Mstrkrft Biography

Jesse F. Keeler (Jesse Frederick Keeler, 11 November 1976, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and Al-P (b. Alex Puodziukas, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) formed this Canadian electronica group in 2005. Both individuals had experienced different amounts of musical success in the early millennium with the bands Death From Above 1979 (Keeler), and Girlsareshort (Puodziukas). The duo was aware of each other on the underground Toronto music scene, which led to Puodziukas producing Death From Above 1979’s debut You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine. The album was critically lauded and the band seemed destined for widespread success, but split in mid-2006 to pursue other projects. It was from the ashes of Death From Above 1979 that MSTRKRFT (pronounced Masterkraft) was created, through Keeler and Puodziukas’ love of electronic music. Both had sampled the dance music scene before their group success; Keeler was a Latin house producer, and Puodziukas was a purveyor of the very popular late 90s genre ‘French filtered house music’.

MSTRKRFT’s first commission was a remix of New York rock band Panthers ‘Thank Me With Your Hands’ on Vice Records. The track was initially rejected by the record label, but became the unofficial soundtrack for 2005’s SXSW Festival, and was featured on the official CD to accompany the event. Remixes followed for new bands such as the Kills, Bloc Party and Juliette And The Licks, and with their abrasive Daft Punk meets Justice dance floor throb the duo quickly tapped into the burgeoning ‘new rave’ sound of 2006. From the remixes came chaotic live DJ performances, which combined live mixes and mash-ups and sent every venue they went to crazy with mayhem. Such was their reputation from remixes and live DJ performances, that the duo only released two singles in 2006 before their debut album. The singles ‘Easy Love’ and ‘Work On You’ paid homage to early Daft Punk releases, working the vocoder to great effect. MSTRKRFT’s debut, The Looks, followed in summer 2006.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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