist against the roof of your automobile, while still maintaining control of your vehicle with your left hand. Using the remnants of a school’s out-dated media library, turntables and various recording devices (and something that he calls a “record flogger”), Fuxter draws from a wide array of mixed-media sources for his pieces.
Spoken word records. Flexi-Discs. Recorded samples. He recounts tales of his childhood in a basement with a drum set and reel-to-reel tape machine, doing a version of what he still does. It is inspiring and sort of scary.
These pieces are collected in volumes of consumerangst-ridden sonic terrorism. Handmade and self-released. He shows me how each CD is wiped clean of any traceable fingerprints or evidence. He has a sort of “cleanroom” where his CDs are built and stored before their placement at their only available outlet in the region, Shake It Records in Northside.
Finishing up over a double-cheeseburger platter at Rombes in Blue Ash, where I originally met with Fuxter and was taken blindfolded to his base of secret operations, my head is sore from the binding. Whilst rubbing my temples, I notice he goes for the cole slaw first before the burger or fries are touched.
I ask about the future of his struggle. He has just finished the slaw. He picks up the burger and, after taking a large bite, looks me square in the eyes and ask me with his mouth full: “What?”