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They forged a friendship, and then came Peasants with Feathers' public coming-out, at an early-00s Schematic anniversary party at the now-defunct Piccadilly Garden (later The District and now Pacific Time) in the Design District. Atlanta musician Richard Devine was performing his own sputtering brand of electronic madness when Santelices appeared on the dance floor, wearing brown pajama pants and a homemade mask and carrying an enormous fake pencil. "I was waving the pencil around," he recalls, "and I was pretending to do math on the floor, and people were loving it — the crowd really responded to that. I kept doing shows, and later I became part of Otto's set."
The partnership has continued for about the past three years. Peasants with Feathers regularly appears alongside Von Schirach at nearly all of his area shows (and once or twice in Germany, where Von Schirach is popular). But still, there's a role reversal at times, with Von Schirach becoming Santelices's hype man, screaming into the mike as the latter cranks out seemingly endless sound cutups pasted together specially for each new appearance. And Santelices is in charge when he convenes the Creature Tweaker Council, a group of laptop musicians that plays marathon events, mostly at Churchill's, at bimonthly events dubbed Circuit Sundays. The lineup shifts from time to time as new musicians jump aboard; Santelices pretty much grants all requests for a set time, usually without bothering to listen to song samples first. It's all part of the absurdist, Dada-esque spirit of everything he does.
And while his acclaim grows, he's released precious little in the way of material for public sale or download. At Swenson's, he gives me a black T-shirt with a hot-pink photo of his face baring fangs — but nothing in the way of a burned disc. "Oh, yeah, that's the thing...," he trails off, as if it didn't occur to him. "I don't really make tracks. They're more, uh, time that I spend on preparing one set, say for a half-hour stretch. Sometimes it's all one file. I have a bunch of folders with different sounds."
He's released an LP, Mono Ventrical, on the Florida Internet-based label Laced Milk, and another EP. Other than that, physical CDs have been limited to a few handouts, including a stack given to FIU's radio station that have never been played, he says, giggling again. Instead he prefers to spread his music through the medium in which it gelled — the endlessly jumbled ether of the Internet (the old, Earth's Internet, he clarifies). "The exposure is there as far as people who know me and know what I do," Santelices says. "But would I want other people to have a CD of mine and experience my music as a whole? Um, probably. Maybe. I'm thinking about it."