SBTRKT, MGMT and other bands that eschew vowels make you work just that little bit harder. Think you know how to pronounce MSTRKRFT? Think again. Here’s 14 artists who’ve rebelled against traditional phonetics.
Love for FKA Twigs’ labelmate and Radiohead remixer Aaron Jerome might be multiplying all the time, but it’ll take more than a degree in maths to work out SBTRKT is in fact pronounced “subtract”. Inability to say the name properly hasn’t dulled desire for the much-anticipated forthcoming record. Here are 13 more artists afraid of vowels…
MGMT started out life as The Management but soon changed it because either a) like many bands they fear vowels or b) they were terrified of being associated with unfunny 80’s British comedy double act Hale & Pace. Coming from Connecticut, we suspect the former.
There is certainly mystery involved in the Toronto, Canada duo MSTRKRFT’s name - pronounced Mystery Craft - a name you wouldn’t have worked out in a month of Sundays on your own. Oh, you would, would you? Well, well done you...
“What’s wrong with being called Marcel Everett?” the slow-jamming, Floridan lo-fi electronica musician’s mother probably tells XXYYXX on a regular basis. “I give you a nice name like Marcel, and how do you repay me? By constructing a moniker out of chromosomes, that’s how!”
Underground Avian techno anomalies SHXCXCHCXSH have taken the unexplainable fad for vowelless names to its illogical conclusion, sputtering forth a seemingly random sequence of letters that looks more like code or a catalogue order no. than a band name. Like, how do you say that?
See if you can work out how to pronounce the troublesomely monikered metal band DFHVN’s name. Duff Haven, maybe? Doof Havana? No, they are called Deafheaven actually, and the San Franciscan two-piece tend to spell their name without the stylisation now, perhaps after an epiphany watching Countdown.
Here’s one you’ll definitely need help with unless you’re a German industrial metal fan - KMFDM comes from Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, which translated apparently means “no pity for the majority”. These Hamburgers rock despite their lack of social empathy.
Melbourne band HTRK started life as Hate Rock Trio in 2003, though clearly the experimental noise group hated vowels even more than they hate rock.
Taking vowels out of your name can be a clever way to subvert and even presents a chance to swear. Take STRFKR for example, a Portland, Oregon electronica outfit who also go by the name Starfucker.
Belgium's BRNS are certainly a brainy lot, though they hide it well, as they do the 'a' and the 'i' between the 'r' and the 'n'. You can't go far wrong being named after the coolest, geekiest Thunderbird, even with the vowels taken out.
You might have to go back to the future to work out how to say DLRN. Have you guessed yet from our little clue? That’s riiiiight, it’s Dolorean. Christ, we’re beginning to feel like children’s TV presenters...
BLK JKS not only have a fear of vowels but they also have a phobia of the letter ‘C’. These rockers from Johannesburg (annunciated as Black Jacks by the way) must lose sleep worrying the condition might spread and they’ll wake up one morning to find they have no name at all.
A less challenging one this (unless you’re, say, an English teacher), CHLLNGR is the brainchild of Steven Borth, a Californian-born, Copenhagen-based electronica musician with a penchant for nordic glacial beats and an allergy to vowel sounds.
And just to prove that omitting vowels from your name isn’t necessarily a new thing, here’s a picture of Lynyrd Skynyrd!