Every movement requires a central figure to converge like-minded individuals willing to take risks and set out on adventures that may never yield any rewards. Enter FLCON FCKER.
He composes and performs electronic music, but he is not a musician. He constructs intricately sophisticated visual backdrops for musicians, but he is not a visual artist. In fact, for FLCON FCKER, labels exist as creative boundaries.
"I try to avoid definitions," he says while outside a local café. "By avoiding labels, it prevents people from putting you into these comfortable pockets that, in a moment, can allow them to quickly acknowledge what you do and then dismiss it altogether." Pointing to an imaginary bookcase next to him he states, "'Oh, you play this kind of music? Well, let me place you on this shelf here.'"
His shunning of labels doesn't come from an ethos of artistic integrity; it comes from a place of survival in the age of a 24-hour news cycle.
"There may come a time when FLCON FCKER could leave a bad taste in your mouth," he says. "If I try to label what I do in any way, it becomes a brand. It becomes competitive. And very quickly that label can become irrelevant."
FLCON FCKER's relevance continues with the help from a long list of collaborators and supporters Prints Not Prince, Josiah Gabriel, Biz Vicious, Robert Hodge, Jawwaad Taylor, Bradley Munoz (P.L.X.T.X), DNCSxWLVS, Android Genius, Wrestlers (formerly Bagheera), Stephen Farris, and Ishi, just to name a few. Currently, he is working with a social-media company helping to develop apps for the purpose of creating first-rate visual presentations to go along with bold, exploratory musical acts that range from gritty and soulful electronic music to hip-hop that distracts you from its constricting label.
He also works with Red Bull Music Academy, providing otherworldly, glitch-inspired, seizure-provoking visuals that are ridden with subtlety. The visuals are not just a backdrop; they are as much a part of the act as the music. It is the totality of the musical experience that pushes his collaborative spirit -- complimentary, not superior.
"Right now, I am starting to work with visual artists who have helped me with many endeavors and collaborations," he says. "It is important to encourage that kind of collaborative character in people. Without the many people whom I have collaborated artistically, I wouldn't be where I am today."
Moreover, FLCON FCKER's sojourn as a performer at Bonnaroo last year left him edified, not ego-driven. He left the famous festival in a moment of epiphanic splendor.
"I can't do this casually," he muses. "If I am going to call myself a musician, then I must be engaged in making music. If I am going to call myself a visual artist, then I must make visual arts. My name is either going to mean quality or remain a silly joke."
His live shows are visually entrancing. At one time, he used and abused his Monome, an electronic interfacing device, and was hell-bent on forcing sounds from it that may not have occurred otherwise, moving it around in the air like a guitarist ready to smash his axe into pieces. Adorned with a mask taken from the set of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, it mirrors and distorts the anomalous projected images.
He is absolutely not part of the "just push play" crowd of electronic musicians. FLCON FCKER crafts reflective songs that possessive narrative qualities with vivid imagery. His sets often open with an untitled a standout track, mystically burying the meditative words, "As you fall, you make no sound/ As you fall, you wish for a place to be." The words and the music are just as visual as the screen-filled images accompanying them.
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To create these eerie and digitally ghostly images requires time and patience. It takes him and his friends six to 12 hours to set up everything in order to generate an intensely arresting performance.
Yet the time and effort becomes apparent when these images are seen in person. Spectral impulses and flashes of color that only a visual savant would understand, new forms and shapes that demonstrate not only their relevance, but a pioneering direction that will one day lead to novel visual territories, unsafe, but alluring. They are unpredictable, revealing the true craftsmanship in digital glitch art.
"What I do is different from the typical concert going experience." he remarks.
A first-of-its-kind, once-in-a-lifetime event will take place at Black Barbie on February 7, hosted by Cruz'n Fxotica and featuring a bevy of Houston's finest digital artists, FLCON FCKER included, who are on the verge of reshaping our concertgoing experience.
The city of Houston is everything to FLCON FCKER. "I am all about Houston!" He exclaims. "Houston is so great because all of its musicians and artists keep raising the bar, and this makes everyone rise to a new standard.
"What is also great about Houston is that the city very D.I.Y.," he adds. "It is still cowboy country. You can do whatever you want."
Pointing to the roof of a Domino's Pizza across the street from where we met, he remarks, "If you wanted to play shows on the roof of Domino's, you can. The only limitations that exist [when creating art in Houston] are the ones that you place on yourself."
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