Over the next four years, the band collected accolades, including Scene readers'-choice awards for best female vocalist, drummer, and regional rock band. The group appeared on numerous CD compilations and toured as far away as Texas, supporting an indie-release LP and an EP that was part of a development deal with Columbia Records. By 1999, they were all Franned out. Lashua and Lascko disappeared from the scene, holed up in their apartment, and went on a steady diet of ambient-pop Hooverphonic, rock-as-art Radiohead, and trip-hop.
The couple emerged in winter 2000, sharing their songs with Derek's brother Brett Lashua, a drummer who was playing in the Kent-based trip-hop act Full Blown Kirk -- just one blossoming project of Joe Minadeo, a prolific producer-musician fast growing into Akron music's benevolent Godfather. Brett played Racermason for Joe. Joe invited them to his studio. The four began collaborating with Minadeo on bass, working on individual parts in their home studios, e-mailing mp3 files back and forth.
Over the next two years, they developed the makings of an LP. "We had an album's worth of material, and we had to call it something," says Derek. "As a kid, I had an imaginary friend named Rubbermason. But that didn't make a very good name." Racermason sounded better.
They Google-whacked it -- unlike their other prospective names, the search resulted in zero hits. "There it was," he continues. "And it had a very Japanime flair to it. We became a band at that point." Released in 2002, the noir With Everything seamlessly blends live percussion and sampled beats -- even the band has trouble recalling which parts are live and which are digital.
Like a torch singer, Lascko palpably yearns for a tender moment, as in the looped refrain to the album-closer "Little Happiness": "A little happiness thrown my way/A little play on words, perhaps." "We wanted to recreate what people were doing with machines and sequencers," says Tucker. "With electronic percussion, you get a different timbre of sound -- tasty beats, sparse, melodic. I associate that more with a jazz mentality than a trip-hop mentality." "It's not as mellow as Mazzy Star or hip-hop as Portishead," says Tucker. "For me, it's about the beauty.
Like Sigur Rós. To me, that's what Racer is." "We got the most amazing e-mail from this guy who does nothing but work," adds Lascko, smiling. "And he's all stressed out. And he puts our music on, and the stress melts away.
And that's just it for me." For more information on Racermason vist their label at PatternBased.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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