Steroid Maximus: Ectopia

Release Information

Ectopia (CD, Album)
Ipecac Recordings, Ectopic Ents. IPC 28, ECT ENTS 023 US 2002

Ectopia (CD, Album)
Ipecac Recordings, Ectopic Ents. IPC 28, ECT ENTS 023 Europe 2002

Track Listing

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01. The Trembler
02. Seventy Cops
03. L’espion Qui A Pleure
04. Naught
05. Chain Reaction
06. Bad Day In Greenpoint
07. Aclectasis
08. Tarmac a Gris Gris
09. Pusher Jones
10. Wm
11. Chaiste
12. Enzymes

Release Notes

Steroid Maximus is an instrumental side project of J.G. Thirlwell. Thirlwell is best known for his main band, Foetus. Steroid Maximus contains elements of jazz, big band, avant-garde, soundtrack and exotica styles.

The track “‘Pusher’ Jones” saw previous light as “Jones” on the website, as a track available for user download & remixing via Beatnik software; “Jones” being an early, different version.


Jim Thirwell’s third album under the guise of Steroid Maximus is an epic, cinematic vacation from the razor-gargled industrial pound of Foetus. The underlying thread of irreverent and sophisticated humor (throughout all of Thirwell’s work) is immediately apparent in the album title’s play against the Futurist (utopian) cover art. Ectopia means “a morbid displacement of parts.” Unsurprisingly, this mostly instrumental album splices a multitude of parts: unlikely genres, samples and sounds into a compelling collage. Various parts include strains of horror strings, sci-fi theremin wailing, jazzy synths, 70′s cop-chase rhythm piano, funk drums, whimsical toy whistles, ecstatic swing band crescendos, mournful operatic vocalizations, hawaiian sunrise, gypsy music, and even a straight-up sample of James Bond suspense-moment near the end, just to name a few. One of my favorite parts of the disc is “WM ,” where a couple of shortwave radio samples form a bouncy passage over tribal drums and xylophones. Thirwell clearly maintains his proclivity for cartoonish dynamism (he did a bang-up cover of the classic Raymond Scott tune “Powerhouse” on 1992′s ‘Gondwanaland’), as the pace rollercoasters throughout the disc’s 52 minutes. It’s an energizing listen, and reminded me at times of Igor Wakhevitch , or the soundtrack work of Goblin (‘Suspiria’, ‘Dawn of the Dead’, etc) and Alain Goraguer (‘Fantastic Planet’), with big band splash and modern synth lines. Someone needs to hurry up and hire this guy to start scoring films—or maybe start making movies to go along with these soundtracks. – Jesse Nieminen,