Recommended Cincinnati Concerts: The Crystal Method at Bogart's (Dec. 7)

Recently releasing new album 'The Trip Home,' the duo that helped shape and popularize Electronic music in the ’90s continues on as a solo entity under the guidance of Scott Kirkland

click to enlarge The Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland - Photo: Graham John Bell
Photo: Graham John Bell
The Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland
When the big book of Electronic music’s history is written, one of the highlights of an early chapter will certainly be The Crystal Method. The duo of Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland helped establish, evolve and alter the face of Electronic music and the Big Beat movement and have remained an influential force within and beyond the genre. The Crystal Method’s new album, The Trip Home, marks the first recording by Kirkland as a solo artist, after Jordan announced his retirement from music early last year.

The duo first met as grocery store employees in their Las Vegas hometown and quickly began making music together. Jordan was also a club DJ, a skill that he passed on to Kirkland; when Jordan relocated to Los Angeles for a production job, Kirkland succeeded him as the club’s spinner. In 1993, Kirkland followed Jordan to L.A., and the pair formed The Crystal Method, bought a house together and built their first home studio.

The first Crystal Method single, “Now is the Time,” was released in 1994 on a fledgling indie label, which ultimately led to a contract with Outpost, a Geffen Records imprint, and the duo’s 1997 debut full-length, Vegas. The Crystal Method’s 2001 sophomore album, Tweekend, featured Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) and made it all the way to No. 32 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Since then, the gap between Crystal Method albums has typically been three to five years, although the pair has stayed busy with remix projects, mix releases (like the Community Service series), soundtrack/video game work and touring/festival opportunities.

In 2013, the band’s eponymous fifth album was held up for several months while Kirkland recovered from brain surgery and a subsequent infection. Following Jordan’s retirement, Kirkland chose to retain The Crystal Method as his solo identity and continued to produce under that banner while ramping up his touring schedule. Kirkland has been hyperactively busy this year, which marks the 24th anniversary of Crystal Method’s first single, releasing The Trip Home, announcing an extensive tour and continuing to bang the drum for music he loves on his Sirius XM satellite radio show.

For Kirkland, The Crystal Method’s mission statement has remained constant: Work hard, stay relevant, change history.

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