Desolation Wilderness Archive


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.


APHONIA FEST 2009 – JUNE 4, 5, 6 (( THURS // FRI // SAT ))


Hello Everyone,

I wanted to let you know about a festival that we (Aphonia Recordings) will be hosting during the first week of June. As a celebration of 2+ years in business, we have organized this three day festival featuring friends & artists across the region & the country. In classic Aphonia-fashion, the festival will showcase a synthesis of Electroacoustic, Microtonal, Performance Art, Avant-Pop, & New music. As always, we hope to see you there….

-Ben Robertson

Desolation Wilderness is a West Coast band. They left the parking lots and the malls, the high schools and the valleys, and found their home at the summer night overlook. Taking the sounds of the cities below & amplifying them into a pitched resonance, they write slow burners & warped guitar/synthesizer/vibraphone ballads influenced by drone music, the photorealistic art of Robert Bechtle, & musique concrete (with pulse included). Desolation Wilderness has released music with a variety of labels, including Aphonia Recordings (In Love With Anything 2007). They hit the studio again & recorded New Universe for release on K Records in August 2009. Itching to leave the studio again, Desolation Wilderness will be touring extensively in support of New Universe.

(b. 1971, Washington DC , US )
Since arriving in Seattle in the mid-nineties, Bill has established himself as a highly regarded performer, composer and improviser. He has appeared on over 50 releases and has performed hundreds of concert around the world. In addition to his solo endeavors and work with bands Master Musicians of Bukkake, the Paul Rucker Ensemble and Ghidra to name a few, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists including John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3, Ruins, Bill Frisell, KK Null, Vidushi Sumitra Guha, Kinski, & Aiko Shimada among many others. In practice, Bill’s prepared-guitar tactics will stun.

Mood Organ is the solo project of Seattle-based musician Timm Mason. Timm is best known as the bass player for diverse acts including funk juggernaut Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme, psych-rock supergroup Midday Veil, and instrumental hip-hop cover band Hamburger Pimp. Mood Organ is a platform for exploring different modes of listening and intersections between musical (& non-musical) genres. Each Mood Organ performance is unique; recent performances have included a solo performance on electric bass, a duet between saxophone and amplified objects, and a solo composition for harmonium and prepared piano. Work is nearly complete on the first full-length album “Visiting a Burning Museum “. Also in progress is a series of solo performances inspired by the classical elements and their associated platonic solids. For the Thursday show, Mood Organ will be presenting Quietus 3. Quietus is an improvised drone ensemble with fluid membership. I’m nailing down the complete lineup but it will at least include Skip Milford (electric fiddle), Emily Pothast (vox), David Golightly (analog synth), and myself on bass.

Gabriel Tuzzolino Will and Ian Thomas Ackerman are two members of a loose collective of musicians also including Warren Lee and Danny Sasaki. They are bent on exploring the outer limits of tonality as it exists within nature eschewing the harmonic imprecision of equal temperament. Harsh dissonances are revealed as delicate sonorities by the temporal stretch of the music.

L.A. Lungs was formed in the summer on 2005 in a Tacoma studio apartment by Afterthought Lung (nee Nathan Markiewicz) and Leeward Lung (nee Lori Peterson). What began as a “studio” project became a “functioning” live act by the summer of 2006, with L.A. Lungs making their live debut at the, now defunct, No Tomorrow concert series in Seattle . L.A. Lungs continue to perform around the Pacific Northwest and have been fortunate enough to share bills with artists such as Acre , Wesley Borden, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Crank Sturgeon, The Dead Air Fresheners, Steve Fisk, Forest Friends, Gowns, Bill Horist, Derek Johnson, Mattress, Myrmyr, POWRFL POWER, Shearing Pinx, Talbot Tagora, Your Drugs My Money, and many others. In their loose arrangements L.A. Lungs use variances in phrasing, the inconsistencies of live electronic sound manipulation, and acoustic/amplification variables to create semi-improvised compositions that can vary drastically in tone, rhythm, and emotive qualities from one performance to the next. Visitors to the Aphonia Fest can look forward to the possibility of hearing work from LA Lungs recent Aphonia Recordings release, Most of the Time We Do Not Realize We are Shedding Our Skins 2008, as well as newer material.

Kristian Garrard’s project, KRGA, aims to combine the sounds of any and all instruments around into thick, swarming clouds of tones using self-built sampling software. He uses emphasis on drones and moving textures to create warm and dense atmospheres. Most pieces are created using only one or two instruments as source material to be processed & resampled in the software environment, Max/MSP. Past works have used utilized the ubiquitous 60 hz ground-hum, a “personal massager”, as well as more traditional instrumentation. In performance, deconstructed sounds swirl around the room, as patiently created beds of tones build into a complex organic storm.

Unicorns in the Snow is the one-woman project of Kansas City-based composer, performance artist, & social worker, Julia Vering. The project’s roots are grounded in earlier attempts to explore empathy in a visual context. Her most recent work, “The Aviator”, is a miniature opera inspired by the narrative of an aging, anti-social pilot, obsessed by the inimitable power of flying planes. In the final act, recorded the day after the aviator’s death, reveals the primal collaboration of the artist and her elderly muse, commencing in a primal scream accompanied by violent arthritic movements of the performers’ neck and hands.

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.

Heavy drones, overtone melodies & the sound of the land – Paintings for Animals is the vocal electro-acoustic music of Pearson Wallace-Hoyt. The sound possesses an archaic resonance connecting the human voice with an Earthen narrative of the landscape, flora, fauna & human ritual of both pre & post-history. Started in 2001 & transformed for live presentation in 2007, performances have taken place at art, dance & music galleries, warehouses, bars, cafés, DIY venues & live radio. Paintings music has been used in film, for video, installation & with dance.

Derek is an Olympia native and can’t seem to ever get away. He frequently performs solo acoustic/electric cello throughout the Northwest with an ever changing, direct animation slide show. He’s been a member of Bloodclot, Dead Air Fresheners, Le Ton Mite, Frequency dB, and the unfortunately named Superfly 2000. Collaborations include: Unwound, Thollem McDonnas, Jeremy Jay, Ben L Robertson, Arrington de Dionyso, Bob Marsh, among others.

The magnetic vortex that is eastern Washington is perhaps best reflected by the banshee like howls and tortured vocal treatments that hover over the fractured rhythms and found-sounds of Ryan Leeds’ project, Daedelum. Leeds is interested in exploring the boundaries of traditional instrumentation & dissecting, reassembling, & colliding the parts with electronic gestures and commentaries. The music is aurally diverse and intentionally oblique. The compositions are informed as much by Leeds ‘ upbringing and education as by his various employment stints, including work as a recording engineer for a books-on-tape factory, a camera operator for a local news affiliate, a graphic designer, and currently as a CAD technician.

Aphonia Recordings founders, Ben L. Robertson & Andrew Senna team-up as The Precambrian. In concept, The Precambrian is a constantly evolving interactive synthesis environment/instrument, engineered by Robertson using the graphical programming language, Max/MSP. In its current incarnation, The Precambrian utilizes a slide zither & various pitch recognition algorithms to coax out microtonal intervals derived from a graphical system of 11-limit, just intonation matrices & traditional Arabic Maqams. Additionally, Senna (armed with a handful of piezoelectric transducers, microphones, field recordings) executes a series of absurd narratives & synthetic onomatopoeia, indicative of both his sound design work for film & theater.


1st Aphonia Recordings Comp Now Available Online!

For the first time we are releasing the first ever Aphonia Recordings compilation. Originally only available on CD it now is available on the our website at less than $5!!! Artists on the compilation include Darwinsbitch, KRGA, Marriage + Cancer and special compilation only track by Aphonia Recordings co-founder Ben L. Robertson.


Buy Now / $4.99


Check Out These Artists on iTunes & Elsewhere!!!

These new (and older-ish) releases have been been released worldwide through the iTunes Music Store and Amazon – and some other subscription online music stores as well (Rhapsody, Napster, etc.) Below are links through the iTunes Music Store to these lovely folks. Check ’em out… You can also go to our website to listen to full length samples or purchase as well. Click
for all our Amazon listings or click on the releases below to go directly to the iTunes Music Store.

Desolation Wilderness – In Love With Anything

Desolation Wilderness - In Love With Anything

Dokuro – The Black Room
Dokuro - The Black Room - EP

Amy Denio – sub-Rosa
Amy Denio - Sub-Rosa

Nucular Aminals – Nucular Aminals
Nucular Aminals - Nucular Aminals

Agnes Szelag - No Summer Or Winter
Agnes Szelag – No Summer Or Winter
Agnes Szelag - No Summer or Winter


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.



Shows: November 2008

Nov 02 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Church of the Friendly Ghost (Austin, TX)

Nov 03 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ ACFM (Lafayette, LA)

Nov 04 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ The Engine Room (Tallahassee, FL)

Nov 05 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Flicker Theater (Athens, GA)

Nov 07 – 8:00P – Thunder Grey Pilgrim, Wehrwolve @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Nov 07 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the milestone (Charlotte, NC)

Nov 08 – 8:00P – takedown uav, daedelum, more @ Intl. Noise Conference (Object Space) (Spokane, Wa)

Nov 08 – 8:00P – nucular aminals @ the know bar (Portland, Or)

Nov 08 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the pilot light (knoxville, Tn)

Nov 09 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Al’s bar (Lexington, KY)

Nov 10 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ garfield artworks (Pittsburg, PA)

Nov 11 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the cake shop New York, NY)

Nov 12 – 8:00P – Amy Denio @ Musiquarium (Triple Door) (Seattle, WA)

Nov 13 – 8:00P – Amy Denio @ Henry Art Museum (Seattle, WA)

Nov 13 – 8:00P – Derek M. Johnson @ Capital Theatre (Olympia, WA)

Nov 13 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the bug jar (Rochester, NY)

Nov 15 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ oberlin college (Oberlin, OH)

Nov 16 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ DAAC (Grand Rapids, MI)

Nov 17 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ cinemat (bloomington, IN)

Nov 18 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ shubas (Chicago, IL)

Nov 19 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Vaudeville News (Des Moines, IA)

Nov 19 – 8:00P – Amy Denio @ the Rendezvous-jewelbox theatre (Seattle, WA)

Nov 21 – 9:00P – Paintings for Animals @ the Josephine (Seattle, WA)

Nov 21 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Rhinoceropolis (Denver, CO)

Nov 22 – 7:00P – Hell’s Bellows! (w/ Amy Denio) @ Blue Heron Arts Center (Vashon Island, WA)


Shows: September 2008

Sept 05 – 8:00P myrmyr @ San Francisco Electronic Music (San Francisco, Ca)

Sept 05 – 8:00P Problems, Amy Denio, nucular aminals @ Aphonia Rec. 9 (Gallery 1412) (Seattle, Wa)

Sept 05 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ the treehouse (Arcata, Ca)

Sept 06 – 7:30P Amy Denio (w/ yellow hat band) @ Burien Lantern Fest (Burien, Wa)

Sept 06 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Rererato (Portland, Or)

Sept 06 – 8:00P Agnes Szelag @ Project Artaud Theater (San francisco, Ca)

Sept 06 – 8:00P Nucular Aminals @ The Red House (Olympia, Wa)

Sept 07- 8:00P Daedelum @ The Empyrean (Spokane, Wa)

Sept 07 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Matt’s house (Olympia, Wa)

Sept 11 – 8:00P Paintings for Animals, VxPxC, Warm Climates, Wind Swept Planes @ Galley 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Sept 13 – 8:00P Nucular Aminals @ SCRAP Benefit (Portland, Or)

Sept 19 – 7:00P Derek M. Johnson & mangled bohemians @ Rererato (Portland, Or)

Sept 21 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ El Corazon (Seattle, Wa)

Sept 26-28 – 8:00P Derek M. Johnson @ Midnight Sun (3 day festival) (Olympia, Wa)


Shows: August 2008

Aug 01 – 8:00P Aphonia Recordings series 8 @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Aug 05 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ the Phoenix House (Olympia, Wa)

Aug 08 – 8:00P Bob Marsh Ensemble @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Aug 15 – 8:00P Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, The Precambrian @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Aug 15 – 9:00P Derek M. Johnson, Problems, Wummin @ Le Voyeur (Olympia, Wa)

Aug 21 – 7:00P Desolation Wilderness w/ Stag Hare @ Phoenix House (Olympia, Wa)

Aug 22 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Carousel Festival! (Seattle, Wa)

Aug 23 – 1:00P LA Lungs @ Carousel fest! (Seattle, Wa)

Aug 23 – 8:00P LA Lungs, Dead Air Fresheners, Eet @ Proper Eats (Portland, Or)

Aug 23 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness + Problems @ Artistery (Portland, Or)

Aug 24 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Shady Pines (Eugene, Or)

Aug 25 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Luna’s Cafe (Sacramento, Ca)

Aug 26 – 7:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Udai (Reno, Nv)

Aug 27 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Upstairs Gallery (Placerville, Ca)

Aug 28 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Kittenboat Warehouse (Oakland, Ca)

Aug 29 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Mama Buzz Cafe (Oakland, Ca)

Aug 30 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Pehrspace (Los Angeles, Ca)

Aug 31 – 8:00P Desolation Wilderness @ The Smell (Los Angeles, Ca)


Shows: July 2008

Jul 06 – 8:00P Paintings for Animals @ 20/20 Cycle (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 09 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ Rendezvous Jewelbox (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 10 – 8:00P The Precambrian, aye aye/navigator @ le voyeur (Olympia, wa)

Jul 11 – 8:00P Aye Aye, Navigator, KRGA, thunder grey pilgrim @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 12 – 9:00P Derek M. Johnson @ le voyeur (Olympia, Wa)

Jul 13 2008 6:00P
Paitings for Animals @ Mr. Spot’s Chai House (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 15 – 8:00P Derek M. Johnson @ the Royal (Olympia, Wa)

Jul 17 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ The Red Umbrella (Everett, Wa)

Jul 17 – 8:00P darwinsbitch @ Mission Creek Music Fest (San Francisco, ca)

Jul 18 – 9:00P Paintings for Animals @ S.S. Josephine (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 19 – 12:00P Desolation Wilderness @ What the Heck? Fest (Anacortes, Wa)

Jul 22 – 8:00P Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, the Precambrian @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 31 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)


Shows: June 2008


Aphonia Recordings 2008 Performance Series #6:
Friday, June 6th
Gallery 1412 (1412 18th ave – Seattle)
$5-15 suggested donation

-Paintings for Animals
-Penny & Her Lowercase Kindred (Olympia/Reno)
-The Precambrian


Heavy drones, overtone melodies, and the sound of the land – Paintings for Animals performs with field recordings, bowed metals, mixer feedback, throat singing, vocal blips, clicks and the buzz of electronics. Started 2001, in Seattle by Pearson Wallace-Hoyt, the project is maintained to provide a platform for the proliferation of spiritually charged noise and a revival of ritualized sound. With members dispersing to Bali, Kolozberg, New York and San Francisco, Paintings continues to craft a truly Cascadian music of chants, esoterica and the sounds of urban & natural environments.


Penny and Her Lower Case Kindred is a medley of shadow puppets, an adjustable stage, a variety of keyboards and organs, a synth, a loop station, a head mic, vacuums, strobe lights, fake blood, real blood, some drums,internal dialogue exposed… Unicorn: “We began hosting on-stage forums a couple of years ago once we realized that it was unfair to monopolize Penny’s brain.” Cher: “I wouldn’t really call it a forum…more like the sound of 15 minute recesses from the other side of the chain-link fence. Lots of piercing noises and academic purging.”


Aphonia Recordings’ founders, Ben L. Robertson & Andrew Senna, team up to explore the spectral transfiguration of minute sounds & vocalizations. In concept, The Precambrian is a sequence of interactive synthesis environments, engineered by Robertson using the graphical programming language; Max/MSP. Often drawing from his background in sound design for film & theatre, Senna utilizes a handful of homemade piezoelectric transducers, microphones, & field recordings to interact within each of these unique synthetic environments. The result of this interaction is a performance which resembles a series of absurd, one-act narratives.

Jun 05 – 9:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Le Voyeur (Seattle, WA)

Jun 06 – 8:00P Aphonia Rec. Series 6 @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, WA)

Jun 08 – 8:00P The Precambrian @ The Blue Moon (Seattle, WA)

Jun 14 – 8:00P Agnes Szelag @ 21 grand (Oakland, CA)

Jun 18 – 8:00P Old Number Sevens (Phonon) @ the Tractor (Seattle, WA)

Jun 20 – 8:00P Benefit Show for the Oly Exp Music Fest @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, WA)

Jun 24 – 6:00P Paintings for Animals @ Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA)

Jun 27 – 7:00P Ben Robertson + Gabe Will @ Olympia Experimental Music Festival

Jun 28 – 2:00P Paintings for Animals @ Artopia film show (Seattle, WA)

Jun 28 – 6:00P Darwinsbitch @ Olympia Experimental Music Fest (Olympia, wa)

Jun 29 – 7:00P Paintings for Animals @ Olympia Experimental Music Fest (olympia, wa)