"[Shocking Dance Fist Machine] is about the music that gets you to dance. While you are dancing we like to make you think too, about the world around you and how things maybe are not like they should be. It is good to dance to."
- Tye Grunner, SDFM
Shocking Dance Fist Machine (SDFM) was founded in 1986 by German expatriate Tye Grunner and Polish guitarist Ulli Rydochko in the midst of the formative Polish techno scene in Lodz. The pair formed the band in the hopes of providing a voice for the downtrodden and providing a great techno beat to dance to for those who enjoy being inspired by music. Their first album was self-published on vinyl and cassette, an extremely rare and out of print LP entitled "Platform Jackboots". The album was fairly well received but considered by many critics to be too pop-influenced. When Grunner returned to his home town of Munich with Rydochko things were about to change for the better.
|"I do not care for TV. This picture has an Indian too, Indians are racist. Racism is bad."|
- Ulli Rydochko, SDFM
In 1989 the duo relocated to Germany after a riot at a Lodz disco injured Tye's left arm. It was in Munich that they met and recruited keyboardist Anja Mueller, who became Tye's lover and provided a more political tone to the band's music. Shortly thereafter SDFM was signed to Hammer Eye Records and produced their second album (and their first wide release), 1991's "Eat the Fat Burger". This album cemented their already considerable following and brought attention to their music and bold political messages from outside the techno and industrial scenes. So successful was "Eat the Fat Burger" that a remix album was released in 1992 with contributions from DJs and techno artists such as Trent Reznor, the Dust Brothers, DJ Shadow, MC Simon and the mysterious Scratch Factory Tag-Team.
Riding high on the horse of success, SDFM was signed to Wax Trax! Records and released their third LP "Fits Like an Epileptic Glove" in early 1993. More heavily produced than their previous work, this album was widely accepted into the mainstream and entered heavy rotation on American rock stations. MTV played their video for "Centipedes in My Curio Cabinet" and they were nominated for an MTV Music award for "breakthrough video", which they lost to Aerosmith. It was at this point that Tye and Ulli had a falling out. Ulli believed that Anja had too much control over the direction of the band and Tye thought that Anja gave excellent blowjobs, making an agreement impossible. Ulli and Tye parted ways in 1994 and Tye began recruiting new talent to SDFM.
|"I like this picture because it makes me think of computers. Computers are the friend of someone who likes dancing and thinking, unless the computers are thinking and doing the thinking for you. Then I am not a big fan."|
- Tye Grunner, SDFM
Underground DJ Max Distortion, nihilistic gospel singer Bjorn Svendjer and techno drummer Roland Murphy (of Knife Face Kitten) all worked with Tye on SDFM's next release; "South by South West". The new album was hailed by critics as a new level of musical complexity for the group, but was roundly rejected by media outlets and fans alike. With a new sense of humility, Tye approached Ulli to end his side-project "Whistling Murder Brigade" and return to SDFM. Ulli agreed.
After a 3 year hiatus from the studio, SDFM released their fifth full length album, the aptly titled "Hydraulic Five Alive". The album was a great success, for the first time both critically and financially, and SDFM kicked off their "Five Tones of Pain Dance Tour 1998 America". The tour ended in January of 1999 and SDFM has been in the recording studio since, working on their upcoming "Digital is Murder to the Transistor" album, slated for release in Winter of 2001.