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Guitarist, songwriter, and producer Brad Laner has been one of the most prolific men on the Los Angeles indie rock scene since the 1980s, releasing literally hundreds of records with various bands and under a handful of identities, but it wasn't until 2007 that he got around to putting out his first record, Neighbor Singing, under his own name. Born in 1967, Laner began making music with the group Debt of Nature in the early '80s, releasing five cassette-only albums and appearing on several compilation albums. Laner recorded with several other groups before joining the celebrated noise rock band Savage Republic, appearing on their final two albums, Jamahiriya and Customs. In 1991, Laner formed the group Medicine, whose fusion of raw, thickly distorted guitar work and graceful pop melodies earned them favorable comparisons with the ringleaders of the British "shoegazing" scene and a contract with the prestigious U.K. label Creation Records. Medicine's first album, Shot Forth Self Living, appeared in the U.K. in the summer of 1992, and was released in the United States a few months later by Rick Rubin's American Recordings. Medicine broke up after the release of their third LP, 1995's Her Highness, but Laner assembled a new version of the band in 2002 to reestablish the name after another group began calling itself Medicine, and a new album appeared in 2003, The Mechanical Forces of Love.
During the interim, Laner recorded with Lusk, Amnesia, Personal Electronics, and Vas Deferens Organization, but his most prolific and personal project was Electric Company, who debuted in 1995 with A Pert Cyclic Omen and released another eight albums and five EPs by 2004. Laner has also done session work on albums by Brian Eno, Blinker the Star, 17 Pygmies, and Fourwaycross, and reckons to have appeared on over 300 albums since he began making music. After Laner and his wife had a son in 2004, he began focusing more of his activities on home recording in order to devote more time to his family, and one of the results was Neighbor Singing, co-produced by Thom Monahan and released by the independent Hometapes label in 2007. During this period he was also working with Alex Graham (who records under the name Lexaunculpt) on a band called the Internal Tulips. Their debut album, Mislead into a Field by a Deformed Deer, was released by Planet Mu in March of 2010. It was followed in August by Laner's second solo album for Hometapes, Natural Selections. When not busy with music and fatherhood, Laner pursues his interests in restoring mid-century houses and helping to protect architecturally distinctive neighborhoods in California.
Brad Laner (born November 6, 1966) in Los Angeles, California is an American musician and record producer best known for his work with the shoegaze band Medicine, which he founded and led.
Prior to Medicine, he was involved in avant-improv bands such as Debt of Nature (when he was 15 years old), Steaming Coils (at the age of 18)—which also featured members of Los Angeles Free Music Society—and most notably the experimental tribal post-punk outfit Savage Republic, which, according to Pitchfork Media, foreshadowed many ideas later explored in the post-rock genre.
He has also been active as a solo artist, recording under the moniker Electric Company as well as releasing two albums under his own name.
His work has been sampled by artists such as Brian Eno (Eno extensively sampled Electric Company's songs on several tracks from Another Day on Earth), and Caribou. He has collaborated with, among many others, M83 on its 2011 album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
His notable fans include Kid606, with whom he also collaborated.
Laner founded his first band, Debt of Nature, at the age of 15 (in 1981). He then continued his musical endeavours with Steaming Coils, an experimental avant-rock band that he also founded in 1984. It released two full-length albums before disbanding in 1989, but its last record was released two years after the break-up.
In the meantime, Laner joined Savage Republic as a percussionist and a keyboard player, and took part in recording two of its albums.
In 1990 he founded shoegaze-noise pop band called Medicine, in which he applied a do-it-yourself ethos to create his signature sound by running his guitar through a 4-track recorder. In 1992 Medicine released its debut album, Shot Forth Self Living. In 1994 the band contributed one track to the soundtrack of the movie The Crow and appeared in the movie itself. The band ceased to exist in 1995, briefly reuniting in 2003 as a duo (with Laner and Shannon Lee).
In 1995 he started his solo project Electric Company, which was devoted to IDM, glitch, and avant-garde electronics with some elements of ambient and drone. As Electric Company, he released ten full-length albums in nine years (before ceasing activity in 2004). The same year, he also founded psychedelic supergroup Lusk with the members of Tool and Failure, with whom he released one album, Free Mars. It received a Grammy Award nomination.
In 1996, he collaborated (under his own name) with Dallas-based musical collective Vas Deferens Organization on the album Transcontinental Conspiracy. Laner co-wrote and co-produced the album; several Mercury Rev members were also involved in the recording and producing process. They collaborated again in 1999, this time under his Electric Company moniker, on the album More Pelvis Wick for the Baloney Boners.
In 2007, Laner released his first album under his own name, Neighbor Singing, with the input of Thom Monahan. He then followed it up in 2010 with his second solo release, Natural Selections.