Reviews Archive


Foxy Digitalis Has the Spotlight on Aphonia Recordings

Ben and I do a lot of legwork to keep the pulse of this label strong online and elsewhere. Press doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t necessarily come easily. Lately, we have definitely been lucky with coverage locally as well as nationally. The Stranger recently covered our last show, The Phantom of the Opera at the Gallery 1412 and we have been looking into our distribution options for that – we are looking to do a January release.

We have also been fortunate enough to catch the eye of local blogger writing for Illusory Confections and now Mr. Brad Bird of online mag Foxy Digitalis has an exclusive interview with Ben and I which you can find here. I also might add that our local friends and Aphonia Recordings alums L.A. Lungs are featured on Foxy Digitalis as well. I highly recommend going to Foxy Digitalis to check out this interview as well. And don’t forget darwinsbitch also has a limited run (only 100!) cassette up now that you can purchase there. Whew! Hooray for Foxy Digitalis.

In other news, Ben and I will be transferring our domain to a new web host – so there will be outages this coming week. Hopefully by Xmas all will up again and everyone can marvel at our new speed and slickness. Actually the site wont look at all different, it will just hopefully work better. There will be some cosmetic changes on the way, which to most of you will be transparent. I will post another outage reminder probably tomorrow as that is when the process is most likely to begin.

While it gets strangely cold here in Seattle and the snow continues to stick to the ground, I wish all of you the best of times as the shortest day of the year inevitably approaches.


What You Missed…

The blog Illusory Confections thinks our Phantom of the Opera show last night was beyond reproach. This blogger refers to last Friday’s rendition of a live score to The Phantom of the Opera. Click here.

We can’t say how much we appreciated the great turnout and generous donations. And also, we can’t thank Daniel Buscher, Rachel Carns, Heather Hall and Derek M. Johnson enough for their truly brilliant performance to this silent film classic.

Update: Pictures from this special event as well as a live release of the show will become available soon. Stay tuned!


Guess what? Even The Stranger Suggests…

phantomflyer…going to tonight’s The Phantom of the Opera live score performed at the Gallery 1412 by Rachel Carns, Derek M Johnson, Heather Hall and Daniel Buscher.

And if that weren’t enough anticipatory fodder go here for a Holiday Podcast Special featuring Andrew Senna recalling his childhood experience with the film as well as examination of how truly egregious Andrew Lloyd Webber’s take is on the tragedy.

Aphonia Recordings will be releasing excerpts from this unique ensemble’s live performance from the 25th Annual Olympia Film Festival. This will be last time that these truly talented individuals will be able to perform together – so come and see something truly special!


Nucular Aminals Self-Titled Debut on Aphonia Recordings

Everyone, please take a tour around the ole Aphonia Recordings website and check out our old friends Nucular Aminals hitting the digital shelves with their debut release with our lovely, quickly expanding label.


Also, just as an aside to finally sealing the deal on this great release, sorry for the delay. Between getting permission for to use Daniel Johnston’s “Walking the Cow” to getting actually CDs ready – it has been busy around here! Enjoy!!!


We Love Desolation Wilderness!

Desolation Wilderness gets around! Beginning as a solo outfit, they are now touring the United States and getting some attention. We always like to see our friends make it big, and no better way to signify that then their recent review in Spin Magazine! Visit K Records website or our website to check out their releases and stay tuned. Also, you check our Myspace page to see if they are playing near you, wherever you are.



International Noise Conference: Spokane

As this article clearly denotes: shame on you Seattle for not finding an outlet for this renowned festival. Why didn’t Aphonia Recodings do something about this? Simply put, nobody asked us. Though I don’t think the organizer of this fest accurately judges our fair city’s commitment to noise, I do on the other hand don’t blame him for being pissed off.

There are quite a few Aphonia Recordings friends and associates playing at the show nonetheless, including: Daedelum (current artist), The Earwigs (release on AR forthcoming), Bruce Hormann, Takedown UAV, Gogher and Forrest Friends.

Read the article below detailing this most compelling of regional events. Thanks to Ryan Leeds (Daedelum) for forwarding this on to us.

Click Here

As a side note, we are having monthly showcase at Gallery 1412 in Seattle tomorrow night Nov. 7th! Come one come all! See you there.


Dokuro’s The Black Room Reviewed in The Wire Magazine

dokurocdlgListen / Buy Now

In the November issue 297 of the UK’s The Wire magazine David Stubbs reviews Dokuro’s recent release, The Black Room. Look for the interview in print or read the full text below:

Based in Oakland, California, Dokuro are visual artist/composer Agnes Szelag and the magnificently nomenclatured The Norman Conquest. They include the word “pop” in their self-definition, which is a little like Sunn 0))) locating a Country & Western element somewhere in their music. This is extremist fare that blasts awat the earwax without leaving you feeling pointlessly bludgeoned. On “The Ghost Goes West”, clouds of generated electricity belch blackly, then are discreetly sculpted. “Shadow of the Cat” is sheer catastrophe, all earthquake and Grindcore, its rotorblade still whirring long after the helicopter has crashed and burned. Finally, with “October Moon” a calm descends and dawn breaks over a charred landscape quiet but for the sporadic noises of afterburn.


Agnes Szelag’s “No Summer or Winter” Reviewed!

This article appeared in Cyclic Defrost Magazine. You can read the original posting here.

Agnes Szelag - No Summer Or Winter

Agnes Szelag, one half of Oakland’s Myrmyr with Marielle Jakobsons, presents a short release of just four songs on No Summer or Winter. Her work as a solo artist focuses on the relationship between sound and visual media, and the whirling yet crunching undercurrent to the first track “Lato” sets the tone for the piece. At just under twenty five minutes the compositions on No Summer or Winter are allowed enough space to grow and fortunately don’t outstay their welcome.

One of the difficulties of appraising Szelag’s work is deciding where (or even if) there are boundaries between the performance space and the home listening experience. “Man Made Weather” in particular seems built for the former environment “ a movement that lapses into languid cello after being prefaced by swathes of noise and processing. Though No Summer or Winter wasn’t written specifically for such a purpose, it somehow seems intrinsically linked to a place outside of where her audience listens from. “Inside and Out” does tries to bring the sensation back though, all hazy synths and soft textures. There is some delicate cello work throughout the EP, but nowhere near as fluid and organic as it appears on her work with Myrmyr.

As No Summer or Winter unfolds over repeated listens, the progression is made clearer. It becomes almost a dialogue between the summer and winter seasons Szelag composed it in, uncovering fragments of processed vocals that act as clues to the shifting world outside. There are some exquisite moments here even if it does feel sometimes as if the confines of the art installation are closing in.

© Alexandra Savvides 2008


Agnes Szelag’s ’No Summer or Winter’ reviewed by ’Textura’

We are pleased to announce that Agnes Szelag’s debut Aphonia Recordings release, ‘No Summer or Winter’ was recently reviewed by online publication, ‘Textura’.

No Summer Or Winter - Agnes Szelag

click here to preview tracks / purchase this release.

Agnes Szelag is a composer, performer, and video/audio installation artist. Her work explores the cognitive and aesthetic relationship of sound and visual media in chosen environments. In performance and composition she creates interactive schemes that ride the line between composition and improvisation. Agnes is a Course Director at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, received her MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College, and her B.S. in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University. Agnes resides in the Bay Area, CA.

Agnes has performed and collaborated with Marielle Jakobsons (as myrmyr), Norman Teale (as dokuro), Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, Curtis Bahn, James Tenney, Terry Riley, Maryclare Brzytwa, Chris Brown, Ben Bracken, Gregg Kowalsky, Aram Shelton, Steini Gunnarson, Ava Mendoza, Abe Dichi (as comfort food), Moe! Staino, Phillip Greenlief, Double Vision, Capacitor, and many others.

Her work has been featured in the Electronic Music Midwest Festival, the Illuminated Corridor Festival, 60 x 60, Voices on the Edge, at the Stone in NY, and has been broadcast nationally on KQED for the show Spark. She has also executive produced numerous video pods that have aired nationally on Current TV. This fall she will be playing in the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival as myrmyr.


KRGA – ’June’ reviewed by Foxy Digitalis

KRGA’s latest Aphonia Rec. release, ‘June’ was recently reviewed by the online zine, ‘Foxy Digitalis’.
check out the review

click here to preview tracks / purchase this release