Lo-Fi Revisited: Teengirl Fantasy

Not a tweeny pop band as the name might imply, but rather, two Ohio students composing lush, deep House tracks in their dorm room.

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When and why did you form Teengirl Fantasy?
Nick: I thought Logan seemed cool so I introduced myself, we'd been in other bands and wanted to do something fun.
Logan: We met within our first few days at Oberlin, and started jamming
together pretty soon after.

I read you don't use laptops or backing tracks in yr live set - what is  the live set up?
Nick: We don't use laptops or backing tracks in the live set in order to keep things real fluid and be able to improvise and shape the songs as much as possible, tailoring them to the crowd and space.
However, in recording we just record everything directly into the computer--no microphones or amps involved because we don't have any nice ones. The recording and songwriting is live-based, then we'll do some editing and effects in the computer in order to make it pump.

What do you make of this current resurgence of acts and labels making music and art on little-to-no budget?  Do you feel any association with this so-called lo-fi movement?
Logan: People have always been making music and art on no budget..from punk to no wave through the 90 bedroom indie rock through now, people have always been doing it themselves! DIY was a natural approach for us and I would for sure say that I feel associated with any band that does it themselves on a tiny budget. As far as this recent "lo-fi movement" goes, I think that it is more of an aesthetic re-interpretation of a past movement (Pavement, etc.) than it is a result of current economic or technical constraints. Everyone has Garageband or at least has access to it, and the ironic thing is that it is just as easy now to make music that doesn't sound fuzzy as it is to make it sound fuzzy.  Perhaps the motivation of a bunch of recent bands to make music that sounds only super lo-fi is a conscious response to this fact, but for us I think we are more interested in acknowledging the accessibility of both ends and in trying to combine the two. Maybe we are more "Lo-Hi-Fi", or, "No-Fi", or something..
Nick: The DIY thing goes way beyond typical notions of punk meaning guitar music.  Much of the early House music production by some of our favorite producers was done in their bedrooms with somewhat minimal equipment: maybe just a synth, drum machine, and sequencer.
As polished or slick as the DJ and club world can be, there are still self-driven dance-music people out there keeping it DIY and throwing parties influenced by the ethos of 90s illegal raves and all-nite warehouse discos. They keep the focus on the music, dancing, and late night community rather than VIP bottle service or other stupid big club hierarchies. So I don't really buy the general conception of electronic and dance music's underground as a world apart from punk rock, and at least within the small-scale world of young DIY scenes I've seen more and more crossover and meeting of the different typesof people who come together over these genres.

What's next for you?
We just finished recording a limited 100 copy 12" single that will be sold only at our release party for it in Amsterdam this September. We are also working on a full length album for our friend Dean's awesome label, True Panther Sounds. Also trying to get up in the ringtone and limited VHS game...

www.myspace.com/teengirlfantasy

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