Hardware Junkiez
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Hardware Junkiez

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Hardware Junkiez @ The b.side Lounge

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Boulder, Colorado, USA

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What's this then, a drum and bass album that isn't some lame-ass attempt from a DJ trying to up his booking fee by putting out a record? Are there actually people making jungle who aren't DJs? You bet. Tube is Frank Heiss, who's American despite the fact that his "thank" list reads like a German techno guide. Like Philadelphia's jungle prodigy Jamie Myerson, he is a producer, not a DJ. However that fact doesn't hurt; it helps. Unlike a lot of DJ-Producers who are conscious of releasing music that isn't of the style they spin, Heiss is free to explore. From the dark and abstract "step Edit" to the free jazz of "Break Bop" to the rolling breaks and live percussion of "Piece by Piece" to the laid back groove of "Time and Time Again," 'Alive' is an exercise in the diversity and wealth of possibilities jungle has to offer. - DJ Lovegrove - Urb Magazine

[...] But as soon as I'm in, Tube (Frank Heiss) immediately cheers me up. Working the tinny treble-heavy sound for all it's worth, he clutches a beer in one hand, tweaks knobs with the other, and occasionally lifts a fist in the spirit of rocking out. His infectious enthusiasm and clearly constructed tracks mark his appearance as one of the most original acts of the whole conference. The rest of the bill is an ambitious amalgamation of live acts (Headrillaz Sound Sytem, Space Girl, 187 etc...), DJs (J.Majik, Mixmaster Morris, Wally, and more), and film (an 8:00pm premier of Iara Lee's 'Modulations'). While there are reported no-shows, like Ed Rush and Nico, and the mostly WMC crowd is toast at this point, the attempt to carry off such an wide-reaching production is both admirable and refreshing.

German producer Frank Heiss (a k a Tube) has been wading into America's electronic dance scene for some time now. He's released tracks on a few U.S. independent labels (Blue Planet, Sm:)e, Acid Orange) and has appeared on various collections, including Liquid Sky's This Is Home Entertainment III and This is Jungle Sky IV. Alive, Tube's first full-length American release, represents his complete immersion into the scene, and the disc is certain to rock a few boats with Heiss's fusion of scraping techno atmospherics, jazzy bass lines and intense breakbeats. At times, the sonic outcomes are calm, cool and collected: Tracks like "Me And The Mice" and "Where You Are When You're There" use minimal, but sweeping instrumentation to form breathy, melodic structures that are nearly ambient in nature. But more often, the results are menacing: Cuts like "Step Edit" and "Prelude To Nastee Beats" take drum programming to new and ridiculous extremes, as beats are spliced, diced and strewn atop otherwise sedate electronic backdrops. Like Animals On Wheels, Squarepusher and Aphex Twin before him, Tube's music is about the various extremes of breakbeat manipulation and sonic sorcery. Don't be fooled by his subtle lullabies - you'll only find yourself lured into an aural nightmare from which there's no escape. - M. Tye Comer - CMJ New Music Report

This is Home Entertainment Volume 3 (Liquid Sky Music)
[...] returns to the roots of hip-hop's big, sturdy drums to come clean with a nearly flawless collection. DJ Wally drops an enormous blunted beat on "Infectious Dream," Lux gets funky with "Jazz and Standards" and WE gets out on "Saraba" - each track lures you in with its slow, steady rhythm. Even the songs - they're all really more like constructions - that freak the beat stay grounded enough to remain interesting. Tube's brilliant "Ziehen," with its pretty steel drums from outer space over a jungle beat, is like old Aphex Twin on 45. As a voice says on Recloose's dreamy "Bug-eyed Blues," "Rhythm makes everything move."
- Eric Demby
- URB Magazine (No. 55)

Running the gambit from sample based compu-chunky beats to breathy melodic atmospheres local Boston producer Frank Heiss demonstrates his mastery in the fine art of drum and bass with the release of his new CD Steak. By bouncing rapidly between layers of cold and cranky bass and growling drums Heiss manages to lower defenses enough to inject the listener with his spooky musical intentions. Sliding in like a greased needle, a handful of short piano riffs echo like a haunted harpsichord, inoculating each track with a distinctive scheme all its own. While these brief filtered melodies are a personal favorite, the album is bolted together quite seamlessly, a short body of original work with an immunity to the waves of tired and overwrought drum and bass. Like a cat fight behind curtains Tube's drum lines can be frantic and panicky; a temper tantrum of speed breaks vying evenly with a grumpy strain of bass. Each tune sutures together equal parts tech and organic, producing a creature of fluid character lacking any signs of incompatibility. In the spectrum of about a half hour Heiss takes the listener from the light here-and-now of "and in this..." to the foggy distance of "further out" displaying an intelligent selection of wares. How ironic then that the picture inside the sleeve notes features the Frank Heiss in a cow suit. - Nick Schiermeyer
- Boston's Weekly Dig Vol 3 Issue 3 - January 17-24, 2000


"No Laptop Required" - Full Length Debut Album



Frank Heiss is the son of well respected contemporary classical composer John Heiss of The New England Conservatory. John Heiss has worked with such luminaries as Stravinsky, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Berio, Carter, Messiaen, Schuller, and Tippett. Frank Heiss was already playing drums at the age of four, and became an accomplished orchestral timpanist and drummer. As a drummer he was heavily influenced by Bill Bruford, John Bonham and Billy Cobham. His college band, Conjunction Junction opened for the well known jam band Phish. After being exposed to breakbeat music in 1992, he quit Rock and Roll and started using electronic musical instruments. Eventually using exclusively sequenced electronic instruments in the spring of 1995, Frank Heiss moved to New York City where he met Dr. Walker of the electronic duo Air Liquide from Cologne, Germany.

After his first visit to Germany in 1996, Frank spent several years living, recording and performing in Cologne, Boston, and New York. During this time he performed on the same bill with artists such as Coldcut, Freddie Fresh, and Wagonchrist. In 1996, a deal with Liquid Sky Music was established, and “Alive” was released in 1997. “Bending Spoons” was released briefly in 1998, on the EMI Harvest label, which was once home to the music of Soft Machine, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd. Unfortunately EMI discontinued the Harvest label only days after the release of Bending Spoons. In the fall of 1999, Frank Heiss completed a 16 date US tour as the opening act for The Sisters of Mercy. The album “Steak” was released in 2000, and the EP “Still Alive” was released in 2004. And “Before and After” was released in 2006.

Frank has also written a lot of music for TV. His music has been used on a variety of TV shows including Alias, 20/20, NCIS, America’s Next Top Model and One Life to Live. Frank also composed the electronic portion of a contemporary classical piece “Apparitions” along with his father.

Frank Heiss moved to Denver, CO in the spring of 2009 and started a new project: HARDWARE JUNKIEZ. Hardware Junkiez is all hardware, all live, all the time. No laptops, only machines and the music is all mixed live. Hardware Junkiez is bringing old school back. Playing an eclectic mix of styles Hardware Junkiez brings something for everyone. Weather it’s down tempo lounge hip-hop or booty shaking hard acid Hardware Junkies will be sure to rock your party.