Austin space cadet Josh Mills gets as geeked out about the DIY sci-fi kitsch of early Star Wars as he does about the faux-robo beats of Kraftwerk and Phil Collins. It’s little wonder that Missions, Mills’s EDM star noir singularity, has taken on a pulsing life of its own.
“Everything is alive,” Mills said over the phone from his Austin home. “Everything is very calculated, and onstage every cable has to be put in the exact right spot or else…it’ll go crazy [laughs].”
When Mills released his first Missions mixtape in 2009 the project was a live trio known by audiences for slamming on analog and digital implements arranged around the stage. Since losing his bandmates to other projects and obligations, though, Mills has retooled his persona into a one-man battlestation of synths, sequencers and hexagonal drum pads. While he bleeds out lushly brooding future beats (think Grimes given Ritalin), longtime visual conspirators VIDKIDZ lave crowds in lasers, fractals, remixed memes and other projections of “Post-Internet psychedelia” that literally sent one kid to the hospital with a case of minor epilepsy. (He turned out to be one of Mills’s close friends; he was cool with it.)
“I felt terrible, but at least now we can say we made someone collapse,” Mills says.
As Missions continues to evolve, Mills, as ever, keeps one foot in the future and one in the past. The Darrk/Blakk 7″, out on Pau Wau on July 6, features a remastered cut of Mills’s first-ever song written as Missions years ago, with limited editions pressed on triangular vinyl (“not really a geodesic triangle; more of a Star Trek shape with curved sides”). Mills hopes to get his debut LP out before the apocalypse, which, as his website will tell you, is just over seven months away. The mission until then?
“Treat every day like it’s your last until December 21, 2012,” Mills says. “Then you should probably start taking your life a little more seriously.”
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