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IAMX is the solo musical project of Chris Corner, formerly of the band Sneaker Pimps. Founded in 2004 in London, it is an independent music project which also focuses on and experiments with visual art. Musically, IAMX spans multiple genres from electronic rock and dance music to burlesque influenced songs and emotional ballads. Corner's striking and wide ranging voice, and his way of programming sounds and beats is an obvious characteristic of the IAMX sound.
From 2006 until 2014, IAMX was based in Berlin, Germany where Corner found "the spirit to care less about the music industry and take an independent route." Berlin is also mentioned in the lyrics which concern subjects such as sexual identity, death, love, narcotic intoxication, decadence, critique of religion and politics, alienation, addiction, modern society and gender bending. The topic of gender bending is further emphasised by Corner's own distinctive and androgynous image.
As of 2014 to 2015, IAMX have relocated to Los Angeles from Berlin, citing the much needed change to a better climate and a break with old ties in Berlin.
Live, IAMX are known for their highly energetic and theatrical performances. Unusual stage outfits and body painting are also core elements of IAMX shows. The stage design consists of art and props constructed by Corner and his live band members.
The visual art element of the project can be seen in the IAMX music videos and in the projections at their live shows. Both contain sometimes strong and controversial visual content, often directed, shot and edited by Corner himself.
To date, IAMX has released six studio albums, all of which have been released independently and produced by Corner (The Unified Field was co-produced by Jim Abbiss).
IAMX was founded by Corner in 2004 in London. The name 'I am X' refers to Becoming X, the title of the Sneaker Pimps' debut album. Corner explained that by founding IAMX, he no longer felt that he was becoming X, but rather that he was X. The meaning of the X, according to the founder, is ever changing like a variable in a mathematical equation.
Kiss + Swallow (2004–2006)
The debut album, Kiss + Swallow, was released in 2004 and consisted of melancholic dark 1980s-influenced electro with lyrical content referring often to the psychology of sexual fantasy, gender bending and role play, the exploration of solitude, aggression, longing, codependency and mortality. It was, as all IAMX albums to follow, written, produced and mixed by Corner himself. Kiss + Swallow was recorded in Corner's home studio in London, called The Den.
Many of the songs were initially written by Corner for a fourth Sneaker Pimps album, but while the band was working on the album it soon became clear that the songs did not suit the new direction of Sneaker Pimps. Still, the songs remained important to Corner so he decided to keep working on them and eventually use the songs for his own project.
After the release of Kiss + Swallow Corner went on tour with IAMX, playing venues throughout Europe, and the US. The live line-up varied between a revolving cast of close friends including Sue Denim of Robots in Disguise (whose vocals are also featured on the album), Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh, James Cook of Nemo, Mary Ambrose and actress Julia Davis of Nighty Night.
Kiss + Swallow was released in the US on 17 June 2008 . The US album included the previously unreleased track "Polaroids" and a remix of the title song by Moonbootica. It also carries a different cover.
Between tours in 2005, Corner wrote and produced the soundtrack for the French movie Les Chevaliers du Ciel (English title: Sky Fighters) and the second Robots in Disguise album, Get RID!.
→ Kiss + Swallow: Main article
The Alternative and Live in Warsaw (2006–2008)
IAMX's second album, The Alternative was released in April 2006 in Europe, October 2007 (digitally) and November 2007 (physically) in the UK and Ireland, and May 2008 on Metropolis Records in the US. UK and US versions feature a slightly different cover with black tape rather than yellow tape. In addition to variant cover artwork, UK and US versions also feature alternate versions of several tracks with added production and added backing vocals from Janine Gezang as well as a hidden instrumental string version of "Spit It Out", arranged and recorded by Audrey Morse.
In summer 2006, a new live line up was announced as follows: Janine Gezang on keyboards/synths, backing vocals and bass, Dean Rosenzweig on guitars and bass and Tom Marsh on drums. Rosenzweig and Marsh left the live band in 2010 while Gezang is still an integral part of the project.
A limited edition live album, Live in Warsaw, was released on 14 November 2008 on IAMX's own label, 61seconds. The performance was recorded in front of a live audience for Polskie Radio Program III and later mixed by Corner in Berlin at IAMX2 studios. The album was exclusively available at the band's online shop Boutique IAMX and is now sold out.
Kingdom of Welcome Addiction and Dogmatic Infidel Comedown OK (2009–2011)
The third IAMX album, Kingdom of Welcome Addiction, was released on 19 May 2009. It had a heavier sound than the previous two albums, and it was preceded by a new track entitled "Think of England", which was made available for free download on 7 November 2008.
In early 2010, the live band was announced to be Janine Gezang on keyboards/synths, vocals and bass; Alberto Álvarez on guitars, vocals, drums and bass, and Jon Harper on drums. In August 2010, Harper was replaced by MAX, a drum machine which was programmed and triggered by Corner.
A remixed and reworked version of the album entitled Dogmatic Infidel Comedown OK was released on 19 March 2010. The release features reworks done by Corner himself under the alias of UNFALL, as well as remixes and covers by other artists, including Alec Empire, Terence Fixmer, Combichrist, Black Light Odyssey and others. The artists featured on the album were all selected and asked to contribute by IAMX.
The title of the remixed album is an anagram of the original album title Kingdom of Welcome Addiction.
Volatile Times (2011)
On 14 April 2010 Corner announced on the official IAMX Twitter page that he was working on his fourth studio album, which he referred to as IAMX4. On 19 October 2010 it was announced on the official IAMX Facebook page that IAMX4 was now identified as Volatile Times. The album was released in Europe on 18 March 2011. It peaked at #68 in the German Media Control Charts. About a week before the album's release, the track "Fire and Whispers" was made available for free download from the IAMX website. On 2 September 2013 an entirely re-worked version of Volatile Times was digitally released for the United States and Canada. The release included three bonus tracks: "Avalanches", "Volatile Times (IAMseX Unfall Rework)" and "Bernadette (Post Romanian Storm)".
Caroline Weber joined the live line-up on drums in 2011, where two European tours took place: 'Fire And Whispers Tour' in the first half of the year and 'Into Asylum Tour' in the second half.
The Unified Field (2013–2014)
On 1 February 2012, it was announced via IAMX's Facebook and Twitter pages that work had officially begun on the fifth studio album, which had the working title of IAMX5. On 13 May Chris announced that there would be a vlog posted on the official IAMX YouTube channel every two weeks, which would allow the fans to view the recording process of the new album. In the third vlog, Chris revealed that the new album was to be co-produced by Jim Abbiss, who had also co-produced Sneaker Pimps' debut album Becoming X and had produced albums for artists such as Adele and Arctic Monkeys. On 6 July 2012, via his online blog, Chris revealed the name of a track, "Come Home" from the forthcoming album. On 1 October 2012, a new fundraising project was launched via the PledgeMusic website, which would allow fans to bid on items such as tour setlists and CDs, including the new album; the goal of this fundraiser reached its 100% target in 1 hour, eventually reaching 817% of the set target. On 19 October 2012, it was announced that the album would officially be named The Unified Field and would be preceded by the first single, a double A side, to be released on 3 December. The album was released on 20 March 2013 for fans who pledged on the PledgeMusic project and 22 March 2013 to the general public.
IAMX toured the album under the name "Animal Impulses Tour" following the album's release adding new live members Richard Ankers on drums and Sammi Doll on keyboards and backing vocals. The 'Animal Impulses Tour' began in Europe and returned to North America after a four-year gap, made possible through the PledgeMusic campaign. On 16 August 2013, information was released on the Facebook page by IAMX manager Reza Davoudi, that IAMX would be rescheduling the 2013 fall 'Screams' tour for 2014 after Chris had been diagnosed with chronic primary insomnia and was seeking treatment.
On 31 May 2014, Chris played a live online acoustic set of songs from Kiss + Swallow in a Glendale, California studio which was broadcast worldwide. On 17 August, he performed an online acoustic set of songs from The Alternative, in which he hinted at a new album during the Q&A session.
Several IAMX songs are featured on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder, including "I Come With Knives", "I Salute You Christopher", "The Unified Field", "Cold Red Light", "Volatile Times", "Walk With The Noise", "Music People", "Happiness" and the unreleased demo of "Dead in this House".
On 17 December 2014, a countdown was started in IAMX's social accounts. The countdown ended 3 days later, revealing the official announcement of a fan-funded new album using Pledgemusic, said to be released in early fall of 2015. On 11 June 2015, the album title was announced as Metanoia. Both "Insomnia" and "Happiness" were included in the second season of the TV Series "How to get away with murder".
In 2008, IAMX relocated to an old GDR factory outside Berlin. Corner spoke about the move in an interview, saying that he had bought a building which used to be a waterworks factory in the former East Germany. The factory has since been given the name "Turmwerk" and is used for studio recording, band rehearsals, photo shoots, music video and live visual production. These productions include the music video "My Secret Friend" featuring Imogen Heap, photo shoots for the cover of IAMX's fourth studio album Volatile Times, shot by Berlin photographer, Ben Wolf and Press photos for IAMX's fifth studio album The Unified Field by photographers Joe Dilworth and Sammi Doll. Turmwerk has become a working space not only for IAMX, but also for other artists such as Noblesse Oblige, producer Jim Abbiss, James Cook and VIOLENTA. Corner said in an interview that his dream was to create a place for artists of all kinds where the main focus is on creativity and free-thinking.