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Miami-via-NYC group Lansing-Dreiden released a trio of well-regarded and influential long-players in the aughties, all refining an original blend of '80s synthpop and galactic space rock. But L-D isn't a typical band—in fact, it calls itself a "multimedia company" and has created visual art, graphic design, installations, and a free literary journal, Death Notice, all under the L-D name. Famously, Lansing-Dreiden featured a band in its video that was not Lansing-Dreiden. This year, the Mexican Summer label reissues three Lansing-Dreiden albums on vinyl, so we thought we'd check in with the directors of the multimedia company and see if we could find out more.

"iii"

What was Lansing-Dreiden all about? It was a "collective" and also made up of visual artists, right?
We refer to Lansing-Dreiden as a company instead of a collective. Collective implies a group of artists working together on a single project whereas a company has a mission and aesthetic that must be maintained regardless of who the members are. Some members were visual artists and some were musicians, some both, but the company was set up in a way where everyone could take part in all of the decisions since they were ultimately meant to reflect the company itself and not any individual. 

 


"SmallM4"

And then it became more about art than music? What kind of art?
It has never been an either/or situation. The entire body of work we make all comes from the same place. Our favorite medium has been misinformation.

What's the connection with Violens?
Apparently one of Lansing-Dreiden's members is part of a guitar pop group named Violens. We have never listened to it.


Why are the L-D albums being reissued? I always thought they should have gotten a bit more attention.
We appreciate that. They are being reissued because the label asked us if we wanted to have the records printed on vinyl, and we did. Over the years, the number of people we've met that found the work interesting in some way have far outnumbered the ones that have initially dismissed it. These re-releases are for them. 

 

Can you tell us about the album packaging design?
It is pretty minimal, just black and white. A double-matte coat with silver foil stamp logo and song names on the back. Three releases are being reissued on 12". Each record cover is a more minimal spin on its original packaging.


L-D has been fairly media shy, but Violens has done interviews. Is that about creating a mystique or just more about time management?
Lansing-Dreiden has never really been media shy, we answer most questions. The press have accused us of using our anonymity as a gimmick—perhaps that's laziness on their part? The point of Lansing-Dreiden was to produce works in various mediums that were thematically and aesthetically in harmony, following a set of rules. We chose anonymity because we wanted the audience to relate to the work on its own terms, without needing to have a media personality to refer to.

For more Lansing-Dreiden, visit lansing-dreiden.com

Thursday

On the flight to Miami I sat next to an off-duty pilot who tried to insist that I use his uniform jacket as a blanket. After we landed, he read all of my texts over my shoulder and tried to make small talk based on the information he had gleaned. "You like the Kardashians?" 

Goal for Basel: see a Kardashian—preferably Kourtney, the most underrated Kardashian. I'd also enjoy Khloe. I'm scared of Kylie and Kendall. Rob doesn't count.

Friday

I was nervous about forcing myself to participate in so much culture in such a short time. I fearfully got up and went to Pulse, a satellite festival. Pulse was the perfect way to ease into Basel; it had a grassy lawn with hammocks and free Perrier (I felt sad for the Perrier girls who had to dress in head-to-toe green). The best installation was Watch Some Movies by Casey Neistat, because you could sit on a couch and watch movies or Keeping Up With The Kardashians while he served beer and grilled cheese sandwiches, aka feel like you never left home. Perfect for the shut-in. 

No Kardashian sightings today. Several times I thought I saw one, but it was always just a random girl dressed as a Kardashian; long dark hair extensions, fake eyelashes, an outdated bodycon dress. Basel Barbies.

Not pictured: Kourtney Kardashian

Saturday

Beyonce spotted at Basel: she looked perfect and was looking at the art the way a parent would indulgently look at their child's kindergarten drawing, lots of nodding and head tilting. There was a lot of internet art and I wish her Tumblr had been included in Basel somehow. No Kardashians still, which makes sense; Kim is notoriously afraid of Beyonce so unless Kanye dragged her, she wouldn't be anywhere near this Beyonce field trip.

I met a group of Northern expats. I asked what Miami was like, and if they ever shop at Dash, the world-class Kardashian boutique. They came up with a litany of bizarre information and ignored my Kardashian questions. "There are a lot of beautiful people, but keep in mind 1 in 6 people in South Florida have HIV." "When I first moved here there was an underground horse-meat smuggling ring in the news, so I became a vegetarian." "Christmas decorations here are just really depressing and ruin the summer fun state of mind." "Iggy Pop lives in a mansion in the suburbs." "No apartments have hardwood floors, it's all tile. I feel like I've been living in a bathroom for the past 3 years." "My seventy year old real estate agent told me to lighten up when I refused to rent an apartment where the entire bedroom was mirrored. She told me it was sexy and that I didn't know what I was talking about." 

This last thing actually sounded like something a Kardashian would say, if she worked in real estate. 

Sunday

Having fulfilled my art duty, I spent my last days at the beach. I got a really good tan all over from just my 1.5 days at the beach. The tropical sun is so much better than the Chicago sun. In Chicago I will get a really intense tan on, like, my knee and nothing else after a hard day lying in the sun, rotating hourly. In Miami it was effortless. There were peacocks walking around and the beach was empty. It was heaven. I felt like a Kardashian.

Monday

The airport on Monday morning was my last chance to see a Kardashian but I was in a crowd of hungover French DJs and my celebrity spotting was sabotaged. I'm sad I didn't see a Kardashian in the wild. But really, Kardashians were everywhere, even if I didn't see the Kardashians. Everyone was drunk, wearing false eyelashes, whining loudly, and talking about how Kanye West is actually a really good designer. That is the beauty of Miami.