Hailing originally from the in the outer reaches of beyond aka the remote village of Dale, Pembrokeshire, Michael's musical inspiration quickened with a move to Cardiff's beckoning City lights. Following a few false-starts cutting his teeth in Garage & Punk bands multi-instrumentalist Simmons slowly began to pursue his own electronic-based solo work. Early Conformist demos immediately caught the attention of Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens of BBC Radio alongside John Kennedy and Eddy Temple Morris of XFM.
"Paid To Fake It" is the sort of record that will take your breath away...bloody brilliant... 7/10" The 405
"a head-spinning deluge of audacious beats and samples...staggering" Wales Online
"a release that’s audacious and brilliant...9/10." Whisperin And Hollerin'
"fuelled by rage, love and what we used to call 'talent'...brilliant" Unpeeled
"a wonderfully schizophrenic patchwork of sounds ....brilliance" Ringmaster Review
“Paid To Fake It” is a truly engaging and unique album. From the rough Amen-loop-based manic onslaught of the Atari Teenage Riot influenced “Ladybug Ladybug” through the thrilling adrenaline-rush Bro-Step-mocking “Big City Buzz Band” (which flattens anything Skrillex could throw together) to the spacey dark-Dub black humour of “Post Death Sales Spike” (inspired by the suicide of a lifelong best friend) the record is an intricate and ultra modernistic palette of sounds; a tapestry of genres meshed together, loosely categorized under the Electronica flag but easily so much more, taking on Indie, Metal, Electro and Punk plus everything in-between, all edited to extreme levels of complexity, cutting and pasting together a complex patch-work quilt of kaleidoscopic sounds.
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"the Conformist record is my favourite of the week. It employs some brutal, computer-generated beats and bass lines, alongside a colourful array of samples to create a kind of Industrial DIY mash-up." — Steve Lamacq - BBC Radio
Suitably encouraged Conformist forged ahead releasing his full debut album "Paid To Fake It" in 2012. The 9 track record dropped with little initial fanfare but quickly gained overwhelmingly positive reviews from the UK music media:
""A musically kaleidoscopic head f***...brilliant" Louder Than War
Conformists’ production work is distinguished and full of unique character; refusing to conform to current musical trends, staying leftfield but fresh and ahead of the pack; meticulous, dense and layered, revealing hidden detail with every listen - taking inspiration from Public Enemy's Bomb Squad and cut n' paste pioneers Coldcut, Steinski and The Dust Brothers to name a few.
Catch a sporadic Conformist gig to witness the full live experience (as displayed in 2014 at the acclaimed South Wales festivals HUB and Oxjam respectively); a chaotic swarm of digital sound processing, intense flood-lighting, bizarre video projections and on-the-fly audio improv; truly "live" electronic music. Check out a selection of live videos here.
Conformist, by his own admission, is somewhat of an outsider and enigma, maintaining a low public profile, rarely giving interviews or making public appearances, having a minimal web presence and playing only irregular live shows. He keeps a hands-on independant DIY Punk ethos to all aspects of Conformist endeavors, from creating all artwork, through to self-managing and financing his career, whilst also supporting underground talent via his own record label, Consumer Consumer Records.
Conformist released his second full length album "Lifestyle Bible" in October 2016 to superb reviews. The record will be followed by a remix release "Lifestyle Revised" featuring reinterpretations of Conformist tracks by key figures in the underground Electronic music scene. Conformist will return in 2019 with his third full length album.
Conformist is the Electronic music project of Michael A. Simmons.