Based out of the Dutch urban center of Den Haag, I-F is largely the work of one producer -- known as Ferenc -- although the close-knit qualities of the Den Haag underground and a preponderance of like-sounding artists (including Unit Moebius
, Electronome, Funkstorung
, and a dozen others) on I-F-associated labels such as Viewlexx, Acid Planet, and Murdercapital makes uncredited collaborations a distinct likelihood. Focusing first on hard-hitting acid and techno, Ferenc released a number of limited-run EPs through those labels (as both Beverly Hills 808303 and I-F) before hooking up with higher-profile German label Disko B in 1996. I-F's Disko B releases marked a shift in style; the two-part Portrait of a Dead Girl series began playing up the electro and new wave influences, incorporating rhythmic syncopation, vocals, and strong, simple melodies. I-F's debut LP, Fucking Consumer, was released by Disko B in the summer of '98, and remains one of the most memorable new-school electro albums to date. I-F's by-far most widely known track, however -- "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass" -- appeared in the interim, debuting on the Detroit-based Interdimensional Transmission label, which kicked off its four-part EP series "From Beyond" with the cut. Also compiled onto Fucking Consumer, "Space Invaders" became one of '97's biggest anthems, receiving track-of-the-year kudos from no less a bassbin-hugging tastemaker than Jockey Slut magazine, spawning an IT remix 12-inch, and flooding the label's Ann Arbor, Michigan offices with licensing requests.
I-F material continued to appear at a higher-than-average clip throughout 1998, including a collaborative 12-inch for the Austrian Sabotage label (under the name Lonny and Melvin
) and a second full-length LP/CD, The Man from P.A.C.K. In addition to his production work, Ferenc continues to operate Hotmix Electro-nix, a mail-order business often referred to as the Dutch Submerge, originally formed in 1990 and now an important European distribution hub for underground experimental dance music. ~ Sean Cooper, Rovi