Komputer

The North London group Komputer began its career in the late '90s as an electro-pop act modeled largely after Kraftwerk but changed its style considerably in subsequent years, moving toward a more original sound. Comprised of Simon Leonard and David Baker, Komputer actually began as a trio, also featuring Jane Brereton, and debuted on Mute Records in 1996 with a self-titled, four-song EP led by "Valentina Tereshkova," a future single for the group. A year later, in October 1997, Mute released The World of Tomorrow, Komputer's first full-length album. Seemingly a literal homage to Kraftwerk, characterized largely by analog synths and vocoderized singing, the album spawned three singles -- "Looking Down on London," "Valentina," and "Terminus" -- that Mute released individually with accompanying remixes over the course of 1997 and 1998. Following these singles, Komputer remained largely silent in subsequent years, not resurfacing until late 2002 as a streamlined duo with the release of the Market Led album, a considerable departure from the group's previous work. Influenced by the cutting-edge dance music of labels like Kompakt and Klang as well as the laptop-crafted techno of artists like Sutekh and Farben, Leonard and Baker began working with a portable studio comprised of simply a sampler and two black boxes. For their source material, the two collected abandoned vinyl found at the Spitalfields Market in East London. They then processed and altered their samples into the tracks ultimately compiled on Market Led, a somewhat experimental and wholeheartedly unique album of varied and relatively lengthy soundscapes.
Jason Birchmeier, Rovi