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All That Glitters

Now that the hype is over, the Crystal Method just wants you to listen

Jordan, meanwhile, had been honing his turntable skills as a DJ at KUNV, the heralded college radio station at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he was eventually promoted to program director. He also began dabbling in production, taking as many university courses on the subject as he could handle. Soon enough, Jordan invited his supermarket co-worker to listen to some work he had done, and a partnership was born.

After graduating from UNLV, Jordan landed a job as a studio engineer in Los Angeles, and Kirkland -- lacking the funds to skip town -- stayed behind in Vegas. Still, Kirkland would drive to the West Coast on weekends to work with his friend. At night, they'd take in the local rave scene, club-hopping until all hours of the morning. It was more business than pleasure, however, and the connections they made in the L.A. haunts would prove to be invaluable.

By 1991, Kirkland had raised enough cash to move west permanently. Two years later, the duo was sharing a house in the L.A. suburb of Glendale, where a converted garage on the property served as their home studio. They nicknamed it the Bomb Shelter after an old relic on their front lawn that was allegedly left over from the Cuban missile crisis. Slaving over their keyboards, sequencers and samplers -- producing and mixing everything themselves, in an atmosphere that Kirkland says resembles "some science-fiction control room from the '50s" -- the Method men finally caught the attention of some big players. Before long, they were remixing tracks for the likes of Moby, Black Grape and Zen Cowboys, while also completing their first 12-inch, "Now Is the Time."

In 1994, "Now Is the Time" was released on the nascent City of Angels label, which was formed by a pair of U.K. entrepreneurs determined to draw attention to America's burgeoning electronica scene. Three years and a dizzying blur of indie singles later, the Crystal Method had a deal with Universal/Outpost Recordings, signing on just as the music business's electro-lust was at its peak.

Of course, the best thing about all the back-slapping hyperbole that arose during the brief period of industry infatuation is the fact that it's over, says Kirkland.

"The more people who bitch and moan about things that don't matter, the more attention it's going to take away from the music," Kirkland says. "It's like, if the same fucking magazine that had Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones and the Spice Girls on the cover last month is now saying electronica is the next big thing, it sends people running in different directions. Now, hopefully, people will just listen."

The Crystal Method performs with BT and DJ Taylor on Thursday, February 12, at the Orbit Room, 2524 McKinney. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. For info, call 267-9834.

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