Ironically, both members of the SwitchFocus shared similar backgrounds prior to having met in the 6th grade in gym class.
Alex Meu, son of a rock and roll drummer-turned-doctor father and a computer programming mother, was born in 1979 in the heart of the communist era in Romania. In the early days, Alex's father influenced the youngsters musical taste with the sound of The Beatles and Deep Purple, while his mother imprinted him with what Alex now claims as the greatest musician to ever live; Satchelmouth Louis Armstrong. Before leaving the drumkit for good, Alex's father taught him the basic rock beat and encouraged him to play.
Micu Mil was born a few months earlier in a nearby country of similar circumstance; Polonia. Here he would reside for the first 10 years of his life, standing in breadlines and escaping the cruel practices of the neighborhood bullies. Micus mother was a painter and his father a scientist. Micu's father impressed the boy with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Dire Straits.
Coincidentally, both the Meus and the Mils had high aspirations of leaving the Eastern Block due to corrupted communist government and growing poverty. And so they did. Measures were taken and loopholes were jumped. Both families moved around for many years before settling down in Madison, Wisconsin.
Alex, upon arriving in the United States, was quickly alienated from his peers. This alienation expressed itself in the form of blatant disobedience against his instructors. Micu had a higher degree of control which kept him out of trouble, but not entirely.
Having ended up in the same class in the same school, our heroes found themselves on the field in gym class at the ripe age of twelve.
"Suck my nuts!" yelled Alex during a heated game of soccer in an attempt at getting the attention he deserved from his classmates. This vulgar act was not taken lightly by the rulers of the establishment, but gained the attention of the boy which was to become one half of the SwitchFocus. There seemed to be an interest in the harassment of unjust teachers at school and a subtle comradery between the two due to their foreign upbringing.
Coincidentally, they were placed in many of the same classes, which only strengthened this bond between the two. After the first year, they were "blacklisted" and never allowed in the same class together; but it was too late..
Their shared affinity for street skateboarding and general disobedience slowly matured over the years into an interest in creating music. Eventually this evolved into a full time endeavor which led them into playing any instruments they could get their hands on. By 1994, they were drawing small crowds coming to hear them play their congas in the woods, stoned on reefer.
Time passed. Music was played.
At this point it seemed their fate was sealed as guitar-toting rockin' rollers. But then suddenly, triggered by exposure to an underground dance party, everything changed...
One day in 1995, far-out stories of all-night dance parties reached the ears of the boys. Long-time friend Garth Olmanson told tales of huge walls of speakers playing weird music in underground warehouses. He said everyone danced all night and the music didn't stop until the sun came up. The allegations couldn't be ignored.
" It was hard to believe... Why had I not heard of this before? That was my first encounter with 'the underground'... The music was good and the music was loud, but where was it coming from? Back then, I didn't understand what a Dj does.. I said 'what does he do other than play the records' I still don't know... I guess he chooses and mixes them or something. We wanted to know WHO made the records, HOW are these records made? Then we heard Woody Mcbrides live pa... He wasn't mixing records, he had a bunch of weird little boxes with LOTS of buttons and lights and he was actually DOING something... Oh man, it was unbelievable..." Live P.A. was magic...
Entranced by the unlimited power of electronic production, they defected to the inorganic side of music production. They traded in their Stratocasters and effects pedals for a couple 303s and a Mackie mixer. Under the name Two Point Theory, their demo tape got them opening up for Chicago's Justin Long. The show was good but fell short of their vision. The devices they were using were limiting their potential.
"We would go to rave parties just to see Live P.A.'s. One thing that consistently stood out was how slow they would move along. We would get bored fast. This has stuck with us in the form of an obsession with fast, hard cuts. Help me." -micu
They quickly learned that the 303s and drum machines were not adequate tools for them to create the sound they sought. With the advent of computer production, their problems were solved. They now had unlimited potential.
Their sound was to be unique.
In 1999, they moved to Phoenix to escape the distractions keeping them from completing the project.With most other elements of social life successfully ignored, they began work.
Under heavy pressure from shared living, self-imposed deadlines and unclear futures, the first vital block was completed in 2001. They were now in control of an audio arsenal that would turn heads at every show they played and separate them from the rest. With the material and hardware necessary to bring it to the people, they debuted their sound as theSwitchFocus, at the Liquid Lotus Festival in Arizona. And so the secret was out.
Today, with electromagnetic radiation levels far exceeding safe intakes, reverse sleeping schedules, and fingaz on the mouse, theSF is still banging away.
The SwitchFocus Sound
"Stompin breakbeats, slobbed-out basslines and a gang of shouting lunatics."
Live and Built for Speed...
Crowd Control and the Infamous Switches. by David Zanger
The live p.a. rendered by SwitchFocus is unlike most electronic live shows. To achieve this hyper progressive dance music experience, the SF uses a very unique set of tools. If you have seen SF live, you know what im talking about.
"There was no device like this available anywhere... so we had to build it"
Outfitted with 32 custom crafted Japanese switches, the SF-1 prototype is a device designed and built by SwitchFocus, to complement their back and forth battle style.
Heard live in action, one becomes sure that this array of equipment was sadistically designed to shatter the strongest nerve. Back and forth beats and bass under every switch. With the original get down formula readily dispensed by aid of these bad little machines, it's no wonder theSF wins peoples hearts and minds wherever they go.
: The Real Story : by the SwitchFocus
So far so good, I thought as I sat back gently moving in and out of shit I cant explain. Then for some reason they brought up the SwitchFocus again. Fine, I thought. I love talking about the switchfocus. But soon I lost track and couldn't understand. They were telling me that it was some kind of secret that no one knew about and that if I really wanted, they would show me. Before I had a chance to respond, they said "If we show you how to do it then...."
and it happened.
In one fluid motion.
The head dis-connected from the neck and along with the arms and hands and fingers, rotated backwards under and around my torso. In the same motion, every cell in my body disconnected and rotated backwards over its neighboring cell, folding itself around itself. The body swallowed itself, morphing the most-high-half-pulse-driven-exponential-chaotica into an impossible shape of sound and light as one element perceived by no one became, and simultaneously unbecame the SwitchFocus.