Formed in London in 1994, Add N to (x) was a three-piece British band that specialized in electronic music. The band was formed when Andrew Aveling met Justin Anderson and started a band that was named Radix Couplment. At the time, Ann Shenton and Andrew Aveling were dating, so Andrew got Ann involved in the band as well as his friend Barry Smith, who had become known as DJ Smith in Prague. Radix Couplment played around the London area for some time before Justin Anderson left the band. When Anderson left, the remaining three members formed Add N to (x), and released their first album, Electronics, in 1996. The band continued to perform around the London area, putting out a few other recordings until the infamous gig at the Blue Note, when Smith and Shenton decided to take over the band and out Andrew Aveling.
When Aveling left the band, the two remaining members enlisted Steven Claydon to replace him. While they decided to keep the name, they were forced to drop the brackets around the x because of legal reasons. With their new band member and a change to their name, the band began recording once more and in 1997 they saw two awards for Single of the Week by NME. They became known for their adult themed music and videos, and were signed to a large, independent label, Mute Records, in 1997. The trio performed live constantly, usually adding an acoustic drummer or two to the mix, as well as extra musicians on electric guitar or on extra synthesisors.
Add N to X continued to record albums during their time together, and released four more albums: On the Wires of Our Nerves, Avant Hard, Add Insult to Injury, and Loud Like Nature. Add Insult to Injury is one of their most popular albums, spawning such singles and videos as "Plug Me In". On top of these album releases, they also released a 10-inch hexagonal vinyl record, for the single of "Little Black Rocks in the Sun." Although the band was finding moderate success in the main stream music scene, Shenton left the group in 2003 after the Loud Like Nature tour. Smith and Claydon continued to tour without Shenton, finishing out their dates in the US, but the band broke up shortly after their tour ended in 2003.
Ann Shenton formed a new group, called Large Number, after leaving Add N to X and Steven Claydon has become recognized for his artwork and was invited to include his work in a large show at Tate Modern in 2006. Barry Smith now runs the Horseglue Records store and label with his new partner, Ethan Reid.
The three humans behind the suggestive sound barrage of Add N To (X) - Barry 7, Ann Shenton and Steve Claydon - plugged in their equipment in the mid-1990's with the intention of creating music that would be highly unconventional, profoundly evocative, and open to wild ideas. With what amounted to a political will to oppose dull and predictable use of machine as well as organic instruments, and a revulsion at the rise of coffee table electronic music, they were bound to be intriguing. What they have achieved in just over half a decade has, however, demolished all expectations and built a purposefully deranged sonic edifice on top, visible from all corners of the planet.