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The Kooky Scientist’s Backpack project, plus Zero G forces
By DAVID DAY  |  April 10, 2007

Kooky Scientist

I got a big surprise when I opened my mailbox the other day . . . royalty checks!” said an enthused FRED GIANELLI on the dance floor a week ago Thursday at Middlesex Lounge. “All from radio play, in Finland!” As Boston statesmen go, Gianelli (a/k/a KOOKY SCIENTIST) is the Edo. G of the techno set, an original who goes way back to the start of his genre. “It’s always a nice surprise, and it always is a surprise because you never know.”

Gianelli was cut the checks after his track “Distant Gratification” appeared on a mix CD by the Finnish DJ Kiki. He should expect more surprises soon, since his “A Little Older, a Little Bolder” track is set for inclusion on a mix CD from the chic Kompakt label. All this attention has inspired the Lowell resident to press his own live CD Kook Kontrol, the result of a recent appearance at the Kontrol party in San Francisco. “I played with a friend of mine, Monte Cazazza, who coined the term “industrial music.” We played the gig and I thought, ‘Well, that was pretty good.’ A few weeks later I got the CD back and it sounded pretty good, so I decided to release it and spent all this money I don’t have and hopefully I’ll make it back!”

Like most technophiles, Gianelli is headed to Detroit in May for Movement 2007, but instead of playing this time, he’s working. “Because I’ve known the festival for so long, they’ve asked me to come work for them,” he says with a chuckle. “But I only have to work a few hours a day and then I can go sell my CD out of my backpack to try and pay the rent! It’s going to be a really cool experiment.” He’ll put in an ambient performance at the Detroit Opera House in early May, and he plans to play Seattle in July. “I played there in January and it was a really good night.” The live CD should be on his back in a matter of weeks, and it is one long, live, luscious track. “I just fixed the beginning and the end and released it. It’s all one track because they’re not finished tracks, they’re unique live arrangements, and every time you do it live it’s a little different.”

Gianelli recently did it live at Phoenix Landing at a fifth-anniversary celebration for Zero G Sounds. Zero G is mainly his local partner and friend Eddie Odabachian (a/k/a TRITON). “Fred is a collaborator, he’s an original techno innovator and has given us a lot of support over the years and we have a huge amount of respect for his body of work,” says Odabachian on a break from his job at MIT’s Sloan Business School. “We’re looking to become more of a global label, and he can really help us with that.”

The Kooky Scientist cachet has in fact helped the home-town label get into a deal with red-hot German techno distributor Intergroove. “It was completely finalized last week,” says Odabachian. “We were very honored and happy they took us on board. They were in the top three of our short list.” He adds that Gianelli’s alliance “probably helps us more than it helps him, but we’re looking toward the personal connection we already have as friends and kindred spirits in making techno and the fact that we’re in Boston making this music.”

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Related: Invite only, Techno purity, Techno or yes, part II, More more >
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