The name Mike Vennart probably doesn’t mean much to most music listeners, but for fans of rock, electronica and progressive music, it certainly should. Best known for his work with the now-defunct Oceansize, Vennart and his bandmates blazed a figurative trail of fire across the progressive music scene, carving out a cult niche for themselves as one of the underground’s best-kept secrets. From the energetic curiosity of “Effloresce” to the abstract excursions of “Frames,” Vennart and the Oceansize collective tore down barriers that few rock bands even knew existed.
Since the band’s split in 2011, Vennart has funneled his creative energies into the post-progressive electronic soundscapes of British Theatre with the help of former Oceansize guitarist Richard “Gambler” Ingram. Together, the duo crafted a pair of remarkable EPs, hitting an early stride with “Dyed in the Wool Ghost,” a poignant mixture of alternative rock and “Amnesiac”-era Radiohead. Recently, Vennart has begun a funding campaign for his first solo record — a project that seems primed to consolidate the artist’s talents into an expansive compendium of his ambitions. It may be too early to say if the record will be an Oceansize-level classic, but one thing is clear: Mike Vennart isn’t going away anytime soon. And we’re all better for it.