Whatever Archive


Kelli’s Starlight Wishes Is No More…

Kelli Frances Corrado is a relatively new addition to the Aphonia Recordings family but she had already made a name for herself when she released “Diamond Matter” in 2012. Incidentally, the name she made for herself was not Kelli’s Starlight Wishes; it was always just Kelli Frances Corrado. Names like can perhaps be a conceit based on the notion that, as artists, we may sometimes feel the need to conceptualize, or otherwise make more abstract, something that is very personal and intimate: our music. Or it could just be a jokey name to illustrate how culturally irreverent we think we are, or how crass, political, whatever – you name it.

For my own sake, I have always just settled on my name being sufficient as a title for my work. It could possibly be the most boring name in the world but I think it is the simplest and most honest. Having the obscure project name or pseudonym reminds me of people who have relatively silly email addresses like “tigglypoo85” or “huneygrrrlboop.” If you cannot name yourself, your musical altar ego, something without feeling stupid saying it aloud, than maybe you really ought to just stick to your given name or come up with something better. On the other hand, maybe your name is something like Dick Johnson or Madonna Tortelli.

I realize I am editorializing here but how else am I supposed to expand on the reasons why Kelli’s Starlight Wishes has gone by the wayside. Nonetheless, I get why Corrado switched her name back. It’s honest, it is the moniker everyone knows her by and it’s has a nice ring to it as well. Don’t you think?

PS – Look out for Tiggypoo’s first record in mid-2013. It’s entitled: Diggity Don’t Dop. They are a classically trained string quartet from Lithuania.


Paint, Print, Glue and Burn: The Process of Making Handmade CDs

1. Blank chipboard 2. Coated chipboard 3. Printed flat 4. Glued, assembled and wrapped

The packaging of music has fascinated me for years. I have always had a fetish for CDs, cassettes and LPs. When CDs were packaged in larger rectangular cardboard boxes (probably to be more like a rectangular record) I used to keep the front and backs of the boxes and hang them on my wall. I lamented the record companies going the way of just shrink wrapping and stickering the cases closed. Those stickers still piss me off.

When I decide on what packaging I am going to use for a particular release it typically comes down to whether I am going to make the packaging myself or if I am going to find outside help. Every release Aphonia produces has a specific design goal and this usually stems from the art and cover design itself. In years past both Ben and I would design some artwork ourselves (with input from the artists) and we still do from time to time. Lately we have preferred the input of artists and designers. A lot of whom, do this very incredibly beautiful work without pay or only by trade.

When I end up with a proof for artwork it is at that point I figure out exactly what it will take to have the artwork translate to a hard copy. Over the years I have whittled down what kind of packaging and process seems to work the best. In recent years, I have come up with a unique process to creating physical releases with real impact… and it hasn’t been an easy process. For instance, it has taken a great deal of wasted paper and ink to transform a rather drab, yet sturdy, chipboard blank into one of our more recent releases L.A. Lungs Letting It All Bunch Up shown below.

This past week I have been assembling this release and it is the result of several years of refining the do-it-yourself look but with the challenge of making it look polished. The process involves many steps and personalizes each and every copy that is purchased. First, we have raw ingredients, purchased from several vendors. I have found what chipboard, paint and inkjet printable CD-Rs work best for our limited means. Yes, I use CD-Rs. We have had professionally pressed CDs and vinyl done for us, but not everyone needs 300 or 500 copies to sell. Ultimately, the argument about whether a professionally pressed CD is better than a CD-R will persist no matter what arguments I offer here. That is what the “Comments” section is for!

After printing directly on the brown flats with my large Canon Pixma Pro for so long, it was always apparent that colors just did not pop. Most of the time this hasn’t mattered so much. Having so many releases based on black and white designs makes the end translation, from PDF to paper, quite simple and predictable. Even so, black on brown doesn’t have enough contrast. After experimenting with different coating inks, I found one white water soluble ink that works well to provide a white base on the chipboard. The effect of which can be seen below.

Why do this to brown chipboard? Why not buy white pre-coated blanks or bleached chipboard? Well, for whatever reason the brown chipboard always made the inkjet printing appear sharp, while the coated ones would smear and the bleached ones would bleed. This just isn’t an issue with the brown chipboard.

I then print the inkjet color on top of the dried white chipboard surface and get varying results based on thickness of the white ink on each blank. Since I coat each blank by hand, this lends each piece a hand painted/crafted look. No single piece is quite alike as you can see more clearly by a group of these blanks lined up below.

So obviously, they are still flats and must be glued together and this is when the assembly line begins. I glue the flats together and stamp the serial numbers on each one.Simultaneously, I am burning each silver coated, silver bottomed CD-R. I often have two computers burning at once, at a low burn speed. Once I have completed the printing and gluing of the jackets and the burning of the CDs I move on to create the design and print the disc art – that is, actual imagery on the face of the physical disc.

Just as the outer cases have been given serial numbers, the actual CD-Rs themselves all have sequential serial numbers. Each disc is prepared in the disc printing software with the serial number and then printed. This process can take a great deal of time as this is a product that is made from the ground up.

The first five completed pieces with serial numbers hand stamped on.

So this was brief but it might beg the question: why bother telling the world what this process is? To me, I find a certain satisfaction from producing these releases, from taking simple ingredients and making something that is ultimately worth more than the sum of its parts. The other part of it for me is that it embodies the intention of the artists who spend years of their lives cultivating and refining their process, their composition, their sound. Although not many of our artists elucidate their process or intention, as art is left more for interpretation and we would prefer to leave it that way. After all the art isn’t for the artists alone – it is for the audience.

This is where I part ways with the artists on our label. Yes, ultimately, these discs are for an audience as well. We call them customers or distributors but that is not really who they are for, that is their function. The CDs true purpose is create an artifact, a fetishized product for the artist to profit from and for the audience to desire.


Pics From Evon’s Debut Show on Jan. 25th

On January 25th,  Aphonia Recordings artists Evon played at El Rio in San Francisco.  A belated release party show for the band,  we welcome you to check out some choice photos from the event as well as listen to the release. We recommend you view the pictures below as a slideshow (the page will reload) while using the player. It’s almost like you were there! OK, not really. So the next time they play, get your ass off the couch and see them. Check the Aphonia Recordings website regularly for show dates.

Evon is an amazing group of 6 stupendously talented musicians lead by Agnes Szelag from Oakland, CA. Enjoy!

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to the New Year! We have slowly but surely made the transition to our new servers and if all went well, most of you didn’t even notice. With most of the speed issues hopefully conquered our website should prove to be faster and more reliable than before. Thank you for your patience with our growing pains.

We are preparing for our second year of showcase events. In the last year, Aphonia Recordings has hosted more than 20 performances. That’s like one every other week! Most of our performances go down at the Gallery 1412 near the corner of 18th and Union in Seattle’s Central District.

Many things are on the horizon for us in the near future. We are working on our second compilation, which will find new release as a physical CD and as a download available all over the world. We will also be releasing “The Phantom of the Opera, A Live Soundtrack” by Rachel Carns, Derek M Johnson, Daniel Buscher and Heather Hall. In addition, we are looking at further releases in the coming year. For the time being though, it will be a quiet couple of months.

While we are assembling our biggest distribution ever for the 2009 Compilation, don’t forget to listen to our podcast. You can visit our website listen to our podcasts. Or if you would like to take it with you subscribe on iTunes and download it for free! Our podcast is a semi-regular event that details the work of our artists, including interviews, live shows and explorations on the many phenomena of sound and music. While we would love to have one every day or week even, stay tuned as there will be more intriguing subjects covered.

Thank you to all our artists fans who made 2008 an encouraging year for experimental music. Indeed, we are excited about the New Year and hope that we can top ourselves once again.


Website Officially Down For Maintenance – Sort Of

The transition is official – as of this morning – our website will be down for maintenance and transfer to a brand spanking new service. Please be patient while we make this jump. If you need to get in contact with us please message us through MySpace as our email through the website will also be down.

Although there will be a window of time where the website will seem functional, at some point it will cease to operated properly. Please be aware of this and send inquiries to us through MySpace.

Thank you!

***Update*** Lucky for us the process has thus far been completely transparent and everything seems to be working fine still. We have yet to transfer over the DNS which will take probably part of today and tomorrow to resolve.


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.


Recent Website Outages

Hello Everyone,

I am writing more or less to explain our recent website outages that have occurred at AphoniaRecordings.com. We have been working with our host to make sure that our website operates consistently and all the time. Recently our host has been unable and somewhat unresponsive to our calls for immediate fixes to these issues.

To all our visitors, I apologize for this inconvenience. I hope that you all will continue to visit our website and check out all our new releases of which there are many.

Look for new podcasts to be released soon previewing upcoming releases.

Andrew Senna


Aphonia Store Site is Live!!!

Aphonia Recordings is proud to announce that our online store is now functional and ready to dole out the experimental jams to the insatiable public.

Although we have privacy policies and terms and conditions of use of the site we haven’t connected them to the infrastructure of the site. Until that happens you can read these legal mumbo jumbo documents at the following links:

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Statement

Of course none of this is required reading and sure enough it is really only interesting if you care about what we actually do with info that we collect from you, our adoring fans.

And please, we would love to hear from you! Write reviews! Post bulletins on Myspace! Tell everyone you know who is into experimental and weirdo pop music.

There will be continual and minor changes to the look of the site and we apologize in advance if this causes delays and pages not loading.

Also, we swear we will have interviews with our artists coming soon. Look for interviews with KRGA and Slim Twig. In the meantime, buy our stuff, and keep your eyes peeled for the merch that will be coming to the store soon.

All the best,
Aphonia Recordings Web Team

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Aphonia Podcast to be on iTunes Music Store

Our web team (Andrew Senna) at Aphonia Recordings has successfully began the process of officially syndicating both our podcast and our blog. We haven’t created any new podcasts as of late, we still only have two – we are interviewing another Aphonia Artist soon we swear.

Although you wont be able to search for it yet on iTunes you can subscribe to it manually by doing the following:

01. Open iTunes
02. Click on the “Advanced” menu item
03. Select “Subscribe to Podcast”
04. enter “http://aphoniarecordings.com/podcast.xml”

Enjoy! Also stay tuned for some very special news. It is so special that we are keeping it secret until we know for sure.