Experimental Archive

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Introducing DIVORCE PARTY!

We are extremely proud to introduce and announce our latest addition to the Aphonia Recordings family: Divorce Party! Their sound has been described as spasm-like, or careening from Melt Banana-esque contortions to summoning Jesus Lizard-esque riffage.

Divorce Party are David Slaga of the unrelenting drums, Ryan St. Claire’s guitar strains, Joe Biggerstaff raising the dead with his bass and Miguel Baptista Benedict supplying what I can only describe as the amplified vocal death knell of music itself. These souls wreak havoc in their short debut EP entitled “Astrocengertion Oporium.” Available in three formats, LP, CD and download (a first for Aphonia Recs). Described as “more spasm than song” Divorce Party indeed delight with a quick lightning bolt of an EP.

We hope you enjoy!

Divorce Party - Astrocongertion Oporium

Buy Now! $2 Download $5 CD and a 12 inch on it's way.


Divorce Party: Astrocongertion Oporium EP

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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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Foxy Digitalis Reviews “Dried Fish Is Just Good As Bait” by Tetsuya Hori

Tetsuya Hori

Click to read Isaac Aronson's review

Isaac Aronson’s recent review of Tetsuya Hori’s record entitled Dried Fish Is Just Good As Bait is chock full of healthy critique and praise. Aronson begins his review with skepticism over Hori’s claim that:

“My pieces do not have concept. That is my concept. The concept develops in the head of the listener.”

Aronson opines that statements like these are often parroted by artists whose ideas “really only make sense to them.” Or something like that. His latent skepticism is quickly brushed aside and rightly finds in Dried Fish:

“…a beautiful album with a surprising array of emotions… Dried Fish blurs the line between instrument and object, allowing the listener to truly get lost in the piece and explore the emotions within.”

Rating the album 9 out of 10, Aronson plainly has explorative ears and writes with passion about one of our recent additions to the label. We couldn’t be happier. Go read the whole thing over here, but before you do so listen to the record below and purchase a limited edition CD that includes a gigantic 15 inch X 15 inch full color poster.


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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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Introducing Tetsuya Hori: Berlin-based Composer, Object-player and Pianist

Click Image to Listen

“My pieces do not have a concept. That is the concept. The concept develops in the head of the listener. I compose not only for instruments, but for things. Each piece is different. Every time. I want to show the listener nonsense. Interesting nonsense.”

So says evocative and perplexing Berlin-based composer and pianist Tetsuya Hori. By arranging a confounding series of musical events, the listener is left with the freedom to interpret. At times sedative, creepily silent or jarring and brutal, Hori paints landscapes and often allows enough breathing room in his pieces for processing.

Any discernible pattern on “Dried Fish Is Just Good As Bait” is confounded by its sheer scope. Developments in his compositions take time to foment. The three long tracks that “Bait” consist of take time to get through and often, if any logic is implied, it is over stretches of minutes rather than seconds. The pieces beg multiple listens, the beauty of which is that upon repeat listens, details recede and new ones form. “Intermezzo” recalls hints of Debussy, “Kappa” listens like a book of nonsense poems supported by the sleeping of a mythical mechanical beast, “Dried Fish Is Just Good As Bait” is at once meditative, frightening and sculpted. From guttural wails to introspective chordal interludes, this is a vast project of a record and we hope you like it. His debut release comes in a limited edition special 15 inch square poster which you can pre-order as of April 14th, 2011. We are very excited to release this record and hope you check it out!

Check out a more extensive interview with Tetsuya Hori by Tobias Fischer at Tokafi.com a unique German music website.

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Marlo Eggplant Video by Rachel Evans of “Motion Sickness of Time Travel”

Marlo Eggplant is a relatively new addition to the Aphonia Recordings catalogue but certainly no stranger to the noise scene nationwide. This is evidenced by the following video of “Caloric Reflex Test” by Rachel Evans of Motion Sickness of Time Travel. Both incredibly prolific and talented women we encourage you to spend some time taking a listen/watch of this tripped out and wonderful vision of two gifted artists.

Marlo Eggplant – Caloric Reflex Test from Motion Sickness of Time Travel on Vimeo.

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Portland’s Mangled Bohemians Announce New Release: At the Edge of Earth

Portland’s own Mangled Bohemians are to release their second release on Aphonia with At the Edge of Earth. Here, James Lee (now Mangled Bohemians’ sole member) weaves guitar textures, atmospheric washes, and unlike previous releases, cavernous vocals. Most who have seen Lee perform in the last year or two can attest this reflects a new direction for the Bohemians.

The pre-sale continues until the official release date of January 26th. There are only 100 of this first printing being made available so please visit the release page to purchase before we run out!

In addition, the Bohemians embark on a tour to promote At the Edge of the Earth, which you can listen to here.

West Coast Tour Itinerary:

Wed, Jan 26
Soda Bar
San Diego, CA
Doors Open: 9:00 PM
Ages: 21+

Thu, Jan 27
The Prospector
Long Beach, CA
Doors Open: 8:00 PM
Ages: 21+

Fri, Jan 28
The Cat Club
West Hollywood, CA
Doors Open: 6:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Sat, Jan 29
Trip Nightclub
Santa Monica, CA
Doors Open: 9:00 PM
Ages: 21+ or w/ adult

Thu, Feb 3
Hemlock Tavern
San Francisco, CA
Doors Open: 8:00 PM
Ages: 21+

Fri, Feb 4
East Nile
Oakland, CA
Doors Open: 9:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Thu, Feb 10
The Wandering Goat
Eugene, OR
Doors Open: 8:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Fri, Feb 11
Triangle Inn Salem
Oregon, OR
Doors Open: 9:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Sat, Feb 12
KPSU
Portland, OR
Doors Open: 12:00 PM
All Ages

Sat, Feb 12
The Artistery
Portland, OR
Doors Open: 7:30 PM
Ages: All Ages

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Release Party & Show in San Francisco for Evon

San Francisco, CA -

On January 25th recent Aphonia Recordings artists Evon will be playing at El Rio in SF.  This is a very special show since it is a very belated CD Release show for The Bees Are Coming which Aphonia Recordings released in Autumn 2010.

Evon is an amazing group of 6 stupendously talented musicians lead by Agnes Szelag and this is their first show and it is a very early show – 7PM! Evon will go on at 8PM.

Audrey Howard’s band Steel Hotcakes will be opening and Eli’s Band will be headlining. For those of you who are used to Agnes Szelag as an experimental artist – this project is rocky and melodic. (See reviews from KFJC 89.7 FM in Los Altos, CA and Textura)

So come one, come all, bring friends!

Go to Evon’s release page for The Bees Are Coming:

Evon - The Bees Are Coming

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Bill Horist’s New Release The Psoriasis Coast now available!

The Psoriasis Coast: while representing more familiar territory to those who know Bill’s work, indicates a different direction than previous records. Inspired in part by W.G. Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn”, this record imagines an coastline in the midst of an interregnum between the end of a sentient species’ existence and the birth of a primal structure from which a new order will evolve. This is an itchy and decrepit place as the emblems of previous enterprise slough back into the ineluctable resilience of nature outside our own. Passages of dense noise and wailing are balanced by dolorous moments of stillness and quietude.

Come to Bill’s dual release party for The Psoriasis Coast and Covalent Lodge (available in CD/LP/download at northpolerecords.com) on Friday June 11 in the acoustically sublime chapel at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Chapel at the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, SEATTLE, 8pm, ALL AGES!

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2 x Mood Organ EP’s (032 & 879)

OUT NOW! 2 brand new EP’s by Mood Organ. “…evolving drones, phase patterns, treated field recordings, noise blasts, chords constructed from feedback, sounds amplified through solid materials, metal percussion, muffled voices, vintage rhythm boxes, shortwave radio, or none of those things (?????)”


[AR021] Mood Organ – 032 (21’24″) OUT OF PRINT


[AR022] Mood Organ – 879 (22’58″) OUT OF PRINT