Bis

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Taking inspiration from Huggy Bear, the Nation of Ulysses, Blur, and the “cutie” indie movement of Sarah Records, bis were one of the most unique bands in late­’90s British indie rock. Aggressively primitive, bis spearheaded “the Teen­C Revolution,” crossing D.I.Y. aesthetics with the incessant bounce of new wave dance pop, anime and manga imagery, and a childlike outlook. Bursting out of nowhere in early 1996, bis became the first unsigned band to appear on Top of the Pops, and became a sensation within the British music press, with equally passionate positive and negative reviews. However, bis won fans in the Beastie Boys, who signed them to Grand Royal Records, positioning the band to join the ranks of the international pop underground.

Comprising keyboardist/vocalist Manda Rin, guitarist Sci­Fi Steven, and his younger brother John Disco (guitar), bisformed in Giffnock, Scotland in late 1994. All three had been friends since their early childhood, but they didn’t form a band until they finished high school. In addition to writing music, they also published the fanzines Funky Spunk and Paper Bullets. The group began playing local clubs, including Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, eventually earning the attention of the Spanish­based indie Acuarela, which released the Transmissions on the Teen­C Tip EP. Following its release, the band moved to the Glasgow­based indie label Chemikal Underground on a verbal agreement, at which time they also signed to PolyGram publishing. After the “Disco Nation” single appeared in August 1995, they released The Secret Vampire Soundtrack early in 1996 and it received good word of mouth within the underground, including positive reviews in the U.K. music weeklies, before Ric Blaxhill, the producer of Top of the Pops, heard the EP and asked bis to play the show. It was the first time in the show’s 32­year history that an unsigned band played the program.

Suddenly, bis were a sensation, being played constantly on BBC’s Radio 1 and appearing throughout the media. In June, the group released Bis vs. the D.I.Y. Corps on their own Teen­C label, and it was also a critical and commercial success. Soon, there was a bidding war over the band, and the group decided against going to a major label, signing with Wiija in the U.K. and Grand Royal in the U.S. Early in 1997, Grand Royal released the EP This Is Teen­C Power, comprising previously released material, and bis released their first full­length album, The New Transistor Heroes, in the spring. Intendo followed in 1998, and a year later the group resurfaced with Social Dancing. The Music for a Stranger World EP followed in fall 2000. Blending an eclectic influential mix of Talk Talk, Blur, Can, and New Order, bis released Return to Central in fall 2001. They also wrote music for Cartoon Network’s Powerpuff Girls video game. Plastique Nouveau, which appeared the next year, was bis’ most dance-oriented effort to date.

Releases

Bis Slight Disconnects

Sound of a Heartbreak
(I Wanna Go Out With) Someone Else
Dracula, You Broke My Heart
Home Economics
We Dream of Canada
This Slight Disconnect
Hot Dog at the Rock Café
There is No Point (Other Than the Point That There is No Point)
Combination Rock
The Big Sunshine

Bis Return to Central (Deluxe – 31 tracks)

What You're Afraid Of
Silver Spoon
Black Pepper
The End Starts Today
Protection
Two Million
Chicago
Metal Box
We're Complicated
Robotic
A Portrait from Space
Don't Let the Rain Come Down [Bonus Track]
Make it Through [Bonus Track]
Sound of Sleet [Bonus Track]
Brainclouds [Bonus Track]
Heratless Particles [Bonus Track]
Return to Central [Bonus Track]
Robotic (Just Last Week) [Syndrum Remix] [Bonus Track]
Love Will Tear Us Apart [Bonus Track]
Hurt [Bonus Track]
Shack Up [Bonus Track]
Looking from a Hilltop [Bonus Track]
The European (7" Version) [Bonus Track]
Mamelodi Sundown [Bonus Track]
Situation [Bonus Track]
Love 2 Love U [Bonus Track]
The End Starts Today (Tommie Sunshine's "Nail Me Down" Glasgow Summer Freestyle Mix) [Bonus Track]
Telephone Operator
Cubis (I Love You) [12" Version] [Bonus Track]
Protection (Ectomorph Chromium Version) [Bonus Track]
Robotic (Adult. Almost Instrumental Mix) [Bonus Track]

Bis Keep Your Darkness

Keep Your Darkness
Twilight Café

Bis Data Panik Etcetera

Control the Radical
Minimum Wage
Rulers and the States
Cubis (I Love You)
Sense Not Sense
Mechanical Love
Too Much Not Enough
Retail of the Details
Music Lovers
The Young Mothers
Flesh Remover
(That Love Ain't) Justified
Thrill is Yours
Caller ID

Bis bis vs. the D​.​I​.​Y. Corps

This is Fake D.I.Y.
Burn the Suit
Dance to the Disco Beat

Bis Transmissions on the Teen​-​C Tip!

Kill Yr Boyfriend
Sci-Fi Superstar
Improved Neu! Formula
Public School Boy
Caustic Sofa