A style which emerged from a fusion of dance music, lounge bands and post-Gastrons alternative pop sounds at the turn of the Minervan century, roughly contemporary to the Gastrons. The growing scene was crystallised in M200 by the release of Hamish Records' massively popular Rhythm 2 compilation: the follow-up to an obscure volume one, it nonetheless gave the style a name as well as a host of new stars, including the debut releases of Fairweather and Briony Chellaston, among others. Known for its emphasis on instrumental grooves and stange experimentation, R2 nonetheless has a large popular following, and many of its second wave of recording artists have evolved sound closer to the style's dance roots.
The outspoken and animated owner of record-store-turned-label Tunes To Go, Morton's an integral part of Minerva's music culture and always ready to give his opinion. A personal friend of Gastron Space Monkeys horn maestro and keyboardist Dan Choi and of dance pioneer Ray Kinescope, Morton has nonetheless been criticized as a sell-out after signing Heavenly King of Pop Sandy Singh.
Although just a couple of years out of university, young journalist Nice Shaw is making a name for herself at The Minervan, with her shocking exposés and daring undercover reporting.
Led by Pip Soda, a musician and singer of striking skill, Shiney are possibly the most commercially successful Rhythm 2 act since the death of Fairweather, with their current single "Um Ah" riding high in the charts. Their music is often complex and they're known for using instruments other bands haven't even heard of, but their melodic emphasis and catchy, pacy recordings have brought them many fans. It probably helps that all four band members are pretty girls, too.
Albums: 5's (M208), Onomatopoeia (M210)
Peronnel: Pip Soda, Katie Sands, Clare Pomeroy, Emma Mann
Considered by many to be the most talented singer among the Heavenly Kings of Pop, the currently long-haired Sandy has maintained his enormous popularity through many image changes with a powerful voice and a charming smile. He recently singed a deal with the relatively small Tunes To Go label in an attempt to gain more creative control of his career.
Sandy's current single, "Shake You Down", is burning up the charts right now!
With his suave stage act and an incomparable string of hits, Art Tolliver was the star singer who laid the foundations of Minerva's pop scene almost fifty years ago. It was due to Art's phenomenal populrrity that the prviously small Minervan recording industry flourished, with sheer numbers of fans ensuring that however many concerts Art booked there were still ticketless hoardes seeking out each new recording. Bad publicity following a string of murders inspired by the star's album covers led to the decline and demise of his career, but now, long after his death, his legend is unassailable. Recently, all four Heavenly Kings of Pop have had hits with Art Tolliver classics, sealing his reputation as the Heavenly King.
Art's the top-selling albums include The Art of Romance, Art on Exhibit and I Don't Know Much About Art, But I Know What I Like, all still available, while the definitive singles collection Works of Art is in the pipeline right now!
Originally famed as the best-stocked disc shop in the whole Bazaar district, owner Morton Schenck decided to expand his business during the initial Rhythm 2 explosion of M200 - M201 after seeing many of the bands who impressed him most without deals. However, the label's first release was not an R2 band but the debut of the Gastron Space Monkeys, the unexpected success of which propelled Morton's label from tiny indie to major player almost overnight. Since then the label has been continually expanding, with its biggest and most recent signing being Sandy Singh. With one of the Heavenly Kings of Minervan Pop on the roster as well as the alternative acts which made the label's name, future success seems certain for both Tunes To Go and Morton himself.
As the white-on-black stickers with which they emblazon every release announce, Viscera is the "100% Brain-Damage!" label, and in the wake of its first release - a compilation entitled Visceral Virus - this small label is consolidating its name for finding the newest sounds in crash by releasing upcoming bands such as Nightmare Consortium.
Pseudonymous comics creator X is famed for her hard-hitting gangster saga Bastard Souls, but her identity remains a mystery to her many fans.