Def FX were an Australian electronic rock band of the '90s, supposedly named by their manager throwing a pile of CDs together and choosing a name based on the top two -- a Def Jam compilation and an album of BBC sound effects. Their music was just as odd a match, mixing house and heavy metal with surfer hippie lyrics. The band's founder, keyboardist, sampler, and backing vocalist Sean Lowry would later claim that he had created their music using a database of Top 40 hits, which he digitally manipulated to create the basis for new songs that nevertheless sounded familiar enough to engage listeners. Also encrypted within their songs were the neo-pagan sensibilities of lead singer Fiona Horne, who would go on to be famous for her writing about modern witchcraft.
In addition to Horne and Lowry, the early lineup included Martyn Basha on bass, Blake Gardner on guitar, and Larry Van Kriedt, formerly of AC/DC, on saxophone. They released their first EPs, Water and Surge, in 1991 on the Phantom Records label. The next year they released a third EP called Blink, as well as a debut album, Light Speed Collision, through EMI. For its American release, and their tour there, they were renamed Definition FX after complaints that their name was too similar to hip-hop group Das EFX. While preparing for the group's tour of the U.S.A., guitarist Blake Gardner left the band and was replaced by Dave Stein. The early EPs were collected together by EMI and released as the Baptism album in 1993 and followed by another EP called Post Moronic, which marked the departure of bassist Martyn Basha. Larry Van Kriedt switched from saxophone and occasional programming to cover on bass temporarily until Peter Tasker was brought in.
Now free of their contract with EMI, they created their own label, Cicada Music, to release the more experimental album Ritual Eternal in 1995. Lowry had almost complete control over the sound of the album, handling the majority of the recording and production tasks. It was also the first album to be lyrically suggestive of Horne's religious beliefs as a practicing witch. Tension within the band led to Tasker being forced out soon after he'd joined, replaced by Sean Fonti (formerly of Caligula), who was now the fourth person to play bass in the band. The Psychoactive Summer EP was also released that year. In 1996 they released their final album, Majick, which was their most commercially successful release. After it was certified gold, Lowry surprised the other bandmembers by announcing their dissolution, declaring his project officially over. Lowry went on to form Celebrity Drug Disasters, supposedly another project based on manipulating his database of hit songs, while Horne found fame by writing a series of books and magazine articles about Wicca, posing nude for Playboy, and appearing on reality TV programs. ~ Jody Macgregor, Rovi