Wreck and Reference are an experimental music project from California formed in 2011 by Felix Skinner and Ignat Frege. Drawing upon the blown-out intensity of black metal and noise rock, they eschew traditional guitar-centric instrumentation to construct songs with digital samples, drums, and voice.
Their latest release is Alien Pains, an homage to Guided By Voices’ 1995 album Alien Lanes. Across four tracks, Alien Lanes mutates four GBV classics from blistering lo-fi pop into high-definition, noisy, monstrous tracks. Bob Pollard’s lyrics, meditations on self-doubt, betrayal, and modern aviation find new life in Wreck and Reference‘s harrowing vision.
To date, the band has released three full-length albums and three EPs. Their first work, an EP titled Black Cassette, showcased distorted fragments and synthesizers in angular, heavy songs, with themes of determinism and Cormac McCarthy-esque isolation. Their debut full-length Y̶o̶u̶t̶h̶ (2012) and their sophomore release Want (2014), described by Pitchfork as having “radical vision” and “boundless experimentation,” represented dramatic expansions of their sonic palette. In 2016Wreck and Reference released their third LP, Indifferent Rivers Romance End, perfecting their song craft and pushing their noisy, sample-based instrumentation to its limits.
Once a solitary project, Wreck and Reference have recently begun collaborating with other experimental artists, including Ricky Eat Acid on See You Soon (2016) and photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, performing during his installation at the Tate Modern museum in London and producing a techno track for his Heute Will Ich Frei Sein EP (2018).
Wreck and Reference, Tour dates:
4.18 – London, UK – Shacklewell Arms
4.19 – Tilburg, NE – Roadburn Festival
4.20 – Ghent, BE – De Kolonie
4.21 – Leipzig, DE – Doom Over Leipzig Festival
4.22 – Berlin, DE – Urban Spree
6.11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
6.12 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill