We're not too proud to pick up a Casio...
Music For Isolation Tanks started as a quiet studio project back in 1991. The first release was the flip side of a cassette single consisting of four brief songs recorded in one evening. The focus of the project has always been electronic music and as the Help Wanted staff and studio has grown so has MFIT. Variety is the only constant in MFIT releases as each album offers an entirely different perspective on what electronic music is all about.
In 1994 the first full length album was released . Titled EXILE this tape consisted of ambient and experimental excursions made up of minimal and hypnotic soundscapes. Coinciding with EXILE was the release of the ethereal track "Untitled #3" which concluded the Art of Brutality cd compilation put out by Arts Industria. With this combination Music For Isolation Tanks became a full fledged project.
In the summer of 1995 MFIT started to play live shows. These would range from solo shows with a single instrument and some effects, to more involved productions combining older analogue synthesizers and multiple eccentric drum machines. The Caffeine album was recorded at the beginning of these live shows. It represents a more rhythmic side of the band than the previous studio work. It also foreshadowed the heavily processed sound that was to become an instrument in itself during future shows. Eventually "instruments" turned into anything and everything and the band has performed using synthesizers, tape recorders, guitars, a television set, children's toys, an Austrailian didgeridoo, and an assortment of delays, distortions, and effects. These more involved shows drastically changed the sound of the project once again.
An example of this new approach can be heard on the Dark and Stormy Night live album (out of print). This recording was made "bootleg' style by micing the room at the Khyber Pass, a local Philadelphia alternative music club, where MFIT was performing. It captures the band raw as a three piece performing almost gothic and sinister electronic noise using guitars, tape loops, and various synthesizers and drum machines.
In late 1996 the second studio album Nature/Nurture was released featuring pure trance and acid flavored beat driven techno tunes. This album is by far the most straight forward release by the band yet it has it's share of twists and turns as the spralling hypnotic tracks mutate rhythm and pulse. Then in early 1997 the most ambitious recording The Feedback Machine was released and once again MFIT defied itself in it's search for a sound.
The next year the band changed again as various members went on to create their own projects (see the Links page). Finally founder and Music For Isolation Tanks leader David Talento started creeping out and doing live shows solo again but by this time there was no turning back. The Live at Electrolust CD documents how much chaos one performer can create. While it's completely digitally mastered off a soundboard DAT, it's raw and tape loop oriented sound shows how the concept of MFIT has grown over the years. This album is also the first Help Wanted Productions CDr release and features the complete 50+ minute set of analog weirdness, noise, loops, and humor.
Today Music For Isolation Tanks continues to record and play live shows ranging from the original ambient intentions of the project to complex cut up and avant improvised excursions. In early 2000 Live at the Foundation was released and the more acid/techno flavored Nature/Nurture and various live sets have surfaced here and there. In 2001 MFIT headlined two shows at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and one track from those performances was later used the following year by local "Bald Mermaid" dancer Rebecca Sloan the following year along with two other solo tracks by both MFIT and David Talento.
Music For Isolation Tanks has started to record it's first studio album in years as well as continued to record live performances for a planned four CD live boxed set in 2005 spanning over a decade of MFIT concert madness. The new studio full length CD is a continuation of the original debut "Exile". Titled "Return to Exile" this will include classic instruments and patches used on that recording (from 1992-1994) as well as new sounds, instruments (both vintage and modern), and recording and processing techniques. It will be both beat driven and ambient combining a number of the styles developed live over the past ten years.
We'll be periodically placing new tracks in progress up on the Download page so check there for some free sneek peeks.
Finally, keep track of the concert schedule by checking out the Live