Dead Batteries 12″
Mims, Florida, is a small town best known for two things: 1. Their barbequed clams, a (thankfully) regional favorite, and 2. NextStep Formula, a band whose edgy sound is already being predicted as the big sound of ’98 in Ibiza. NextStep Formula (originally known as Similac, before threatened legal action convinced the band to rethink their name) uses a light, stammering sound to their rhythms, taking drum-and-bass hyperactivity to an unexpected but logical next step. Above that float some of the fattest analog samples you’ll hear, great distorted gobs of sound originating from infant toys. The band maintains that their strangest sounds come when the batteries on their lights-and-sounds contraptions are at their weakest, but there is nothing quite like the rush of the clear-as-a-bell Pooh melody that intertwines througout “Hello Piglet,” their current friends-only single.
That song, currently packing dancefloors on the Balearics, is not on Dead Batteries, a collection of NextStep’s first three singles (dating back to November 1997) and a few remixes, most notably DJ Bouncy Chair’s “Fucking wit da Horizontal” re-mix of “That Tickles,” which adds a spooky, hollow distance to the looped giggling then strands the whole thing on a mission to Mars.
Two years from now, NextStep Formula might be the Next Big Thing, and people might flock to Mims’ Nerva Tavern, where the two brothers Berger spin on Thursdays. Maybe not. But you’ll still see me up there gawking at their spectacular audio-visual show. Rust City Records, P.O. Box 1362, Mims, FL 98456-1392