Richard Sen and Neil Beatnik are not normal people. Having won notoriety as a Bronx Dog (Heavenly) and a Dirty Beatnik (Wall of Sound) respectively, Padded Cell came about in 2002, partly as a response to the conservatism of early millennium dance music but also to act as a conduit through which they could conduct and realise their most outlandish ideas. With a sound that draws from sources as diverse as Goblin, The Velvet Underground, Arthur Russell, Prince, Carl Craig and label boss J. Saul Kane, analogue fetishism and creeping psychosis are key themes, as is a need to create something that is both honest and unique. A shared history as club deejays and producers means that even the most mind- bending elements of their sound are conducted through dancefloor-focused channels; disco breaks and rolling percussion combining with menacing synth workouts, electro sensibilities and live instrumentation to create an unholy brew that has been described variously as ‘dark-disco’, ‘goth-disco-rock’, and perhaps most tellingly of all, ‘devil’s-disco’. The Padded Cell inhabit a hinterland between many worlds and it is there that they conduct their alchemical experiments, the experiments that draw the listener into shadows with whispers and opaque promises; follow your ears and you’ll find yourself trapped within.
Richard Sen , Neil Beatnik