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RazorHouse

Air Date: 04-20-15

Mark Panick isn’t a man of narrow vision. Witness Razorhouse’s single and accompanying video, “Neu Sensation,” a carnal, conceptual combo dropped at the end of 2014. The single will appear on the second Razorhouse EP, Codex Du, slated for release on April 7, 2015.

Panick has fronted the reformed outfit of veteran musicians since 2011. He writes with his industrial rock roots planted firmly, but don’t be fooled: he may be a composer entranced by the darkness of the human condition, but he isn’t one to be pigeonholed. He’s a lover of campy art flicks as much as he is the visceral source of your next trip. His recordings are rife with unabashed sexuality, gutter-punk abandon and tasty grooves. Every Panick song is a standalone odyssey—proof that he isn’t defined by structure but by the inner workings of his madcap mind. He marches to the beat of his own drum, wails on it with a sledgehammer and isn’t afraid to bring you along into the swirling chaos.

He takes inspiration from a diverse spectrum of musical forbearers--the Ink Spots, Tom Waits, Merle Haggard, the Kinks, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Alex Harvey to name just a few. He also taps other mediums in search of “tools for thinking,” including the works of filmmaker Alejandro Jordorowsky, painter Mark Ryden and philosopher Daniel C. Dennett.

Panick is best known for his work in the short-lived, seminal post-punk outfit Bonemen of Barumba, which released a handful of recordings in the early 1980s. His next project, Chac Mool, was spawned from a fruitful writing session with house music wunderkind Dean Anderson. It included members of other Chicago music mainstays such as Revolting Cocks, KMFDM and Sister Machine Gun, all of which would become fodder for the earliest incarnations of Razorhouse.

Codex Du follows 2013’s Codex Jun and marks the era of a musically mature Panick, who describes the current formula as “38% less chaos and 17% less drama.” The EP features contributions by musicians David Suycott (Robert Pollard, Stabbing Westward) Jim Demonte (Insiders), Tommi Zender and many more, while the production team of Howie Beno (Ministry, Black Asteroid) and Danny McGuinness (Ex Senators, Coven of Thieves) ropes in the feral tendencies of Panick’s madcap mind and myriad influences.

The musical horizon is wide open for Panick after Codex Du, and he’s not one for routine. He has kept the Razorhouse lineup fluid as he recruits musicians for an upcoming tour. Everything else is equally wide open, as he promises: “new music, new film and video projects; a gallery show or two and lots of exploration. I’m just doing what I’ve always done, building forts and looking for others who wanna play.”