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Myello Electronics With Trio of New/Unreleased Recordings

In May of 2007 our record label kicked off with a showcase of artists who have continued to release great music nearly 5 years later. Daniel Farrell of Olympia, Washington was there and indeed was at many of our showcases held for those first three years of our existence. We are extremely happy to present three unreleased records simultaneously of our old friend and very talented electronic musician Daniel Farrell (aka Myello Electronics & Adger Bacid).

The first of these is “Gravitational Collapse.” Those of you who are familiar with Myello Electronic’s first release “Composites and Variations on Forms” would recognize “Gravitational Collapse” as gloopy and trippy as ever. I mention this one first because between all three releases there is a palpable growth pattern that one can track through time.

Myello Electronics - Gravitational Collapse

The second in this trio of unreleased gems is “Amour Fou.” We reported back in late 2007 on Mr. Farrell’s participation in Gabriel Bacon and Paul Schrag’s “Environmental Aesthetics.” Myello Electronics was commissioned to create on-site recordings of Cooling Tower No. 5 from an uncompleted nuclear reactor. The original blog post goes on to say:

Today, massive remnants of the project remain, including Cooling Tower No. 5, which was selected as the site of the Environmental Aesthetics residency program. The concrete tower rests beside the Chehalis River, rising nearly 500 feet in the air, its 15-foot-thick concrete wall encircling four acres of grass covered soil. To date, the structure has remained gated and largely unused. The Satsop Residency aims to reinterpret this epic monument as a sublime environment with the potential to function as an all encompassing artistic medium, emphasizing the interplay between site-specific sonic art, seemingly obsolete industrial architecture and the natural environment.

Read the entire post from December 2007, here. “Amour Fou” is a swirling, gliding, abstract and obscure ambient tribute to Cooling Tower No. 5.

Myello Electronics - Amour Fou

In the intervening years we have not only a change in tone and sonic inclination but a change in name as well. Farrell began to produce more dance-able, techno-y, tunes under the moniker Adger Bacid. This toe tapping, house-y and tribute-like record comes as a breath of fresh air and truly shows Farrell coming out the other side of Cooling Tower No. 5 with some freshness.

Adger Bacid - Post Rave Nostalgia

Myello Adger Bacid Electronics

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At Last! Derek M. Johnson’s Debut Solo Release!

Derek M. Johnson - self-titled

Our first vinyl only (download too, naturally) release is a full length, 4 track explosion of sound. Anyone who has seen Mr. Johnson’s recent performances knows that his elaborately constructed mounted slide animations are indeed like little explosions… at least when they are contained within their tiny 35 mm mounts. When projected though, they become galaxies, bleached (literally) impressionistic fields and hills, the beheaded forks of flames and larger than life globules. This release is, in it’s sonic signature, the same. No one is more happy (and relieved) than Derek M. Johnson for this release. It has been a project spanning nearly 2 years of continuous effort on his part and as he pointed out late in the mixing process, “I don’t even know if it is good or not.”

The first track “FKXMS,” is a negative homage to the cultural train wreck that most of us weather called “holiday season.” The track embodies (or perhaps disembodies) the latent disgust that most of us feel during the “most wonderful time of the year.” By “feel” it, I am suggesting that we somehow know how crass our culture has become but shrug it off as a function of living in the land of plenty. “FKXMS” is a not-so-abstractly expressionistic feat of shear violence. The assault, at times, seems to be directed solely at the instrument itself – the cello. The bow squeals and thrums across strings that pronounce the likelihood of their immanent death.

“Be” is something different altogether. It is simmering, slightly sad, slightly creepy and nearly meditative. Developing slowly over a thickening bed of subtle loops, “Be” realizes itself in stages and seems to be somewhat like a soundtrack set to deep sea phosphorescent life forms evolving before your eyes. It echoes and ebbs underneath mournful legato swells. This track is befitting Mr. Johnson’s most recent slide show animations, though feels succinctly composed and intentional.

Side B brings us two very different pieces from the first side. “Fete de la Patience” is a Scott Stobbe piece performed here with great clarity. Its direct quality is in disarming contrast from the first two tracks. “You’re Welcome to Play” divides and conquers the entire record, bringing a quiet, solitary cello plucking figure to a lush and full crescendo (and multitracked cello thickness) that gives the record a denouement fitting for such a diverse set of pieces.

We couldn’t more excited to offer our first LP vinyl release by our great musician and friend, Derek M. Johnson. He has performed at more of our showcases and supported our artists for years by recording cello tracks, promoting their shows, etc. Mr. Johnson’s dedication to music has culminated in this record. It is just the beginning, however. Expect much more from DMJ in the coming months!

Derek M. Johnson
Derek M. Johnson

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“Kappa” Teaser Video From Tetsuya Hori’s Latest Record

New Aphonia Recordings artist Tetsuya Hori gives us a glimpse, visually speaking, into the first track (“Kappa”) on his debut release “Dried Fish Is Just Good As Bait.”

Tetsuya is a composer for “things” or objects as much as he is a pianist. Most of us in the Pacific Northwest will find limited opportunities to see this truly creative experimental composer at work. This short “teaser” shows the artist and performer recording and performing. Those of you who have frequented past Aphonia Recordings showcases and are familiar with our artists will no doubt find some sense of camaraderie that goes along with the exploration of sound as music.

kappa for voice and cigar box from Tetsuya Hori on Vimeo.

Visit Mr. Hori’s Vimeo page for more examples of video work.

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June 10th-12th: The 17th Olympia Experimental Music Festival

Nathan Markiewicz: Curator of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival

The line up for recent Olympia Experimental Music Festivals has featured many artists from our little record label. This year is no exception. L.A. Lungs, Mangled Bohemians, Paintings For Animals, Derek M. Johnson and Marlo Eggplant all grace the stage at Northern – Olympia’s preeminent all ages venue.

We welcome this special time of year when this, one of the most comprehensive showcases from the Northwest’s experimental community, puts on a seriously huge series of experimental acts.

See Jason Baxter’s write-up in The Weekly Volcano here. Festival schedule below:

Friday June 10th:

Paintings for Animals (Olympia, WA)
Big Tom the Lithuanian (Olympia, WA)
LA Lungs (Tacoma, WA)
Marlo Eggplant (Portland, OR)
Echos of Infiniti (Olympia, WA)
Four-Dimensional Nightmare (Olympia, WA)
Eurostache (San Francisco, CA)

Saturday June 11th:

Wood Paneling (Olympia, WA)
Boyband (Portland, OR)
Violet (Olympia, WA)
Sustentacula (Portland, OR)
The Dead Air Fresheners (I-5 Corridor)
Night Jar (Olympia, WA)
Pavonine (Austin, TX)

Sunday June 12th: A/V night featuring artists who incorporate visual projections with live sound creation:

Devon Damonte (Olympia, WA)
Eric Ostrowski (Seattle, WA)
Mangled Bohemians (Portland, OR)
Forrest Friends (Seattle, WA)
Derek M. Johnson (Olympia, WA)
Cathartech (Seattle, WA)

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Kristian Garrard: From Electroacoustic to Acoustic

Luke Bergman and Kristian Garrard at Aphonia Recs Showcase April 2008

Kristian Garrard (KRGA) & Luke Bergman are Thousands.

In the past 4 and a half years our label has gone through many changes and growth spurts. Our artists are no exception. I have seen many of them play their first shows, go on tour, later to dissolve, reform and reinvent themselves. Kristian Garrard is one such individual.

I recall meeting him very early on in the Aphonia Recordings journey. Ben had met another Max/MSP composer and was extremely eager to have Kristian release something under his moniker KRGA. Later we would tap Kristian to play many of our showcases. Ben and Kristian even hosted a Max/MSP workshop at Gallery 1412, detailing the cryptic under the radar manipulations that many disavow as mere knob twiddling and laptop music. Yes, Kristian performed with a laptop but the results were simultaneously engaging, sedative, dynamic and, at times, frightening. Some of the best performances I witnessed during our run of showcases were shows in which KRGA was the headlining act.

By the summer of 2009 it was clear Kristian was onto other material. By this time he had released his first EP Magic Wand [AR014] and the full length June [AR016CD]. Both were mere snapshots of a larger musical genius at work. I had known that Kristian had been a drummer in the band Joules and that he was a blossoming master of electroacoustic improvisation. It was with his formation of Lonesome Shack and Thousands that is became clear that there was little Mr. Garrard could not do.

A few months back I passed by Kristian on Ravenna Boulevard where we both live – we are neighbors as well. I had no idea that this casual passing was on the brink of Thousands getting signed to UK imprint Bella Union. Yes, the very same Bella Union that signed Seattle’s Fleet Foxes in addition to Andrew Bird, Wavves and Midlake. Very good company, indeed. Hearing the news that they had been signed took me back to a show that Kristian and Luke had played at one of Kristian’s last appearances at our showcases.

Fully expecting to hear KRGA’s signature hum and layered developing/enveloping textures, I asked what he and Luke were doing there with a guitar and an upright bass. “Are you gonna hook that up to your (Max/MSP) patch?” I joked. Kristian something like, “Oh we are just going to play acoustic… no mics.” I knew some direction had changed for Kristian and while I knew him to be a consummate performer, he and Luke’s short set that night headlined a night of ambiant and noise music like no other. The strains of Kristian’s particular weaving chords, half resolutions and sustains and Luke’s persistent and hardy upright bass backbone ended the evening with a tribute, a lullaby that later would morph into Thousands.

Recently they have been playing sold out shows, completed a successful tour of Europe and were rightfully praised in Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger. Mr. Reighley describes their sound: “Like a shadow that cannot be divided from the entity that casts it.” Well said, and best of luck to our pals, Luke Bergman and Kristian Garrard.

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Upcoming Releases: Mangled Bohemians CD, Derek M. Johnson LP, Phantom of the Opera DVD and a New Compilation!

The first few months of 2011 are going to be exciting for experimental music! We are indoctrinating many new artists and new media into our release schedule, including our first vinyl release and our first DVD/Film release. New to the fold are Rachel Carns, known primarily as an amazing musician, pioneering the Queercore movement in the Western U.S. She is also a graphic designer extraordinaire and post modern Renaissance woman. Derek M. Johnson will also be offering his first ever full length release. Although no stranger to the Aphonia universe by virtue of being the artist most frequently appearing at Aphonia Showcases and sponsored events, Johnson here will offer a full length record for the first time. More on all of this later.

First up, as has been recently announced, is Mangled Bohemians new album At the Edge of Earth currently available for pre-order here. This new venture from James Lee of Portland is a swirling mass of psychedelia, meandering ambient soundscapes and as has been featured as of late in Mangled’s live shows, vocals from Lee.

Also on the way is a brand new series of tracks from Olympia, Washington’s Derek M. Johnson. Mr. Johnson has been cultivating a live performance consisting of hand treated slide mounted film, projected via slide projectors against a melange of acoustic solo cello, looped and destroyed tones, all emanating from Johnson’s cello and massive array of effect pedals. Though Johnson’s live show is abstract and often dark in tone, his new LP (release date forthcoming) is subtly beautiful, timeless and varied. It’s themes cover emotional extremes: beauty, anger, melancholy and rain. It should prove to be a truly exciting release as it will be the first ever vinyl release from Aphonia Recordings. There will a limited first run and we will announce a pre-order sale in the near future.

In addition, is an ensemble piece for the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera. Back in December of 2008 Aphonia Recordings hosted a showcase featuring the ensemble (Rachel Carns, Heather Hall, Daniel Buscher and Derek M. Johnson) at the Gallery 1412 collective in Seattle, Washington’s Central District. The resulting recording and performance was so remarkable that we soon decided to create a DVD release of this live performance. The release has been somewhat delayed but we are now set to release it in the next couple of months. The packaging will include cover and insert designs from Rachel Carns and will be hand assembled by the crack Aphonia Releases & Promotions Lab Team. You can listen to our original podcast previewing the show here – it features portions of the debut performance at the Olympia Film Festival.

Original Show Poster designed by Rachel Carns

And last but not least we will be releasing a sampler compilation that will feature new/unsigned aritsts as well as Aphonia stalwarts Paintings For Animals, KRGA, Desolation Wilderness, Darwinsbitch and much, much more! In fact, it will be so crazy good that you will probably want to buy one for your mom as well.

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Derek M. Johnson’s Piece of the Week #5 “We can See Through Time”

Longtime showcase contributor and Aphonia cohort, Derek M. Johnson braves the recent “snowpocalypse” near his home in Olympia, Washington for this, one of his regular installments of: “Piece of the Week.”  This one is from November 21st, 2010.

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Bill Horist and Other New Releases!!!

Hello Everyone!

A blitz of new physical and digital releases will coming your way in the next few months. First, longtime friend and cohort of Aphonia Recordings, Bill Horist is releasing The Psoriasis Coast (AR033CD) a full length CD (and download) available now from the Aphonia Recordings website. A marriage of density, loudness and sparsity Psoriasis is a fantastically conceived album and definitely a familiarly awesome sound treat from one of Seattle’s preeminent experimental performers.

Also in the pipeline is a re-release of Aphonia Recordings folky favorite, Nucular Aminals self-titled debut (AR031CD). What is special about this new limited release is not only the fact that each disc is has hand printed artwork making each disc one of a kind, but most notably the two new bonus tracks, Blood Love and Kitty Pity. These numbered and limited release CDs will be available only on Aphonia Recordings website and at shows on Nucular Aminals upcoming tour. See Nucular Aminals Myspace for tour dates in your area!

And last, but not least, Aphonia showcase stalwart and recording artists, L.A. Lungs (AR028CD) will be releasing an all new collection of tracks entitled How Far Our Feelings Will Fling Us. Like other Aphonia CDs it will be available only through the artists and through Aphonia’s website. It is an exciting full length album that travels down musical roads not yet charted for the psychedelic and drone oriented. Not all is drone-y on this release however, as L.A. Lungs provide a secret hideaway for private and cool mental meanderings that are neither static nor particularly cluttered. Masterfully collected and perpetrated sonorousness. Due out in July!

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Aphonia Rec. Showcase in this weeks The Stranger

Pick up a Stranger or click here to read about our upcoming showcase at Josephine.

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Mangled Bohemians, Lube Fondue & New Red Sun @ Josephine

Hello Everyone!

I am happy to inform you all of Aphonia Recordings next showcase on January 10th at the Josephine in Ballard – that’s 01/10/10. That’s a lot of 1′s and 0′s… very binary. Anyways, we have sonic buffet of a variety that hopefully will be an auspicious beginning to a year that I think everyone hopes will be better than the last one. So don’t forget, Sunday January 10th, 2010 at the Josephine in Ballard: 608 NW 65th St N Seattle, Washington 98117… Read on about our featured artists this time around! I know its short notice, deal with it.

MANGLED BOHEMIANS

Mangled Bohemians (PDX) are an intensely atmospheric two-piece band featuring massively effected guitar and electronics. Mining heavily from the post-punk tradition of the likes of Glenn Branca, Savage Republic , Heathen Earth era Throbbing Gristle, and Sonic Youth’s SYR releases, Mangled Bohemians create long spacey drones that melt into beautiful washes & pseudo-melodies.

LUBE FONDUE

What started out as a collaborative effort for Butoh dance & sound between Casey Jones (Noisepoetnobody) and Briana Chittenden turned into a string of performances 3 years long. Eventually the situation blossomed into a romance story full of art, dance, noise & an outdoor wedding. Trained as a butoh dancer Briana incorporates experiences in movement art into a new medium seamlessly blending the boundaries between frequency and motion. Instrument builder and electronic musician Casey collects sounds from small peaces of metal, strings, springs, rocks, sea shells, kitchen tools & more with a hand soldered contact microphone.

NEW RED SUN

Seattle-based drone group New Red Sun weave delicate melodies into densely shifting tapestries, from violin, guitar, and interlocking feedback. Drawing on a diverse palette, NRS includes elements of folk, drone, black metal & noise. NRS self-released their debut EP “Riding the Slow Wave of Death” in October ’09 and will be releasing a more extended follow-up on Albuquerque’s Featherspines label. NRS work is especially informed by the acts with which they’ve been fortunate enough to share bills, including Dragging an Ox Through Water, Barn Owl, Bill Horist, Novemthree, Elm, honey.moon.tree, Dr. Jones, Thunder Grey Pilgrim, Vivimancer, Higuma, Violet, Groves, I Died, Hobby Knife, Shurpa, Tempered Steel, Cult of Zir, Sleeping with the Earth, Prion, Dementia, Split Horizon, Groves, Travis Johns, Derek M. Johnson, Vradiazei, and more.

You see? You can’t miss it! See you there!

Sincerely,

Andrew Senna
Co-Founder
Aphonia Recordings

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