Mikroknytes began sometime in 1998. Derek Morton and John Coursey (aka Commie 64 and Redknyte respectively) began improvising with cheap keyboards, violins and f/x pedals. Like Commie’s other freeform lo-fi electronic groups: Music Arch de Lux and Commodore 64, m_Knytes followed the path of the tripped-out-power-drone. Redknyte began acquiring f/x for his violin to explore other sonic possibilites. By Spinus 99 (an unreleased CD-R demo) the group was experimenting with cheap sampling devices to augment the 8-bit beats of their beloved Casios.
In 1999, the Mikroknytes were invited to the Transmissions Festival in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where they shared the bill with such artists as Loren Mazzacane Connors, Kaffe Matthews, Bernhard Günter, and John Hudak. About the same time m_knyte Commie64 hosted a 26 show series that focused on electronic, improv and experimental music. The Emergent Music Forum featured such local and international artist as Sensorband, Kaffe Matthews, KK Null, Damien Catera, Cul de Sac, Charles Cohen, Eric Leonardson, and Pelt.
The following year, the Mikroknytes began experimenting with various equipment configuations. Commie64 purchased a laptop, a couple samplers, and Redknyte bought a couple Nord Modulars. One project collaboration involved integrating a video artist alongside 2 other groups (consisting of Chris Coady [aka Diskette], Chris Moore [aka While] and Chuck Bettis of Trance and the Arcade). The artists performed simultaneously through 3 separate PA’s, improvising music in conjuction with video art. The mikroknytes improvised their set as well as remixing the two other projects live.
A couple months later, the duo performed under the name the Digiknytes with the help of their friend Vahan Papakhian. In this performance, Redknyte used 2 daisy-chained Peavey 1600 midi controllers to conrol Nord Modulars, mix f/x and the performance levels from Commie’s midi guitar setup and Vahan’s effected bass rig.
The year 2001 brought a record deal with the Crank Automotive label, and the m_knytes released their first self-titled CD. A short but sweet tour followed where they played some dates on John Rickman’s Electric Circus tour (with ENE, While, Miss Dinky, Diskette, So Takahashi, Marumari and EBSK). Thanks to Howard Stelzer of Intransitive, they performed their first quadraphonic show in Boston, sharing the bill with Greg Davis and Mark Robinson.
While gradually working on their next release Derek Morton completed his first sound art installation called Protective Goggle Room for Artamatic 2002. Mikroknytes also participated in Sonic Circuits 2002 festival which featured such artists as Richard Chartier, Kim Cascone, and Ikue Mori.
The second album titled “live_src” was released in September 2003. Grooves Magazine picked “live_src” as a top ten record for that year with many additional accolades from other reviewers.