Anklepants Combines Big Budget Movie Effects With Experimental Electronic Music

Anklepants will make a rare Colorado appearance at Glob this Friday, June 19, alongside Killd By, Lanx Borealis, Julien and Trisicloplox. The solo project of Reecard Farché, Anklepants is an amalgamation of Farché's interest in electronic music going back to the late '90s, as well as his background in making special effects for films. Creating a unique character for a performance persona, Farché's Anklepants is truly one of the most unique musical projects in the electronic dance music world going. in terms of matching performance with technique and composition. Integrating all these elements stemmed from experiences Farché had working on big time movies, including Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, as well as the Korean monster movie The Host.

“Electronic engineers on those early jobs told me that animatronics control systems were MIDI, and I looked into the old stuff and found I could control it with a sequencer,” reveals Farché. “Now it's all custom and wireless and built pretty much from scratch. It's more advanced now than most animatronics control systems used on most films, and the cost is nothing compared to what would be used in a film, where it would be hundreds of thousands. So it's pretty handy that I've learned this stuff.”

Farché had become a bit bored with the way electronic music was going and with a DJ culture where there wasn't much to look at except perhaps a bit with the big production shows, where the performances aren't very personal. Farché's goal with his Anklepants character stems from his lifelong interest in the imaginative in art.

“You can put your head into a different space,” says Farché of his love of music and other creative endeavors that go beyond the mundane. “I think that's important in any live performance. I learned how to use the visual persona like I did with the music and I use it to accentuate the imaginative component of the music. It makes sense to create a custom character as well so it's not just a human standing there. With the animatronics, it's connected with the software. I may use my hand and the penis moves. I don't think so much about it when I'm playing because it's programmed. I just concentrate on the singing. I think of it as playing the whole thing as an instrument.”

Anyone that has seen Anklepants is immediately struck by how unusual his costume really is at first but the unusual yet accessible music takes the forefront as the 2014 Anklepants performance with Otto Von Schirach on the Boiler Room program can attest. But for Purcell, the penis face originally had another purpose.

“It was never a plan to use the penis face for music,” says Purcell. “That was another idea for a film. I thought it would be funny. If there was a more mainstream thing backing it, it would be funny to watch it. I wasn't trying to be offensive or anything. It's just a penis. It's not some statement, it just is what it is. Some things I do have a statement in them, but they have nothing to do with the penis. I guess the penis works well as a beacon. People look at it and if they take the time to listen to what's going on they realize it's not something I just got from a joke shop to piss people off.”

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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.