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Deniz Tek


  1. 1.
    Corner Conversation
  2. 2.
    Twilight of the Modern Age
  3. 3.
    I Need Somebody - James Williamson ,
  4. 4.
    Burned Black
  5. 5.
    Eddie Would Go
Best known as the guitarist, main songwriter, and leader of Aussie Stooges-disciples Radio Birdman, Deniz Tek is originally from Ann Arbor, MI.
Inspired by such local heroes as the MC5 and the aforementioned Stooges during the '60s, Tek decided to form his own high-energy rock outfit, patterned after both bands, upon arriving in Australia in 1971 (to study medicine at the University of New South Wales). Tek's first Aussie group, TV Jones, built a large local following, but broke up before issuing any recordings. Undeterred, Tek immediately formed his next band, Radio Birdman, along with friend/singer Rob Younger, as such other members as second guitarist Chris Masuak, bassist Warwick Gilbert, keyboardist Pip Hoyle, and drummer Ron Keeley signed up as well. Despite being even more popular than Tek's previous band, Radio Birdman's hard-edged proto-punk sound wasn't exactly embraced by the Australian record companies, as the sextet was forced to issue their inaugural singles on their own. 1977 saw the group tour Europe, and a year later, Sire Records finally signed the group, issuing their one and only full-length release, Radios Appear. But once more, another promising Tek-led band broke up before fully realizing their potential. Despite their brief tenure together, Radio Birdman inspired countless other Australian bands, paving the way for such acts as Cold Chisel, Celibate Rifles, and Screaming Tribesman, among countless others.
Tek soon formed another similarly styled outfit, the Visitors, along with Birdman holdovers Hoyle and Keeley (in addition to newcomers Sisto [vocals] and Steve Harris [bass]), as a self-titled four-track EP would be issued in 1979 before the group splintered (two full-length recordings, a self-titled one and Visitation '79, would be released after the group's lifespan, in 1983 and 1994, respectively). In 1981, Tek was joined once more by his former Birdman buddies Younger and Gilbert, as well as two Detroit rock notables, ex-Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton and ex-MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson, for a one-off Australian tour under the name New Race. Like most of Tek's previous musical endeavors, New Race would manage only a single release, The First and the Last, an in-concert set issued in 1982. Around the same time, Tek began playing alongside singer Angie Pepper, whom Tek penned songs for and toured with (and eventually, married), but the duo would (predictably) split up after a single release, the forgotten 1984 single "Frozen World" b/w "Why Tell Me."
After his first ever solo release came and went (the single "100 Fools" b/w "Alien Skies"), Tek then turned his back on music altogether for a spell, as he relocated back to the United States and became a licensed physician (earning qualifications in emergency and aerospace medicine), in addition to a flight surgeon for the Marines. A compilation of unissued demos was released during Tek's period of exile, 1989's Orphan Tracks, but little else was heard from the former Radio Birdman leader. By the early '90s, however, Tek was ready to give music another go, as he formed the Deniz Tek Group, issuing several releases -- the full-lengths Outside (1994) and Le Bonne Route (1996), plus the EPs 4-4 The Number of the Beat (1995), Italian Tour (1996), and Bad Road (1997) -- as well as launching several tours of Europe, Australia, and the U.S. Tek also issued solo albums on a regular basis during the same decade, including such releases as 1992's Take it to the Vertical, 1998's Equinox, and 1999's Got Live. In addition, the '90s saw Tek reunite with Radio Birdman for a pair of Australian tours, as well as a live release, Ritualism, in 1996. Tek found time to form a band with ex-MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Dodge Main (issuing a self-titled release in 1996), as well as a studio project called Deep Reduction (formed while Tek was producing a group called the Stump Wizards, Tek joined the band for a pair of releases, 1997's single "Black Tulip" b/w "Gotta Say No" and a self-titled full-length from 2000). When not playing music, Tek resides with his family in Montana, where he works as an emergency/trauma doctor. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi


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