The Brooklyn-based electronic punk group Semiautomatic features vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Akiko Carver and programmer/multi-instrumentalist Rop Vasquez. At one point the band also included Ian Vanek of the Teamsters and the Tight Bro's from Way Back When. Vasquez, a former member of the PeeChees, the Lefties, the Creeps, and Rice, also has a solo project, manmatesmachine, which features homemade and modified electronic instruments that appear on Semiautomatic's music as well. Named after Technics' '70s semi-automatic direct-drive turntables, the group issued its self-titled debut in 2000 on Kill Rock Stars' sister imprint, 5 Rue Christine. They moved to Vex for 2001's The Trebuchet, but returned to 5RC for the following year's Resident Genius.
Along with their Semiautomatic duties, Carver and Vasquez are both visual artists as well: Vasquez is a graphic designer, and Carver, an animator, directed a Claymation video for the song "The Ballad of Puss Puss," which was shown at the NAATA San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival. In 2003, Semiautomatic released Wolf Centric, which included two tracks with the Slits' Ari Up; the group met Up at a New York Ladyfest show in 2001, and Carver contributed vocals on one of Up's dancehall records. Other collaborations and projects include an EP remixed by Concentrick (aka Tim Green of the Fucking Champs, Lice, Nation of Ulysses) on Gold Standard Laboratories, as well as music for the gritty Asian-American kids-gone-wrong film Better Luck Tomorrow and a split 7" with XBXRX.
[All Music Guide]
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