Dymaxion was the New York-based post-rock project of Jeremy Novak and Claudia Newell, who specialized in fusing playful sound collages with live instrumentation. They often shared Stereolab's retro-futurist obsessions, sampling old sound-effects LPs, robotic voices, and an array of vintage electronics. Most of their songs were underpinned by funky, off-kilter drum loops, and borrowed the fragmentary songwriting aesthetic of indie rockers like Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and, by extension, cartoon experimenters Carl Stalling and Raymond Scott. In concert, a live band usually replicated the abrupt twists and turns created on the recordings via tape splicing. To this mix, Novak and Newell often added odd dialogue samples, twangy spy-soundtrack guitar, and clanging post-punk (a la the Fall or Swell Maps). The results were often comparable to electronic eccentrics like Matmos, Pram, or Stock, Hausen & Walkman, with hints of electro-acoustic post-rockers like To Rococo Rot.

Novak and Newell first got together as Dymaxion in 1995. Their earliest recordings were self-released cassettes, which were followed by a succession of EPs on various indie labels. The first, Aha, Sissy Arsonist, was a four-song effort for the U.K.-based Hemiola label, and appeared in 1995. It was followed a year later by another four-songer, The Critic's Darling, for Roomtone, which was in turn followed by the three-song Verfremdungseffekt for Vesuvius. These releases helped build an underground following for the band, and their next EP, Use Once and Destroy, appeared on Stereolab's own Duophonic imprint in 1998. Novak and Newell performed live as part of a quartet lineup with a shifting supporting cast that eventually included the well-traveled Jim Abramson (Autobody, Fly Ashtray, etc.) on drums. Dymaxion -- in the person of Jeremy Novak -- next collaborated with Japanese pop star Takako Minekawa on four songs for her 2000 EP Maxi On!. In 2001, Dymaxion's four EPs -- plus two compilation tracks cut for Dark Beloved Cloud, and a live recording -- were compiled onto the group's first full-length release, Dymaxion x 4 + 3 = 38:33. It was issued in the U.S. by Roomtone, in the U.K. and Europe by Duophonic, and in Japan by Shibuya-kei star Cornelius' Trattoria label. Following its release, Dymaxion returned to their customary EP format with a second effort for Roomtone, Intonarumori.


Dymaxion Discography Tracks

Singles & EPs

HEM 13 Dymaxion Aha, Sissy Arsonist / Ant'lrd Ally(7", Single) Hemiola Records HEM 13 UK 1995 Sell This Version
RM 004 Dymaxion Dymaxion(7") Roomtone RM 004 US 1996 Sell This Version
Dymaxion Sound Recording Duophonic Super 45s UK 1998 Sell This Version
POMP 011 Dymaxion Verfremdungseffekt(7") Vesuvius POMP 011 UK 1998 Sell This Version
RM 010 Dymaxion Untitled(7") Roomtone RM 010 US 2000 Sell This Version


Dymaxion DYMAXION×4+3=39:21 (Comp) Trattoria, Polystar Japan 2000 Sell This Version