Gary Flanagan began to experiment with sounds as a teenager. A series of early recordings, done while he was 17 and still a high school student, showed little indication of the synthpop that he would one day make. "It was mostly just experimental sounscapes back then," says Flanagan, "I had no notion of songcraft or structure. I basically threw together a bunch of sounds through a mixer, recorded it to cassette and called myself TechNoir." (This moniker was inspired by the night club featured in The Terminator.) A few years later, Gary would start to call himself Beatbox 81.