When is a holiday not a holiday? When it's a gorgeous trip! Meet Marc Bianchi - former West coast hardcore band member, current Napster employee and the bloke behind Her Space Holiday.

"It was a weird outrageous time! I used to play in a band and the whole thing was a strange, cult-like experience." Marc Bianchi is running through the history of some of the many tattoos that adorn his body. Whilst his first (a moth) hails from the aforementioned show of unity, his latest addition of a drawing by Optic Nerve creator Adrian Tomine simply symbolizes "we're such nerds for reading comics." His most sentimental thought is that of his girlfriend's name - Keely.

Even on the opposing end of a transatlantic phone - call to his San Francisco home, his love for his other half is as apparent as Her Space Holiday's music is deeply absorbing. With Keely now established as 50% of the HSH live set-up, it also makes a lot of sense not to upset the apple-cart-especially when Bianchi readily admits that the thought of live shows terrify him. It wasn't always this way. Having played in a number of West Coast hardcore bands including Indian summer, Mohinder and Calm ("I think I was in the MC5 too") his desire to explore other directions resulted in him adapting his current moniker (the 'her' in question is unsurprisingly none-other-than Keely) and dabbling with instruments devoid of strings or skins.

Unfortunately, his soft-slung mix of crafted electronica and hushed vocals, coupled with people's desires to pigeonhole saw him sharing gaffer tape with those more inclined to shop for plectrums than spark plugs - and an audience who just didn't get it. "There'd be me on stage with a laptop and people couldn't seem to grasp the concept of hearing drums and not seeing anyone playing on them," he resigns.

"It'd be nice to return to the hardcore side of things. Over the last few weeks I've got a bit over-saturated with 'beautiful' music. I miss the energy of the live shows in particular. If I were to do it now though I'd probably throw my back out."

Having wound down his AudioInformationPhenomena label due to its evolution into more of a business than a creative interest, whether he likes it or not Bianchi can't help making 'beautiful' music, as his second album Manic Expressive proves. Filled with more general references than his "self-indulgent", cheerily-titled debut Home Is Where You Hang Yourself, Bianchi reckons he's moved on with his latest work. Yet those wanting to chart the start of his ascension should check his self-explanatory and really rather good remix album, Ambidextrous, where hip-hop and classical strings are put through a mangle and Elastica are reincarnated as the stuttering, panting sleaze-rockers they've always aspired to be.

Manic Expressive is the sound of a man declaring his own lovelorn fragility as Hansel and Gretel lead lost souls into the bosom of Savoy Grand, Spiritualized and Badly Drawn Boy jamming together in the Blair Witch house. It's a set of songs semi-tortured, at times, by their own blissful simplicity and naivety but still capable of coaxing you in to the land of unwritten fairy-tales. To Marc and Keely though, it's their all. "Our Music and futures are roped into one big package. We sold everything we had to pursue this dream - and whatever you do you have to chase your dreams. Whether chasing dreams or soundtracking them, Her Space Holiday are hard to beat.


Mush Records