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Run Return's experiment with electronic minimalism has unique results

By David Espinoza

A SPECIES CLOSER to K Records bands like IQU (at least in low-fi mentality) and modern experimental jazz incarnations Isotope 217 than, say, household names such as Fat Boy Slim or the Crystal Method, local duo Run Return envision a shadowy alter-ego of electronica's flashy and erratic sound. Musicians Kevin Dineen and Tommy Fugelsang (both NYC émigrés, the latter a dead ringer for Mick Jagger) aren't turntablists but two guys fully versed in guitar, bass and drums who have opted for the steady robotic beat of drum machines and swirling synthesizers. Their four-song, instrumental EP Sum of an Abstract (instrumental if you don't count the voices played backward on the last track), from Boombox Productions, barely clocks in at 13 minutes and 27 seconds, but they still manage to get their point across. Electronica need not be loud, seizure-causing music, fit only for all-night raves--it can be minimalistic, pensive and experimental (not the noisy kind either). Vibraphones and live drums occasionally pepper the music, though the lack of vinyl scratching leaves the effort devoid of any funkiness--probably what the guys had in mind in the first place. With track names like "Transparent/translucent/opaque" summing up Dineen and Fugelsang's first recorded project as Run Return available to the public, Sum of an Abstract is certainly one of the unique efforts of the year.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Greatest hits, best-of albums, whatever you call them, are a huge no-no according to the punk rawk bible, verse S. Vicious: 69--but the legendary and now-defunct local melodic hard-core boys Fury 66 were smarter than that. The band has put out a compilation of rare, previously unreleased, final recordings and other assorted goodies that undoubtedly has its huge fan base licking their chops in anticipation. Fury 66 was always a heavy band, and I'm not just referring to sound--there aren't any moments of the guys saying "pull my finger" accidentally caught on tape to lighten up the mood throughout the 10-track album. Thunderous drumbeats so indicative of the melodic surf-core sound rumble and crack through each track, as do crunchy octave guitar lines (lots of down the fretboard pick scratching) and shouting vocals. The previously unreleased track "Sunday Again" is what Ozzy would sound like if he had stayed on speed and started listening to Pennywise. Track 4, "With Broken Shells," also stands out as music that could dissolve concrete if played at the right levels, but my heart belongs to the last track, a cover of the Cro-Mags' "World Peace," also available on 1998's Santa Cruz Still Sucks compilation (Bad Monkey Records).

Stay Tuned

Nerve Agents (includes former members of Fury 66), the Distillers, the Missing 23rd, Scissor Hand and Revolution Summer play the Vets Hall Friday (Aug. 31). Creation Is Crucifixion, Controlling Hand, Amps for Christ, Kalmex and the Riff Merchants play somewhere in downtown Santa Cruz Sunday (Sept. 2): look for flyers.

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From the August 29-September 5, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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