Along with running a jewelry design company, an online magazine, and a record label, she produces bright, melodic IDM of the best sort. Quantazelle takes a funky machine-noise groove, combines it with a pretty melody and adds a sprinkling of glitched-out textures. Think along the lines of early Autechre, Aphex Twin, with some fleeting minimal techno-moments
“When, exactly, do you find time to sleep!?” asked a new acquaintance after being introduced to Liz McLean Knight–the driving force behind Quantazelle, as well as a myriad of projects related to cutting-edge electronic music and culture.
- A rarity in the male-dominated world of electronic music producers (www.quantazelle.com)
- Founder and editor-in-chief of Modsquare.com, Chicago’s premiere online resource for experimental electronic music / IDM .
- Founder and manager of aubVariant Recordings, as well as its graphic designer (www.subvariant.com)
- Designer and owner of Zelle, a design company featuring jewelry and accessories created from computer and electronic components. (www.zellestyle.com)
- Manager of Fractalspin.com; an online store selling Zelle accessories, subVariant music, and other interesting, geeky gear.
- Co-producer and inventor of “Laptronica: A Laptop Cage Match” (www.modsquare.com/laptronica)
- Producer of “SoftWear,” the technologically-inclined fashion show that made Chicago’s New City cover in May 2003. (www.modsquare.com/softwear)
In high school she was introduced to the world of underground electronic music through warehouse parties in the seedier parts of Chicago, but it was at California Institute of the Arts that she decided to devote herself to creating experimental electronic music and focus on innovative package design. Returning to Chicago she reconnected with computer musician friends from high school and spent a year learning their methods before she self-released a number of her earlier works on CDR in various packaging concepts.
Her first release for subVariant Recordings is Coaster [SUBV001] an EP featuring her most complex and engaging work to date, and packaged as a designer beverage coaster that comes with its own carrying case and instructions for use.
Liz started the online magazine, Modsquare, in October 2002 to feature conversations with electronic musicians and artists creating innovative contemporary electronic music–such as Twerk, Mr. Projectile, Marumari, Adam Johnson and Cepia; reviews of the enabling technology of said music; reviews of noteworthy albums; and a Chicago event calendar. It has won praise from many directions and is considered an exemplar source for discovering experimental electronic music in the midwest.
In January 2004 Liz started a jewelry company called Zelle (www.zellestyle.com) to sell the unique designs she wears at her live performances. Crafted from electronic and computer parts, they appeal to both technologically-sophisticated and fashionably-sensible crowds. One of the bracelets crafted from Category 5 ethernet cable recently garnered large orders for Valentine’s Day on the programmer-chic niche site, Thinkgeek.com.
As Quantazelle she has performed live alongside people like Jimmy Edgar, String Theory, Miles Tilmann, Proem, Proswell, Machinedrum, Kero, Atomly, Elliot Lipp and Common Factor, participated in Laptronica Laptop Cage Matches, and performed at the digital arts festivals Version>02 and Select Media Festival.
The latest project undertaken by Liz is the launch of her own record label, subVariant Recordings. It’s success will be bolstered by many of the strength she brings to the project: her experience in writing about music for Modsquare; her natural talent for product packaging and graphic design; and the enthusiasm that she is able to relay effectively to others, both within and outside of the music business.
Liz resides in a northern neighborhood of Chicago and is currently available for live performances in the US and internationally.
Artist site: www.quantazelle.com