Kicking Giant - Halo LPLabel: Drawing Room Records
By 1989 it seemed that much of the impish glamour associated with downtown New York had dulled, leaving in its place a mood of sleazy desperation. There was a hardness to the scene then, the sound of metal on metal, forced nihilistic poses, but the common denominator to these trends and living in the city as a whole has always been the convenience of reinvention. Regardless of how dangerous or expensive the city is it will always be the destination of mixed up children determined to tinker with their identity. A hybrid of possible worlds invented by exiles. Rachel Carns left small town Wisconsin for New York and Tae Won Yu was from the immigrant enclave of Flushing—the last stop on the 7 train. They met as art students at the Cooper Union in downtown Manhattan, far from their family and past lives, four blocks from CBGB’s and the Pyramid Club.
In 1989 Tae was making 4-track recordings in his East Village apartment, obsessively going to shows and generally slacking as a student when he spied Rachel wearing a Einstürzende Neubauten shirt at the school wood shop. Recruiting her as a drummer for his idea of a minimalist, experimental punk duo, Kicking Giant would commence activities as soon as they could find a drum for Rachel. Their first set up was only a floor tom without a stand which was wedged into a low stool. Tae played guitar and sang, Rachel had never played drums before.
It didn’t take long for Tae and Rachel to develop a common language based on improvisation and spontaneous digressions. The nascent duo began playing with a sound that veered from the sweetly melodic to disorienting dissonance—a fanatic’s collage of the bands they were seeing and listening to at the time; Galaxie 500, Laughing Hyenas, Pere Ubu, Jonathan Richman, "Astral Weeks", Love, Suicide, VU, Big Star’s "3rd.'