S. Araw Trio XIII

S. Araw “Trio” is a new configuration of the Sun Araw Band, the live-action collaborative branch of Sun Araw. The “Trio” is dedicated to improvised electronic music performed in various locations around planet Earth.

Cameron Stallones
Tomo Jacobson
Jon Leland

More S. Araw “Trio” music & information can be found here: Sun Ark Records

Booker Stardrum

Booker Stardrum is a Los Angeles based percussionist/improviser/composer. Born from his own idiosyncratic performance practice, his solo work exists at the intersection of minimalism, sound collage, and percussive virtuosity. Seeking to explore a slippery and elusive vertical sonic space, Booker’s recent compositions involve the dense layering of other instruments and a focus on pan-tonality and an intuitive approach to rhythm. A longtime touring and recording member of NYC bands Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Landlady and VaVatican, Booker has also performed and toured with Lee Ranaldo, Weyes Blood, Nels Cline, playwright and theater director Young Jean Lee, and more.

The Cradle

The Cradle is the creative vehicle of Brooklyn-born-and-based musician/writer Paco Cathcart. The project began in 2013 with a series of process-as-product style recordings on 4-track cassette. These early tapes are as much explorations of the relationship between artist and her means of production as they are collections of songs: the loose pre-written music was a means to the ends of engaging the sonic possibilities of the tape machine, the room, and the objects immediately present. In the proceeding years, The Cradle has evolved from a deliberately experimental recording project, and the moniker now encompasses more traditional singer-songwriter music where a peculiar poetics and sense of story telling come to the forefront, busted, insular electronic music, soundscape and spoken word, and really just whatever else Cathcart finds himself wanting to do in between, including live performance that ranges from solo guitar and voice to noise-and-movement sets to a groove-oriented, mbira-led full-band incarnation. Despite The Cradle’s ever-expanding oeuvre, the original ethos of spontaneity, reactivity and exploration remains the backbone of Cathcart’s work.
The Cradle has toured extensively in the US in band format and solo. Cathcart records all his own music and also engineers for other artists and other bands he’s in (see recordings by Palberta, Dog, Sunk Heaven, Climax Landers, etc). He also plays 6-string in Shimmer, Climax Landers, SBJ, and Eyes of Love.


Marja Ahti (n. Johansson) is a Swedish-Finnish musician and sound artist based in Turku, Finland. She’s performing and recording under the moniker Tsembla as well as her own name.

Ahti works with field recordings and other acoustic sound material combined with synthesizers and electronic feedback in order to find the borderland where these sounds start to mimic each other or communicate. She makes music that rides on waves of slowly warping intuitively tuned harmonies and mutating textures – rough edged compositions, rich in detail. She also makes music and sound for dance and performances.

Ahti has presented her music in many different contexts around Europe, in Japan and the United States. She’s also a member of the Himera work group, organizing experimental music events and workshops, one half of the duo Ahti & Ahti with her partner Niko-Matti Ahti, and collaborator of Kemialliset Ystävät.


LEYA happened on accident. Songs are simple, often written quickly, using detuned harp and violin with Adam and Marilu’s layered voices. LEYA is inspired by the antiquity of both instruments but also the sound of the modern world.

Harpist Marilu Donovan has worked with artists ranging from Azealia Banks to Christian Wolff. She is interested in finding ugliness in the beauty of her instrument, often detuning the strings to create unrefined sound palettes. Marilu performs regularly with Eartheater and GABI.

Violinist/Vocalist Adam Markiewicz focuses on mixing voice with his instrument to explore the blending of these sounds, attempting to speak with the overtones of alternate tunings. He plays regularly in The Dreebs and PC Worship. His recorded work can be found on labels ranging from DFA to Rotted Tooth.

Erica Eso

Erica Eso began as the solo avant pop project of Weston Minissali (Cloud Becomes Your Hand; VaVatican) in 2014 during a 2 year stint living in between the Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains in the Hudson Valley, NY. While the songs may appear, at first glance, as basic pop melodies and song structure, that familiarity is used as a pallet to experiment, critique and subtly distort. Since the 2015 debut album ‘2019’ on Ramp Local, Erica Eso has expanded from solo bedroom experimentation to a full-on band, integrating Rhonda Lowry (drums), Nathaniel Morgan (bass/vocals), Lydia Velichkovski (synthesizer), and Angelica Bess (vocals/synth) to add new dimensions to their self-proclaimed “femmed-out microtonal synth pop.” But whose femininity is hollering out amongst this reverb?

Subtle Degrees

Subtle Degrees is the new duo of Travis Laplante (tenor saxophone; Battle Trance) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). Laplante’s new album-length composition ‘A Dance That Empties’ is available on February 23rd, 2018 on NNA Tapes and New Amsterdam Records.
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Travis Laplante is a saxophonist, composer, and qigong practitioner living in Brooklyn, New York and southern Vermont. He leads Battle Trance, the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet; he is also known for his solo saxophone work and his longstanding ensemble Little Women. Laplante has recently performed and/or recorded with Trevor Dunn, Ches Smith, Peter Evans, So Percussion, Gerald Cleaver, Michael Formanek, Buke and Gase, Darius Jones, Mat Maneri, and Matt Mitchell, among others. He has toured his music extensively and has appeared at major international festivals such as Moers Festival (Germany), Jazz Em Agosto (Portugal), International Jazz Festival Saalfelden (Austria), Hopscotch (Raleigh, NC), Earshot (Seattle, WA), and many others.

Popmatters hailed Laplante’s compositions as “an achievement not just for the saxophone, but for avant garde composition as a whole” while the New York Times called Battle Trance’s debut album Palace of Wind “mesmerizing… a floating tapestry of fascinating textures made up of tiny musical motifs, and a music that throbs with tension between stillness and agitation, density and light.”

Laplante has served as guest faculty at the Royal Academy of Music (Aarhus, Denmark), Dartmouth College, and The New School. As a qigong student of master Robert Peng, Laplante has undergone traditional intensive training. His focus in recent years, under the tutelage of Laura Stelmok, has been on Taoist alchemical medicine and the cultivation of the heart. Laplante is passionate about the intersection of music and medicine. He and his wife are the founders of Sword Hands, a qigong and acupuncture healing practice based in Brooklyn, New York and Putney, Vermont.
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Gerald Cleaver is one of the New York jazz scene’s leading drummer and composers, who covers a wide range of stylistic ground. Having played with jazz masters Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and Ray Bryant as well as the leading lights of the AACM, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith and Henry Threadgill, he is a product of many traditions within creative music.

Cleaver is known for his associations with Roscoe Mitchell, Charles Gayle, Miroslav Vitous, Mario Pavone, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Joe Morris, Jeremy Pelt, Craig Taborn and Yaron Herman. He is also the leader of the bands Uncle June (a reflection on the personal and familial challenges of Black Americans during The Great Migration featuring Tony Malaby, Andrew Bishop, Mat Maneri, Craig Taborn and Drew Gress), Violet Hour (a tribute to Detroit featuring Jeremy Pelt, JD Allen, Andrew Bishop, Ben Waltzer and Chris Lightcap), Black Host (a noisy avant-garde group featuring Pascal Niggenkemper, Cooper-Moore, Darius Jones and Brandon Seabrook) and Farmers By Nature (a free-improvising collective co-led with bassist William Parker and pianist Craig Taborn).

Lea Bertucci

Lea Bertucci is an American composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her instrumental practice, (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique and tape collage. Deeply experimental, her work is unafraid to subvert musical expectation.

Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on independent labels in the US and Europe, including I Dischi Del Barone, Obsolete Units, Telegraph Harp and Clandestine Compositions. In 2017, she signed with Burlington, Vermont-based record label NNA Tapes, releasing ‘All That is Solid Melts Into Air: Works for Strings’ on cassette, followed by the 2018 full-length album ‘Metal Aether’ on limited edition vinyl, compact disc, and digital formats.

She has performed extensively across the US and Europe at venues such as The Kitchen, PS1 MoMA, The Drawing Center, Anthology Film Archives, Abrons Arts, The Walker Museum, Madison Square Park, ISSUE Project Room, Pioneer Works, The Queens Museum, Artists’ Space, Caramoor, The High Zero Festival, and Experimental Intermedia, among many others. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence.

The Ah

The Ah is an imaginary world. Its a place I’ve found and tried to make sense of over the course of making this album. It truly feels like a collaboration although ironically its the first project I’ve done that hasn’t been influenced by anyone else directly. Indirectly it has everything to do with everyone around me and all the things big and small that have affected me over the years. It felt collaborative because of this feeling of finding something that’s already there. As if i was collaborating w nature perhaps. For me, writing music and taking pictures is all about finding something opposed to creating something. An archeologist picks at a rock until something appears then carefully picks at the rock until the object is free. This has always been my process. This is another reason why I decided to not use my name for this project. It doesn’t feel like me exactly it feels like something i discovered.

I live in a loft in Brooklyn w some of my favorite people and musicians. We tour the world together and separately with many different projects we’re all involved with. We often have sub letters when one of us is gone and we’ve had countless  amazing people and artists living here. Its a creative living space, a writing space, recording space, and rehearsing space. We all somehow manage to make it work here and it really feels wonderful, strange and magical. These 3 other guys and myself have basically created a language all our own. That’s in how we talk to each other , how we play together and otherwise. Its truly a bit absurd and i often say i feel like i live in a cartoon. In a way i think The Ah is a cartoon world.  Not one with just humire but more complex emotions and ambiguity.  My enviroment here at the loft  very much influenced and helped me “find” The Ah which has literally been written on my bedroom door long before i knew what it meant. I’m always blown away how time can work. The music was all written and recorded in that very bedroom.

When this music started to feel like something i should share i also felt like something was missing from it.  I think since there’s very little singing and theres a static nature in some of the compositions i was concerned it might be a bit sterile. This concern led me to found sounds , field recordings, animal sounds, something to give the music life, literally. You’ll find in this music, frogs,  sheep , dolphins, guinea pigs and baby rhinos just to name a few. It truly opened this world up and i think helped define the feeling of the this place.

I’m mostly known as a drum set player and have toured or recorded with artists such as David Byrne, Albert Hammond jr, Kimbra, Delicate Steve, Rubblebucket, Marc Ribot, Sam Amidon, Daniel Rossen just to name a few. Yet theres no drum set in any of this music. It wasn’t a conscious decision but the limitations of what i had to record with completely opened me up to so many new possibilities w sampling and blending unusual elements together to create grooves.

–Jeremy Gustin


Leland Jackson creates moving work, in both the figurative and the literal. As Ahnnu, he pushes electronic music toward its bare emotive essence, creating context in which listeners can immerse themselves. As Cakedog, however, he’s actually moving you. An avid admirer of the footwork movement from Chicago, Cakedog is Jackson’s contribution to the canon. On paper, his visual art pieces are portals to worlds where a three thousand year old edifice might be full of burners.

Originally from Virginia via Japan, Jackson has found a home in Los Angeles with hubs like Leaving Records and peers like Knxwledge and Mndsgn. During our conversation, there are moments when he reminds me of Joe Morton’s character from The Brother From Another Planet. He’s earnestly curious about the bizarre social fabric we live in while many of us still wonder what is water? He speaks directly with unsentimental optimism. His off-center perspective is the link between his emotive electronic work as Ahnnu, the irresistible grooves of Cakedog’s footwork, and Jackson’s strikingly visceral visual art. Cakedog’s new O.T.K. EP releases June 16 on TAR.

Ryan Power

Over the last decade, Burlington, Vermont songwriter/producer Ryan Power has tirelessly embarked on the quest to write the definitive song-based music, full of accuracy, refinement, deliberation, and perfectly-placed shifting harmonic puzzles. Ryan’s latest “Identity Picks” for NNA Tapes is an eight track song cycle that dances through lush jazz pads, aquatic smooth jazz funk styles, and the sensitive side of progressive rock. These songs are long, shifting compositions, slowly unfolding and patiently circulating within a refreshing variety of stylistic modes. Throughout these colorful arrangements, Ryan creates a polyphonic choir with his own voice, adding symphonic embellishments to his calculated and catchy hooks.

Ryan addresses contemporary issues in his subject matter, including the music industry, lust, self-evaluation, identity crisis, and the contemplation and acceptance of a world gone mad. Unlike the phobic, neurotic head spaces of 2012′s “I Don’t Want to Die”, “Identity Picks” is a life assessment, a meditation on putting yourself out there and the struggle to maintain integrity under scrutiny. The production is astonishingly hi-fi – recorded, engineered, mixed and performed entirely by Power himself, aside from the occasional guest appearance from members of his newly-formed live band. According to the artist, the songs on this album were written “to help give my life meaning” through the purity and timelessness of classic, addictive songwriting. In an era of technological A.D.D. and fleeting vogue, “Identity Picks” is a record to listen to over and over again, finding new meaning and appreciation with each revolution.

Patrick Higgins & Josh Modney

We’re very proud to have the innovative composer and performer Patrick Higgins return to NNA Tapes, this time in a duo format with acclaimed violinist Josh Modney. On 2015’s ‘Social Death Mixtape,’ we witnessed Higgins’ talents as a composer, creating intricate electroacoustic compositions with a variety of performers. On ‘EVRLY MVSIC’ however, we hear Higgins as a skilled performer on his primary instrument, the guitar. Josh Modney comes from a similar background, having established himself as a prominent figure in New York City’s New Music circuit, with work ranging from the chamber music group International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), to composer-performer collective Wet Ink Ensemble. Having shared the stage together for the past 5 years both as improvisers and as chamber musicians, the foundation of ’EVRLY MVSIC’ is built on a long term musical connection between Modney and Higgins, a bond that is made evident throughout these recordings.

On ‘EVRLY MVSIC,’ the two performers have taken the concept of “Early Music” as a stimulus to inspire performances of acoustic improvisation that aim at a compositional tightness, creating a musical framework based more around the feeling, rather than the sound, of Medieval struggle. Tightly coiled around highly virtuosic and austere interactions, Higgins and Modney harness the essence of Early Music both in sentiment as well as gesture, using guitar and violin in unorthodox ways that sometimes recall the sounds of early stringed instruments such as the oud and viol. Each instrument inherently carries the capacity for both classical beauty and textural violence, both of which are employed with tasteful skill and execution. Improvisation in this project is neither free nor, strictly speaking, structured. Instead, it is aimed at an emergent form in the instant, looking toward song structure in the most novel and ancient sense. Noise and extended technique are used to create a lyrical aching quality, while melody is used to create unsettling noise.

Throughout the album, EVRLY MVSIC displays a linear progression of material, building over the course of three “Partitas.” The first two utilize an arcane, sparse musical language of plucked sounds strangely reminiscent of Renaissance lute music, advancing to a lushly harmonized set of microtonal, cantabile pieces that explore the full expressive range of violin and acoustic guitar. What furthermore adds to the uniqueness of this album, however, is the third Partita, which introduces electric guitar and real-time electronic processing on both instruments to culminate in an expansive, relentlessly energetic display of refreshing new sounds. The original acoustic palette of guitar and violin is retained, but vastly expanded upon, injecting a dense, unpredictable modern edge into the archaic atmosphere. ‘EVRLY MVSIC’ presents an incredibly original fusion between ancient European musical history and distinctly American experimentalism, hinged on the nexus between improvisation and chamber music, and fueled by a deeply personal musical alliance.

Matthewdavid’s Mindflight

Co-owner of Leaving Records, where artists like Ras GJonwayne, and Odd Nosdam have released their avant beats, L.A.’s Matthew David McQueen is also a solo artist, recording and performing under the name Matthewdavid. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he was a mainstream hip-hop fan before getting turned on to the left-field beats of labels like Plug Research and Stones Throw. An internship at the former meant a move to L.A. and in 2008, a debut release on the label with the Matthewdavid EP. Leaving Records was formed with visual artist Jesselisa Moretti that same year and issued cassettes, CDs, LPs, and downloads from underground artists like Dak, Jar Moff, and Matthewdavid himself, who collaborated with Sun Araw in 2010 on the cassette release Livephreaxxx!!!!!. Matthewdavid‘s Outmind appeared in 2011 on the Brainfeeder label, while that same year the collaborative Swedish Fish with Odd Nosdam landed back home on Leaving. Mindflight followed on the label in 2013 while Brainfeeder issued In My World in 2014.


Kalbells is the solo work of Kalmia Traver, lead singer and co-bandleader of the band Rubblebucket. Kalbells’ debut album “Ten Flowers” (NNA Tapes, 2017) is cosmic bedroom pop written in Vermont in the dead of winter directly after a successful battle with ovarian cancer. It’s lyrics deal with joy, self-affirmation and dream healing. Sonically it is a kaleidoscopic desertscape of blips, bells, whistles, synthesizers, layered vocals and woodwinds. Co-produced by Ryan Power, the album was lauded by Bob Boilen of NPR All Songs Considered as having “that beautiful innocence”.

Kalmia was born in Rhode Island, raised in Taftsville, Vermont, and spent much of her childhood exploring the the woods and streams of the Green Mountain State. After attending University of Vermont where she met Rubblebucket creative partner Alex Toth the duo moved to Boston to found the band, and eventually to Brooklyn, NY where Kalmia currently resides and continues to develop both projects.

Kalmia spent the third decade of her life co-creating Rubblebucket as a composer, visual artist & performer. She and her bandmates repeatedly toured the United States, made jaunts into Europe and Canada, performed at summer festivals including High Sierra & Bonaroo, played on Jimmy Kimmel Live, at Lincoln Center and BAM as part of the Red Hot’s Fela Kuti and Arthur Russell tributes (respectively) and taped an episode of NPR’s series Tiny Desk Concerts. 

In 2013 at the age of 29 Kalmia was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her left ovary. She under went surgery and three months of chemotherapy in the midst of a modified touring & recording schedule. She was declared cancer-free in early 2014 and continues to be in remission. Rubblebucket’s subsequent record, Survival Sounds (Communion, 2014) dealt with healing in general, and many of the songs written by Toth dealt directly with facing & treating alcoholism.  

The writing for “Ten Flowers” emerged from a 2-month solo retreat in Kalmia’s childhood home of Taftsville in January 2015. Employing the song-a-day technique, Kalmia left Vermont with 27 demos, and in league with NNA Tapes chose ten to further refine, employing Ryan Power on mixing, co-production, and co-writing duties. 


Multa Nox

Sally Decker is a musician and writer from Evanston, IL and released her first full-length album on NNA this summer. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College, while also pursuing interests in sound and media art. Currently Sally most often creates and performs as Multa Nox. Her work explores the emotional potential of sounds as portals of connections, and works to impart a type of focus towards one’s own internal world. She often finds herself at the intersection of poetry and sound, exploring relationships between language, meaning, sound and memory. Sally has been living and working in Brooklyn, NY for the last two years, but will be moving to Oakland, CA in the fall to pursue an MFA in Electronic Music and Recorded Media at Mills College.

Wren Kitz

By blending traditional guitar-and-voice songwriting with field recording and tape collage experimentation, Kitz has developed a ghostly and contemplative form of musical expression all his own that breaks down walls between genre categorizations. Together with a newly-assembled band consisting of percussion and strings, “Dancing On Soda Lake” is Kitz’s most fully-realized and captivating effort to date.


With an approach based in free jazz, GRID takes the plunge into darker, heavier, and more psychedelic realms of improvised music. The new trio, featuring Matt Nelson (Battle Trance) on saxophone, Tim Dahl (Child Abuse) on bass, and Nick Podgurski (New Firmament;Feast of the Epiphany) on drums, harnesses the clamorous spirit of free jazz while venturing beyond its acoustic borders through the implementation of electronic processing and dirge-like tempos akin to Doom and Sludge. Noisey calls GRID “a three-way chat. It’s a conversation between musicians with differing musical opinions, but their debut album has become a shared dialogue that is as fluid as it is improvised”.

Matt Nelson:
Brooklyn-based saxophonist Matt Nelson defies categorization in his frequent solo work and involvement with bands and projects across the musical spectrum. Employing an array of traditional and extended techniques and a frequent use of electronics and feedback has allowed him to expand on his jazz background and forge a unique musical identity that is ever-present but adaptable to a wide range of music. Speaking to this is his work with Battle Trance, tUnE-yArDs, Elder Ones, Premature Burial, and GRID. An active member of the New York experimental music scene, he is often involved in a large number of other projects as well. Recent collaborators include Ava Mendoza, Weasel Walter, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Peter Evans, Louise Jensen, and many others.

Tim Dahl:
Tim Dahl is a professional electric and double bass player, vocalist, keyboardist, and composer living in New York City since 1998. He is best known as the bass player and co-composer of the noise-rock band Child Abuse and Lydia Lunch’s Retrovirus. He has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Japan with both groups. Tim has also performed with many notable musicians, composers and performers including Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp, Eugene Chadbourne, John Zorn, Tatsuya Yoshida, Von Freeman, Stanley Jordan, Mary Halvorson, Malcolm Mooney, Marc Ribot, Brian Chase, Hamid Drake, Elliot Sharp, Weasel Walter, Marni Nixon etc. Tim is currently living in Brooklyn and is an active member in the music scene there.

Nick Podgurksi:
Nick Podgurski maintains New Firmament; an umbrella institute for programming, composition, listening, writing, and recording (among other practices). His musical work is manifest over dozens of recordings (and innumerable performances) in varying capacities with: Feast of the Epiphany, New Firmament, Extra Life, Yukon. Collaborators include: STATS, Geryon, Castevet, Sabbath Assembly, Andrew Smiley/Matt Kanelos. He performs here as drummer alongside Matt Nelson (saxophone) and Tim Dahl (bass).

Max Eilbacher

The work of Max Eilbacher draws upon the European traditions of electroacoustic and musique concréte composition, the intuitive American free noise underground, and the abstract edges of processing-intensive computer sound. Recent records have been released by Spectrum Spools, Fogged Records, Anomia, NNA Tapes, and a series of self released cassettes. He has toured extensively through North America and Europe with collaborations and solo projects.

die Reihe

die Reihe is the project of New York City based sound artist and engineer Jack Callahan. After years of experimenting with electronic music, composition, and modular systems, the recent work of die Reihe has found Callahan operating on the outermost extremes of conceptual art, the avant garde, and minimalism. Crafting a unique style over the years through a series of live performances and releases on labels such as Ascetic House, Jeff Witscher’s Salon, and his own Bánh Mì Verlag imprint, Callahan has more recently distilled his approach to composition by holding a microscope to various genres of music and focusing on a single element within them. On “Housed”, Callahan turns his lens to this classic style of dance music and investigates one often overlooked component – the chords.

Tredici Bacci

Tredici Bacci, a 14-piece group of musicians all under the age of 30, sounds, to the thoughtful listener, like a celebration. A celebration not of a genre of music, but rather of an era, and, more specifically, the aspects of an era which perhaps have been glossed over by conventional history. Tredici Bacci is celebrating the strange, somewhat seedy, schmaltzy and smooth aspects of 1960s-70s popular culture – our songs are cries in honor to the many artifacts which seem now to be the strange leavings of a recently liberated nation – nay, the sensuous oddities leftover from an entirely different world! Tredicci Bacci is a living homage to french pornography, to italian slasher films, to pop psychedelia! A musical shrine dedicated to bright colors! flugelhorns! sing-song and sexy dialogue! To the Mondo! Absurd romanticism! The sumptuous beauty of strings, to never-ending sambas, to the breakdown of western civilization! Up with Ennio! Up with Bacharach! Let our cries be heard and let no man nor woman forget that they were meant to be sexy! To be sultry! To cry tears of lost love over a backdrop of paisley and powder blue! Huzzah!  “The Thirteen Kisses EP” is only a hint of what is in store (Lastfm).

Oneohtrix Point Never / Rene Hell

One of Brooklyn-based experimental musician Daniel Lopatin’s many projects, Oneohtrix (pronounced “one-oh-tricks”) Point Never encompasses flowing electronics that evoke Tangerine Dream; ambient drones and excursions into noise, and forays into adventurous sampling. Growing up, he was inspired by the synth sounds of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Stevie Wonder in his father’s record collection, as well as classic video game soundtracks such as Metroid. Oneohtrix Point Never emerged in the late 2000s, around the time that Lopatin was also playing with the trio Astronaut and working on another solo project, Infinity Window. His first OPN full-length, 2007’s Betrayed in the Octagon, introduced Oneohtrix Point Never’s sci-fi bent, which was emphasized by Lopatin’s Roland Juno-60 synthesizer and Korg Electribe ES-1 sampler.

Cassette-only efforts such as 2008’s Transmat Memories paved the way for a prolific 2009, which included a cassette collaboration with Keith Fullerton Whitman as well as two more albums, the reflective Russian Mind and the comparatively bright and accessible Zones Without People. These two albums, along with Betrayed in the Octagon and selected tracks from OPN’s cassettes, were released as Rifts late in 2009 by No Fun Productions. Lopatin went further afield on 2010’s critically acclaimed Editions Mego release Returnal, incorporating noise as well as more accessible melodies into the album. He also founded the Software label, an imprint distributed by Mexican Summer, with friend and Tigercity member Joel Ford.

In 2011, Oneohtrix Point Never played the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival curated by Animal Collective and released Replica — which featured samples from commercials and was also Lopatin’s first album recorded in a studio — on Software that November. Nearly two years later, Oneohtrix Point Never made its Warp debut with R Plus Seven, which featured some of Lopatin’s most fragmented and ambitious tracks to date. That year, Lopatin collaborated with Brian Reitzell on the score to Sofia Coppola’s film The Bling Ring and also participated in a collaboration between Warp and the Tate Gallery, composing a piece inspired by Jeremy Deller’s The History of the World, which diagrammed the interconnectedness of acid jazz and brass bands. Music from Rifts and R Plus Seven also appeared in 2014’s Love Child, an HBO documentary about video game addiction. Oneohtrix Point Never’s many projects that year included Commissions I, a Record Store Day release featuring music written for the Polish Icons project at the Sacrum Profanum festival, among other pieces.

That October, Lopatin’s soundtrack for Koji Morimoto’s 1995 anime Magnetic Rose received a live world premiere at Manchester, England’s Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. Oneohtrix Point Never also joined Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden on the July and August dates of their tour, playing half-hour sets of cyberdrone music instead of tracks from his albums. Commissions II arrived on Record Store Day 2015 and included an excerpt of the Magnetic Rose score as well as “Bullet Hell Abstraction,” a two-part piece inspired by Manabu Namiki’s video game music that was commissioned by the Red Bull Music Academy. That November, the full-length Garden of Delete — which was inspired by Lopatin’s time on the road with NIN and Soundgarden as well as his renewed interest in the guitar — was released. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi (billboard)

Battle Trance

BATTLE TRANCE is Travis Laplante, Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, and Patrick Breiner.

Members of Battle Trance have also performed with: Tune-Yards, Little Women, Tim Berne, Gerald Cleaver, Michael Formanek, Trevor Dunn, Ingrid Laubrock, Rafiq Bhatia, Ches Smith, Steve Lehman, Weasel Walter, Mat Maneri, John Hollenbeck, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Evans, and many others.

Battle Trance had an auspicious inception. One morning, Travis Laplante (Little Women and a trio with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Ches Smith) literally awoke with the crystal clear vision that he needed to start an ensemble with three specific individuals: Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, and Patrick Breiner. Laplante was actually unfamiliar with their work as musicians and had only a minimal relationship with them as individuals. He was also aware that a band of four tenor saxophones could be the worst idea ever. In spite of this, Laplante followed through and contacted Nelson, Viner, and Breiner. He gave them very little information beyond his morning experience. But no one hesitated – the ensemble formed that evening.


For Baltimore native John Jones, this freewheeling atmosphere of internet-era music production and appreciation has allowed him to try on the trappings of lo-fi folk, drone, and Krautrock, all under the name Nerftoss. (Not to mention his work riding the thunder stick for noise rock band Dope Body.) Jones’s latest Nerftoss missive Crushed finds him working with the colors of dance music. The cassette, out on NNA Tapes, is constructed like a thoughtful and artful DJ set, with no space between the tracks and one melodic and rhythmic idea flowing seamlessly into the next. That way the Latin house grooves of “Some Kind of Way” slowly melt into an ambient wash before being slowly solidified into the African polyrhythms of “Bender.” Or letting the piercing industrial racket that closes out “22 & C” provide the foundation for “Ever Always” and it’s disco stomp. By the time the closing track “Star Picking” loses its trance-inducing vibe in the glare of bright psychedelic swirls, your whole person will feel loose, euphoric, and desperate for more. (AdHoc)

AJ Cornell & Tim Darcy

Fans of the Montreal post-punk outfit Ought may be taken aback by lead singer Tim Darcy’s new collaboration with aural experimentalist Andrea-Jane Cornell. Gone are the catchy hooks, synthesizer riffs, key changes, time signatures, and beats — all that remains by way of pop music is Darcy’s trademark lyrical delivery, and even that lovable sneer is dialed back in deference to an increased focus on spoken word and soundscape.

“It can be said of folks living in Montreal and making music that having a project with someone is the only surefire way to actually see them. We started working together informally with live improvisation sessions on CKUT Radio, where we both worked at the time. This lead to making long form semi-structured instrumental improvs at these sleepover drone nights at The Plant, where we first performed as A Freedom Earth Tower Satellite.

We talked about using elements of the places we were playing live shows in as sound sources, like fans and fridges and the resonance of window panes, and processing them live to create a bed or swarm of static and hum. There are some remnants of this idea deep in the layers of Too Significant To Ignore, such as a long sample of AJ’s fridge gurgling in “Cosmetic Sadness”. We spent many an evening in our living rooms, kitchens, and eventually the pieces started coming together in AJ’s tiny jam room in her apartment as we were preparing for our first live performance where many of the pieces on the album took their initial shape. The pieces continued to take form in a rehearsal space where Tim and a bunch of bands practiced at the time, where we could play as loud as we wanted to and get lost in long form explorations that were finally reduced to the tracks that appear on the album.

Both musically and lyrically there is an accordion of tension and release throughout the record. We feel that the album takes you on a journey that has unexpected twists, turns and revelations. It’s both a comfortable and uncomfortable journey, where one track goes into another and sometimes those transitions are smooth and others time jarring. Thanks for listening.” (Spin)

Jake Meginsky

Originally hailing from Springfield, Massachusetts, experimental musician Jake Meginsky now lives and works between New York City and the arty suburb of Northhampton, MA. Invention is at the heart of Jake’s performances before he even strikes a note. He builds his own customised instruments and electronic circuitry, combining them with percussion, modular drum machines and sampling software. Constantly transgressing the boundaries between acoustic and electronic, analogue and digital, Jake floats with similar ease between performing, composing, sound installation and live scoring. In a dazzling array of projects, side projects, labels and collaborations, Jake has worked with everyone from Milford Graves and Bill Nace to nmperign and the Emergent Improvisation Ensemble. But whatever the nature of his output, improvisation is always the essence of Jake’s art. (Huck Magazine)

Travis Laplante & Peter Evans

Travis Laplante is a saxophonist, composer, and qigong healer living in Brooklyn, New York and southern Vermont. Laplante leads Battle Trance, the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet. He is also known for his solo saxophone work and his longstanding ensemble Little Women. Laplante has recently performed and/or recorded with Trevor Dunn, Ches Smith, Peter Evans, So Percussion, Gerald Cleaver, Michael Formanek, Buke and Gase, Darius Jones, Matt Maneri, and Matt Mitchell, among others. He has toured his music extensively and has appeared at many major international festivals throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. As a qigong student of master Robert Peng, Laplante has undergone traditional intensive training. His focus in recent years, under the tutelage of Laura Stelmok, has been on Taoist alchemical medicine and the cultivation of the heart. Laplante is passionate about the intersection of music and medicine. He and his wife are the founders of Sword Hands, a qigong and acupuncture healing practice based in Brooklyn, New York and Putney, Vermont.

Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improviser/composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works with an ever-expanding group of musicians and composers in the creation of new music. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Quintet and the Zebulon trio. In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2002 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of the cooperative groups Pulverize the Sound (with Mike Pride and Tim Dahl) and Rocket Science (with Evan Parker, Craig Taborn and Sam Pluta) and is constantly experimenting and forming new configurations with like minded players. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Artist Program, and the Doris Duke Foundation for the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival. Evans has presented and/or performed his works at major festivals worldwide and tours his own groups extensively. He has worked with some of the leading figures in new music: John Zorn, Kassa Overall, Jim Black, Weasel Walter, Levy Lorenzo, Nate Wooley, Steve Schick, Mary Halvorson, Joe McPhee, George Lewis, and performs with both ICE and the Wet Ink Ensemble. He has been releasing recordings on his own label, More is More, since 2011.

Wanda Group

Louis Johnstone’s Wanda Group project has been making a growing name for itself across the course of this year. With a quick-fire succession of cryptically titled records, accompanied with gray scale collage artwork built from images of fragmented rock, he’s established a particular aesthetic that’s both unique and tough to pin down. Certain elements coincide with the styles and ideals of musique concrete, or artists like Joseph Hammer, Atrax Morgue and the school of industrial/experimental/minimal cassettes that cropped up in the late 80s and early 90s. But throwing names to see what sticks seems a little at odds with the nourishing aspect at the heart of Wanda Group, a certain verisimilitude that sidesteps overt abstraction towards something more beautiful.

His tracks are complex, intimate structures: webs of samples stripped of their original setting, closely examined, then messily smeared and reapplied into radically new shapes. The overall approach and final appearance is closer to papier-mache than any traditional style of production. Jar Moff seems a kindred spirit of sorts – and indeed they share a connection through Matthew David’s LA-based Leaving Records, with Johnstone having previously released a more hip-hop orientated spate of work on the label as Dem Hunger. Both have worked visually, primarily through collage, and both share musical techniques that extend those approaches into a musical medium.

Wanda Group’s work so far has both cropped up on an enviable list of labels – NNA Tapes, Further Records, Opal Tapes, Woetone, Vlek – and been fired out onto his own ‘UMBRO G’ bandcamp, always up for grabs for a couple of quid at most. Perhaps his highest profile release, PISS FELL OUT LIKE SUNLIGHT first emerged on cassette late last year via Opal Tapes (it has since been pressed onto vinyl) and proved an enticing step forwards for the artist. Over two sides, a delightful network of small forms were laid out in a sequence not dissimilar from that of a mixtape. The softest, most porous of his work to date, it sounded chiseled from rock as crumbled and aerated as that found on the artwork.

Also worth noting is his obtuse and fascinating use of Twitter as a space for stream-of-consciousness wittering, going above and beyond that which you’d expect of the medium. It’s a weird and disorienting mix of humour, observation, the everyday and an almost poetic formation of words. Sly track and record titles give you a hint of it, but the effect is scaled up here – an artist crossing boundaries between ‘weird’ Twitter and art. Particularly fascinating is a series of spontaneous meanderings from not long ago, discussing a hypothetical Resident Advisor review of so-called ‘Outsider House’ in relation to his weekly ASDA shop. All darkly knowing, wonderfully eloquent and faintly ridiculous.

It seems the Dublin-based Opal Tapes label has settled in for a long-term relationship with Wanda Group. Sitting amongst a varied roster of musicians that look to break apart the atomic framework of electronic music – especially dance music – through explorations of noise and collage, it’s a great spot for him. This Friday Johnstone will be debuting a hitherto unseen Wanda Group performance at a showcase for Opal Tapes and Public Information at London’s Waiting Room, courtesy of BleeD. It’s a potentially radical new space for the project that offers its own particular challenges. (Quietus)

Guerilla Toss

Ecstatic, vital, and brilliantly unhinged, Guerilla Toss promotes positive energy and twisted spirituality through the less-traveled path of brutal, intelligent, live rock and roll dance music. Like a hurricane of healing bliss, a Guerilla Toss concert is more of a ritual than a performance. It is the unique pairing of musical voices and backgrounds that makes Guerilla Toss such a special party band. But they are more than that – GT gets real when you pay close attention. Their music is inspired by both tragedy and beauty, drug addiction/mental illness and the re-birth of the soul through spiritual practice and psychedelic drug healing – helping the listener overcome these mind-fuck hardships.

GT had a productive 2015, releasing their acclaimed DFA debut Flood Dosed, which cemented support from folks ranging from punk icon Henry Rollins to Busy P of Justice’s Ed Banger Records. The band also relocated from Boston to NYC. “We felt like it was time to move closer to our favorite active bands and artists and they all just so happen to live in NYC!” This didn’t slow the pace of their live performances – between road trips to universities and DIY Festivals, they have a de-facto residency at Brooklyn’s premiere underground venue Palisades and scored opening slots for The Juan Maclean and Mission of Burma.

“Eraser Stargazer” was written and recorded in 6 weeks of winter isolation in upstate New York. Fans of the group will hear all of the beloved hallmarks of the Guerilla Toss sound – solid bass grooves, squealing guitars, and kitchen sink percussion. Each instrument now occupies its own part of the audio spectrum, with vocalist/poet Kassie Carlson’s spirited incantations brought into focus. Album centerpiece Grass Shack is a perfect example of this leaner, yet tougher Toss. It traverses nearly seven minutes of game-show-winner keyboard stabs, mutant funk basslines, and time signature changes – all grounded by Peter Negroponte’s virtuosic drumming. Carlson describes the themes of the song as “A deep analytical depiction of a small unit of time, with heightened senses, Ripping yourself out of bed even though it might be harsh and overwhelming. Seeing patterns in the little things that make life beautiful.” Heavy subject matter permeates the rest of the record – but that doesn’t mean it’s a downer. Lead single “Diamond Girls” casts Carlson as a no-wave cheerleader over instrumentation reminiscent of DFA alumni Black Dice and The Rapture, culminating in the group’s catchiest chorus yet. Album closer “Doll Face On The Calico Highway” is the perfect summation – angular guitars, bells, and low-end vibrations interject and decompose as quickly as they appear, until a hissing cymbal is all that remains.

Qasim Naqvi

Qasim Naqvi is a drummer, composer, producer and one of the founding members of the group Dawn of Midi. The band’s most recent album “Dysnomia,” which has recently been re-released on the UK-based label Erased Tapes, has received worldwide acclaim. “Dysnomia” has been featured in The New Yorker’s year-end list of best albums, NPR’s year end list of best albums, Rolling Stone Magazine, Interview Magazine, Pitchfork Magazine, Radiolab, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Spin Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. When he is not touring with DOM, he composes music for film, dance, theater and chamber ensembles both domestically and abroad.

Qasim’s soundtracks and arrangements for film have appeared on HBO, NBC, PBS, The Sundance Channel, The New York Times, The Tribeca Film Festival, The Academy Awards, The Sundance Film Festival, dOCUMENTA 13 and others. He has written works for the yMusic Ensemble, Now Ensemble, The Loos Ensemble, The New Century Players, The Contemporary Music Ensemble of NYU and Nimbus Dance Works. Future collaborations for 2016 include premieres for Yarn and Wire, The London Contemporary Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tigue and others.

He has completed fellowships at Harvest Works, Art Omi, Akademie Schloss Solitude and Steim. Awards include grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Chamber Music America. Qasim holds a Bachelors Degree in Performance from Mannes College of Music (1999) and a Masters Degree in Composition and Performance from the California Institute of the Arts (2008). He studied composition with Wolfgang Von Schweinitz, James Tenney, Michael Jon Fink, Anne LeBaron and Marc Sabat. Qasim is also on faculty at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Patrick Higgins

Described by The New Yorker magazine as one of the “prime movers of the local avant-garde”, and an “exacting avant-classical guitarist” by TimeOut NY, Patrick Higgins is a New York based composer/performer of experimental music. Higgins has composed works for some of the nation’s leading ensembles, ranging from chamber orchestra works, percussion cycles, and string quartets to smaller ensembles and soloists. He has scored works for television, museum exhibitions, and films both short-form and feature-length. Higgins plays guitar and composes in ZS, hailed by the New York Times as “one of the strongest avant-garde bands in New York.”

As a soloist, he performs both classical acoustic and electric guitar in genre-bending contexts, utilizing extended technique and electronic processing. A work of “visionary […] master-craftsmanship on guitar” (Tiny Mix Tapes), his record of quadraphonic guitar compositions STEREO was named to the Best of 2012 by Impose Magazine, and his electro-acoustic project Bachanalia has received numerous plaudits for its re-interpretation of the Baroque master’s work. A unique double LP of Higgins’ String Quartet No.2 and its electro-acoustic “remix” Glacia is out on Ex Cathedra Records – called “stunning” by Experimedia. Social Death Mixtape – a record of assorted experimental composition, is now available on NNA Records. Patrick Higgins’ music has been performed internationally in over 20 countries, including performances at some of the world’s leading concert venues and music festivals: Unsound Festival (Poland), Merkin Concert Hall (Ecstatic Music Fest), Issue Project Room, Roulette, The Stone, 92Y Tribeca, (le) Poisson Rouge, Tribeca Film Festival, Big Ears Festival, ICA Boston, Hopscotch Festival, Club Unit (Tokyo), Vacant Gallery (Tokyo), Donau Festival (Austria), Incubate (Netherlands), Berghain (Germany), Magazin 4 (Belgium), Sonic (France), Puxian Grand Theater (China), Art Basel, The Queens Museum NY, Paula Cooper Gallery and many more.

Upcoming projects and collaborations include a new record of solo guitar and sampled percussion, a premiere of string quartet no.3 by the Mivos Quartet, a new long form composition for Vicky Chow, a forthcoming record of Bach’s lute music, some hand-bound editions of scores, and an on-going project of nomadic symphonic works with Nuit Blanche NY.

Olivia Block

Olivia Block is a media artist and composer. Her body of work includes sound recordings, audio-visual installations, performances, sound design for cinema, and scores for orchestra and chamber music concerts.

Over the last twenty years, Block has pioneered the utilization of audio field recordings and found materials in the realms of music and sound art. She combines field recordings, chamber instruments and electronic textures, resulting in mysterious and vivid electroacoustic sound pieces including Pure Gaze, Mobius Fuse, Karren, and others. Block creates multimedia installations and performances utilizing found sounds from micro cassette tapes, field recordings, video, and curated 35mm slides.

Block’s work reflects her interests in site specificity, ethnographic sound, architectural sound, and found/archival materials from the 1950’s-1990’s
Her work with expanded cinema and film artists has led to interests related to cinema sound, and visual phenomena like shadows and reflections.

Block has developed a body of partially-improvised compositions for inside-piano with various materials, including metal pieces and shards of broken glass. Her scores for orchestra and chamber instruments emphasize timbre and dynamics. Her most recent orchestral pieces include portions of “easy listening” inspired music from the 1970’s, playing underneath recordings of room ventilation, white noise and commercial spaces like malls.

Her solo performances include partially improvised pieces for electronics, amplified objects, and piano, presented in a slow and deliberate gestural style that Steve Smith of the New York Times described recently as having “palpable sensations of volition and emotional involvement.”

Block has performed, premiered and exhibited her work throughout Europe, America, and Japan in tours in festivals including Incubate (Tilburg), Festival del Bosque Germinal (Mexico City), Sonic Light (Amsterdam),Kontraste (Krems), Dissonanze (Rome), Archipel (Geneva) Angelica (Bologna), Sunoni per il Popolo (Montreal), and many others. Additionally, she has presented work at the ICA (London), MCA (Chicago), La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, The Kitchen (NYC), ISSUE Project Room Experimental Intermedia (Brooklyn), and TIFF (Toronto).

She has completed residencies and premiered works at Mills College of Music, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Berklee College of Music. Block has presented talks at additional universities in film, music, media arts, and anthropology departments, including Yale University, University of Chicago, and Indiana University.

Block has created sound installations for public sites and exhibition spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, CONTEXT (Miami and NY), Millennium Park (Chicago), the library at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the Lincoln Conservatory Fern Room (Chicago), and at the “Echoes Through the Mountains” exhibit at the 2006 Winter Olympics (Turin, Italy).

Her 2013 LP/download release, Karren (Sedimental, 2013) was chosen as “Best of 2014″ by The Wire, Pitchfork, and Artforum, among other publications. She was selected as a 2014 “Person of the Year” in the Chicago Reader. Aberration of Light, her latest solo release, is now available on NNA tapes. She recently completed her large-scale multi-speaker sound installation, Sonambient Pavilion, in Chicago’s Millennium Park, utilizing sounds from Harry Bertoia’s Sonambient sculptures. She is currently working on several projects, including a multi-speaker presentation of her forthcoming release, Dissolution (Glistening Examples), and pieces for piano and organ. Olivia Block is based in Chicago.


Drainolith is Alexander Moskos, best known as first-chair guitar in the formalist rock group AIDS Wolf but also a member of Montreal’s forward thinking electronic music scene. Moskos has spent the last decade touring and recording with a number of different outfits often playing modified consumer electronics and analog synthesizers.

With Drainolith, Moskos is finally in the realm of song-form, albeit with a polyrhythmic undertow and woozy vocal style. All of Drainolith’s material is performed live, with no backing tapes, samplers sequencers or arpeggiators. Moskos plays foot triggered drum synths, keyboard or guitar and modified cross-patched disco mixers. Moskos has released material on American Tapes, NNA, Deception Island and Wagon. The new Drainolith 7″ You Paid For It b/w Deepwater No Cars is out now on Montreal’s own Psychic Handshake and an LP on Spectrum Spools will be ready for release in early 2012. (Last FM)

Wei Zhongle

Wei Zhongle was born in a midwestern oasis, out of a love of traditional Chinese court music and general esotericism. Now they make pop music. Led by guitarist & vocal gymnast Rob Jacobs, Wei Zhongle has had four differing line-ups over five albums released with avant-taste-makers like NNA Tapes, Hairy Spider Legs, and New Atlantis. Through relentless touring and an arcane intuitiveness, their sounds have evolved from the angular meditations of their self-titled debut to the murky architecture of Raised High/Brought Low to the hypnotic ecstasy of Nu Trance. Along the way, they’ve picked up glowing endorsements from The Wire, Consequence of Sound, Impose, The Quietus, Tiny Mix Tapes, and others.

Kid Millions

John Colpitts ( aka Kid Millions) founded and play the drums in Oneida, People of the North, and Man Forever. He writes things occasionally for Talkhouse. He has played drums with Yo La Tengo, Boredoms, Spiritualized, Laurie Anderson, Damo Suzuki, So Percussion, Michael Daves, Lia Ices, Glenn Kotche, Akron Family, Samara Lubelski, Lee Ranaldo, Glockabelle, Silver Apples, J Spaceman, Marnie Stern, Ex Models and William Basinski (among others).


What happens when you get “too good” at your instrument? Some go straight for free-jazz, jumping into a solo career to create a “big name” that will eventually collaborate with other “big names” in the improvisation world. Free experimentation with other skilled musicians becomes procedural — the task being to converse virtuosically with your instrument in a variety of different formats, honing in on loose concepts or musical goals. Another option might be to eventually attempt a reconciliation of instrumental skill with the greater pantheon of art history, a history that may or may not involve jazz. In this case, the talented player embarks to apply their instrument to other mediums, to create works that abandon the moniker of the virtuoso. Perhaps I’m making a conjecture, but VaVatican’s particular brand of NYC post-instrumentalism demonstrates a group of players who are so damn good at playing their instruments, they’re nearly bored with standard improvisational flaunt. Instead, they’ve more in common with staged performance, with theater, with constructing fragmented anti-narratives through their instruments. They may align more with Beckett than Coltrane. (TMT, by SCVSCV)

Sediment Club

“Lost at the end of a long sewage canal, we found spray painted hearts with our initials in it. we immediately drank the juice and discovered that tons of enchantment parchments were lying beneath our feet. we are now utilizing the spells one day at time against the scurrying rodents that lie before us.”

Horse Lords

Founded at the turn o’ the ‘teens by Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums), Horse Lords quickly established themselves as avant-heavies with the two extended tracks of their powerful self-titled debut (Ehse Records, 2012). Playing custom electric guitars and basses refretted by Gardner, the band’s rolling polyrhythms chime with the strange and distinct harmonies of just intonation inspired by the master La Monte Young and other heroes. Where the earliest Horse Lords releases, also including Hidden Cities (NNA Tapes, 2014) concentrated on linear performance, a trio of Mixtape cassettes (self-released, 2012-2014) pointed the way towards the newest turn in the Horse Lords saga. (Northern Spy)


PHORK (a.k.a. P.H.O.R.K., standing for “People’s Higher Order of Royal Kinship”) is the Los Angeles-based producer of mutant techno Neal Reinalda. Since 2012 Reinalda has dropped several album-length cassette releases, showcasing a hi-def, abstract form of footwork, heavy on vocal snippets. PHORK succeeds in injecting a warmth and humanity into dance music that is wholly original, keeping a global influence in its sampling studies, while receiving guidance from the worlds of noise, hip-hop, ambient, and sound art.

Laplante / Dunn / Smith

Trevor Dunn:
1968: Born traversing a fine line between hippies and rednecks behind the redwood curtain. first musical affinities: the beach boys, blondie, cheap trick, kiss. first television: ultraman, speedracer, bugs bunny. first films: over the edge, the mouse and his child, snoopy come home, bedknobs & broomsticks. first books: zylpha Keatly Snyder’s “Witches of worm”, “The Velvet Room” and “the Headless Cupid”.

1977: Began studies on clarinet.

1981: Began studies on electric bass and subsequently quit the clarinet as i realized that girls would now talk to me.

1986: The same year that Lynch’s blue velvet and Slayer’s reign in blood were released, graduated from EHS. the school’s motto: “pigs live in litter, loggers live in pride”. started a band called Mr. Bungle. then i got a job at shakey’s pizza. began classical technique studies on the contrabass.

1990: Graduated from humboldt state university after studying the likes of harry partch, iannis xenakis, Alban Berg, Igor Stravinksy, Gustav Mahler, J.S. Bach, you know, all the cats. Also performed Koussevitsky’s Concerto for Double Bass with the HSO.

1992: First Mr. Bungle record released on Warner Bros. Moved to SF and two months later embarked on the first MB tour of the US. At the age of 24 I was one of the oldest people in the van. For the next eight years played lots of weddings and restaurants between tours with MB. Learned a lot about music playing with Connah, Goldberg, Schott, Kavee, Amendola, Greenlief, et al.

2000: Relocated to Brooklyn, NYC.

Currently playing in various projects under the direction of John Zorn (Nova Quartet, Dreamers, Electric Masada, Aleph Trio). The Nels Cline Singers, Curtis Hassel bring’s New Mellow Edwards, Melvins Lite, Endangered Blood, Tomahawk, The Darius Jones Quartet & Erik Friedlander’s Bonebridge. I still have plans for my own bands: trio-convulsant, PROOF Readers and Mad Love; and I continue to write music for independent films, practice long tones, pine over Daisy Lowe and drink shitty beer in heavy metal saloons. (home website)

Ches Smith:
Percussionist, drummer, and composer Ches Smith is a forward-thinking, genre-bending musician with a bent toward experimental and avant-garde improvisation. Born in San Diego, Smith grew up in the Sacramento area, where he became interested in music in his teens, playing with a variety of punk, metal, and avant-garde jazz groups. After high school, he attended the University of Oregon, where he studied philosophy before relocating to San Francisco in the mid-’90s. Once in the Bay Area, Smith spent several years playing in bands and studying privately with percussionist Peter Magadini before enrolling in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland. While at Mills, he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition under the tutelage of such luminaries as William Winant, Fred Frith,Pauline Oliveros, and Alvin Curran. It was during this period that Smith got his first big break, subbing for Winant as the touring drummer for Mr. Bungle, an association that also led to his joining Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant. Since leaving Mills, Smith has developed into an in-demand collaborator and sideman, splitting his time between performances with noise rock acts like Xiu Xiu and Secret Chiefs 3 as well as playing with cutting-edge musicians like Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield,Tim Berne, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, and others.

As a solo artist, Smith made his debut with Congs for Brums in 2006, followed by Finally Out of My Hands with his group These Arches in 2010. Two years later, he delivered the solo percussion and electronics album Psycho Predictions, played on Berne’s Snakeoil for ECM (his third date with this band) and Darius Jones’ Book of Mae’Bul: Another Kind of Sunrise from AUM Fidelity.

2013 proved a prolific year for Smith as a sideman. He played on recordings by Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson, Matt Mitchell and Berne, as well as Secret Chiefs 3’s Book of Souls: Folio A. This band issued Ishraqiyun the following year as well as Ches Smith’s These Arches’ release, International Hookah. 2015 found the drummer working again on recordings by and with Berne, Jones and Halvorson.

Smith made his label debut as a leader on ECM with the trio date The Bell in January of 2016. His sidemen were pianist, Craig Taborn and violist Mat Maneri. (All Music)

Travis Laplante:
Travis Laplante is a saxophonist, composer, and qigong healer living in Brooklyn, New York and southern Vermont. Laplante leads Battle Trance, the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet. He is also known for his solo saxophone work and his longstanding ensemble Little Women. Laplante has recently performed and/or recorded with Trevor Dunn, Ches Smith, Peter Evans, So Percussion, Gerald Cleaver, Michael Formanek, Buke and Gase, Darius Jones, Matt Maneri, and Matt Mitchell, among others. He has toured his music extensively and has appeared at many major international festivals throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. As a qigong student of master Robert Peng, Laplante has undergone traditional intensive training. His focus in recent years, under the tutelage of Laura Stelmok, has been on Taoist alchemical medicine and the cultivation of the heart. Laplante is passionate about the intersection of music and medicine. He and his wife are the founders of Sword Hands, a qigong and acupuncture healing practice based in Brooklyn, New York and Putney, Vermont.

Great Valley

Nestled in the lush greenery of southern Vermont on the banks of the Connecticut river, lies the bizarre haven of Brattleboro, home to the chivalrous rock and roll duo Great Valley. Comprised of Peter Nichols and Jo Miller-Gamble, Great Valley have been kind enough to bestow their latest opus, “Lizards of Camelot”, to their northern neighbors up here at NNA. “Lizards” manages to cross over from a mere concept album into what we would call more of a “journey” album, by creating a vivid tale of a reptilian-led escapade through lands unknown. Peter and Jo weave this folklore with the classical palette of guitar, drums, vocals and keyboard, resulting in a warbly, technicolor flavor of rock that stands alone in terms of sonics and atmosphere. Tastefully twangy guitar lines flutter out over fat organ bass lines and ultra locked-in drum beats, with a unique concoction of bombastic drum triggers and synthesizer filigree bringing it all together. At times resembling The Cure playing a heated game of D&D, “Lizards” mixes up all the tastiest facets of rock into a cohesive whole, with elements of New Wave, progressive rock, surf guitar shred, and classic Sixties psychedelia all thrown into the mix. Peter’s slithery, love-soaked crooning narrates the adventure, like a bard’s song unfolding over a technical assemblage of rock-blocks. The strong, groove-laden songwriting is reinforced with warped, nitrous baloney interludes melting throughout, with plenty of digital flutes, chimes, and keyboard solos accentuating the odyssey. While hard to categorize, “Lizards Of Camelot” is soaked through with the unmistakable “Brattleboro sound”, fitting in nicely alongside like-minded freaky friends such as Blanche Blanche Blanche, Happy Jawbone Family Band, Chris Weisman, Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth, Big French and so on, many of whom have lent loving contributions to these recordings. Although DIY at heart, “Lizards” has all the makings of a well-conceived and executed proper Album, assembled at home by pouring imagination into an 8-track, like a punk mentality shining through a Brian Wilson-esque lens to create the ultimate bedroom fantasy. (bandcamp)

Astral Social Club

“Neil Campbell is a one-man subculture. In 30 years of music-making in various configurations of improvised rock, psychedelia and electronics, he has released hundreds of hours of recordings, mainly in micro-editions of home-produced cassette, CD or mp3, and collaborated endlessly with a global network of musicians that have fallen through the cracks of genre or stylistic allegiance. Since separating from Leeds-based guitar drone group Vibracathedral Orchestra in 2006, he has mainly concentrated on his activities as Astral Social Club.” (Joe Muggs, the arts desk)

Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier

Félicia Atkinson (born 1981 in Paris) graduated with Honors from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and has also studied anthropology and contemporary dance (at BOCAL project with Boris Charmatz in 2003).

She is a visual artist, an experimental musician and the co-publisher of the independent imprint Shelter Press/curatorial platform Argument with Bartolomé Sanson.

She has exhibited her work worldwide, including at Komplot (Brussels), Bozar (Brussels), MUCA ROMA (Mexico D.F), Overgaden (Copenhagen), Lieu Commun/ Printemps de Septembre (Toulouse), Rinomina (Paris), Land and sea (Oakland), Chert Gallery (Berlin), and Joseph Tang Gallery (Paris), among others. In Spring and Summer 2016, she will present work at Last Resort Gallery and Kunsthalle Charlottenborg in Copenhagen; Et Al. etc in San Francisco; Bonelli Gallery in Milano; and Hectoliter in Brussels.

As musician and sound artist, she has performed at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Cinema Tonala in Mexico D.F, Maison de France in Rio de Janeiro, Wiels in Brussels, MOCA in Los Angeles, Rewire Festival in Den Hague, and Borderline Festival in Athens, among others. She has published more than 15 records on various labels (including Shelter Press, Aguirre, Umor-rex, NNA Tapes, and Peak Oi) and a series of books with her own imprint, Shelter Press.

Her works deals mostly with the topics of improvisation, audio, fiction, instant composition, noise, landscape, abstraction and poetry.

Her paintings, drawings, sculpture, texts, installations, performances, and musical compositions are mostly abstract and are fed by multiples expeditions to many places such as Finland, Brazil, Mexico, Brittany and most often the American West, where she collect sounds, objects, materials and other diverse materials to her visual and sound works.


Ben Greenberg (formerly of the Men) began Hubble in 2011 as a solo guitar project extended from his prior work with avant-rock band Zs and punk-fuck band Pygmy Shrews. Relying on virtuosic guitar techniques more in line with metal shredders or blues heroes than the experimental scene, Greenberg implemented finger-tapping and minimal use of pedals (no looping ever!) in his long-form compositions, setting him apart from legions of crescendo-building contemporaries. Since its inception, Hubble has released a cassette (Hubble Linger), an LP (Hubble Drums) and a 7 inch (Hubble Mingle).

Migrations in Rust

Migrations in Rust is the solo alias of New York musician Jesse Allen. He plays in atmospheric noise project Cowards, and hails from the same, defunct, Far Rockaways-based Red Light District scene that spawned the likes of Pharmakon and Yellow Tears. (The Fader)

Jason Lescalleet

Since establishing himself as a preeminent voice in contemporary electro-acoustic study, Jason Lescalleet has exploded the notion of what is possible within the realm of tape-based music. His recorded catalog acknowledges a diversity of application, from lo-fi reel-to-reel soundscaping and work for hand-held cassette machines, to digital sampling and computer generated composition. Lescalleet’s live actions further expand his ouevre to include work with video, dance, performance art and multi-media concerns.

In the past two decades, Lescalleet has gradually and painstakingly compiled a compelling discography on notable labels such as Erstwhile, RRR, Intransitive Recordings, Kye, Celebrate Psi-Phenomenon, Hanson Records, Chondritic Sound, and most recently via his own Glistening Examples imprint. He has collaborated with Kevin Drumm, Aaron Dilloway, Graham Lambkin, Phill Niblock, Joe Colley, John Hudak, Rafael Toral, Thomas Ankersmit, and CM Von Hausswolff, among others, and during this time he’s built a solid reputation for delivering a visceral live experience in concert.

He currently lives in Maine, where he operates the Glistening Examples publishing label and the Glistening Labs studio for audio recording and mastering services.

Nate Young

Detroit based Nate Young formed Wolf Eyes as a solo project a bit over fifteen years ago, probably right after he left Nautical Almenac. He was soon joined by Aaron Dilloway in ’98 and John Olson in 2000. Dilloway disappeared to Nepal and was replaced by Hair Police beast Mike Connelly.

Enough of the Wolf Eyes history lesson, we are now at 2009 and Young is releasing one of his strongest works ever, the deep and impressive Regression solo album on iDEAL! Analog synths, tape delays, loops – presented in a restrained, relaxed and controlled way. This makes the music even more sick and dark than the WE sound. I guess Young was inspired by vintage horror movie soundtracks, 70’s ambient synth stuff and intoxication. These things comes to my mind anyways. Nate Young is here proving that he is covering a wide range of experimental music and that he is no doubt one of the few masterminds in the rougher parts of electronic music. iDEAL is highly recommending this to anyone claiming to be interested in synth and tape music. (http://identity.teamrock.com/)

Justin Meyers

Justin Meyers is an experimental musician and visual artist residing in Minneapolis. His work spans the formats of video, sound, screen, & print, but maintains a strong minimal approach across all mediums while confronting the expectations shared amongst the performer and audience. Instruments and processes used in his sound work include commercial and home-built modular synthesizers, reel-to-reel tape machines, computer algorithms and arrangement, obfuscated natural sound events and field recordings. In an effort to create an outlet for his own work and like minded contemporaries he founded Sympathy Limited in 2014.

Freddy Ruppert

Freddy Ruppert writes, composes, and records in Prague. His work often deals with circular themes of self-sabotage, the failure of body with the failure of memory, and the outward expression of grief in the public realm.

Blanche Blanche Blanche

Blanche Blanche Blanche were an experimental pop group centered around songwriters Sarah Delaney Smith and Zach Phillips, with contributions from several additional musicians during live performances. Their hyperkinetic home-recorded tunes combined complex arrangements played on chintzy old keyboards with Smith’s deadpan yet sentimental vocals, all delivered with a healthy dose of absurdity. Initially based in Brattleboro, Vermont, the duo first collaborated as Sord, releasing a few cassettes on Phillips’ OSR Tapes label beginning in 2007. BBB’s first release was Songs of Blanche Blanche Blanche, a cassette issued by Night People in 2011. The 7″ single “Talk Out Loud” also appeared on Feeding Tube Records that year. The group’s first vinyl LP, Wink with Both Eyes, appeared on Night People in April of 2012, and received a considerable amount of acclaim from indie music websites and blogs. The restlessly creative group released several more albums that year, including Papas Proof (La Station Radar), one-sided LP 2wice 2wins and Our Place (both on Feeding Tube), and Open Session Rock (on OSR Tapes).

Following these releases, the group switched to a full-band sound, embracing guitars and live drums, and their music had more of a paranoid punk edge to it, but with the group’s usual Zappa-inspired knotty arrangements. The 7″ single “Scam” (credited to B B B and the Birds of Paradise) appeared on German label Adagio830 in early 2013. Wooden “Ball” appeared on Vermont-based NNA Tapes that March; the album still retained their keyboard-based sound, but with tighter musicianship and slightly more socially conscious lyrics. The group relocated to Brooklyn and recorded Breaking Mirrors, their first studio recording as well as the first album by the group’s full-band lineup. BBB contributed to Fits & Starts, an album by percussionist David Van Tieghem, which was released by RVNG Intl. The band recorded its final full-length, Hints to Pilgrims, in Brooklyn; mastered by Kramer, the album appeared on OSR Tapes in 2014. The label also issued Termite Music, a two-hour cassette of live recordings and unreleased songs. Blanche Blanche Blanche ceased recording and performing in 2014, and Phillips continued to run OSR Tapes as an “offline” label through mail-order catalogs (although the label did continue to have an online presence). He also continued to release solo cassettes and produce/engineer recordings by other artists, and he contributed Wurlitzer piano to Jib Kidder’s Teaspoon to the Ocean. (AllMusic)

Anthony Child

Birmingham, England’s Anthony Child is best known for his work as Surgeon, a name that has become synonymous with hard, minimal, industrial-influenced techno through numerous well-regarded releases on labels such as Tresor, Soma, Downwards, and the artist’s own Dynamic Tension Records. However, he has occasionally produced more experimental works under his own name, owing more to his ambient and noise influences than to Detroit techno producers such as Jeff Mills and Robert Hood. Child began making music as a youth in the 1980s, and was part of a psychedelic space rock band called Blim in the early ’90s. He subsequently learned to DJ and started up a techno club with his friends called House of God. At the urging of Mick Harris(Scorn), Child began producing techno tracks, and his self-titled debut EP as Surgeon appeared on Downwards in 1994. After a few more EPs, full-length debut Communications surfaced on the same label in 1996, followed by Basictonalvocabulary (1997), Balance (1998), and Force + Form (1999), all on pioneering Berlin-based label Tresor, and often hailed as classics of the genre.

By this time, Child had begun to release more abstract experiments that vastly differed from his work as Surgeon. He collaborated with Harris in 1998, resulting in Live Berlin 98, a 70-minute CD excerpted from a two-hour performance, released under the project name Certain Beyond All Reasonable Doubt. That same year, Child collaborated with guitarist Andrew Read (also formerly of Blim) on a series of ambient improvisations. Two of these were released on vinyl by FatCat Records in 1999, as part of the label’s split 12″ series (Speedranch^Jansky Noise occupied the record’s flip side). Eventually, the duo’s Guitar Treatments full-length was released on CD by K2 O Records at the end of 2002. Child also released a split 7″ with Stock, Hausen & Walkman on the Slut Smalls label in 1999, as well as a 7″ titled Boys, School Showers & Swimming Pools, consisting of cassette recordings from the mid-’80s, on Downwards in 2000.

Sporadically contributing experimental pieces to compilations, in addition to continuing his work as Surgeon and other techno projects such as British Murder Boys (a collaboration with Karl O’Connor), Child released his first solo full-length under his given name in 2013. The Space Between People & Things, a 40-minute collage of field recordings and chilling synthesizer drones, was released by Vermont-based NNA Tapes. Two years later, Child moved to Editions Mego for the release of Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 1, a double album of unexpectedly warm, inviting modular synthesizer pieces recorded in Hawaii, complete with nature sounds.

Howard Stelzer

Howard Stelzer (b. 1974, New York) is a composer of electro-acoustic music. Almost all of his sounds are generated by, processed by, recorded onto and played back out of cassette tapes and consumer-grade tape players. He isn’t sure how most of these things work.

Stelzer operated the Intransitive Recordings label from 1997 until 2012. When he is not composing, Stelzer is a middle school math teacher in Lowell, MA, where he lives with his family in a big room behind a power plant.

Le Revelateur

Le Révélateur started in 2008 as a solo venture for Montreal-based electronic musician Roger Tellier-Craig. It has since then expanded into an audio-visual duo with the inclusion of video artist Sabrina Ratté in 2010. Together they explore a common fascination for the combination of electronic image and sound, using a varying array of digital and analogue technologies. They have performed extensively in Europe and North America, presenting their work at Museu Serralves in Porto, RIXC Festival in Riga, the Lampo series in Chicago, Resonate Festival in Belgrade, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Digital Quebec (Mutek/Elektra) in London, Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, Pop Montreal, Sight+Sound in Montreal, Send+Receive in Winnipeg, Micro Mutek in Barcelona, Mutek.Mx in Mexico, Mutek in Montreal, On Land in San Francisco, as well as touring through Europe with Black To Comm and No UFO’s in April/May 2015. They have also shared bills with Ben Frost, Robert A. A. Lowe, Pete Swanson, Caterina Barbieri, Pulse Emitter, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Steve Hauschildt, Forma, Xela, Ricardo Donoso, Oneohtrix Point Never, Greg Davis, Hair Police and many more.

Co La

When Baltimore’s experimental rock duo Ecstatic Sunshine called it a day, Matthew Papich traded his guitar for samples and Ableton Live, releasing his dreamy, loop-based music asCo La. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art who also works as an art handler, Papich released a slew of cassettes in 2011, including Rest in Paradise, Dial Tone Earth, and Fugitive of Leisure, the titles of which hint at the subversive playfulness and hypnotic lushness of his music. His first proper album, Daydream Repeater, also arrived in 2011 via NNA Tapes and used girl group pop, reggae, and exotica as some of its sources. On the 2012 EP Soft Power Memento, Papich drew from jazz and lounge samples, transforming them into tracks that were simultaneously more abstract and more immediate than some of his previous work. The following year, Co La released a split single with Jason Urick and the full-length Moody Coup, which was Papich’s debut for Software Records. Hegemony of Delete, a six-song mini-album inspired by the rhythms of work and leisure, appeared in 2014 on Primary Information. April 2015 saw the release of 1, the debut album of Papich’s collaboration with Beautiful Swimmers’ Max D, on the PAN label; that October, Co La’s No No, which drew inspiration from the breathless pace of the 24-hour news cycle and Baltimore club music, arrived.

Eli Keszler / Keith Fullerton Whitman

Eli keszler is a New York-based artist, composer and percussionist. His compositions and visual works examine the limits of instrumentation, notation, and space in its institutional, musical and public form.

Keszler’s sound installations, music and visual work have appeared at Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, the Kitchen, South London Gallery, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Harvard), Luma-foundation, Tectonics Festival (Harpa Hall) Reykjavik, Centraal museum in Utrecht, Boston Center for the Arts, Barbican-st. Lukes, 3s Arts and Greater New York at MOMA PS1. His writing and work has appeared in Bomb magazine, the New York Times, Wire magazine, Frieze and Modern Painters. He has released solo records for esp-disk, Pan and Rel Records with an upcoming release on empty editions from the empty gallery in Hong Kong. He has lectured as a visiting artist at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, New England Conservatory, Dartmouth University, Washington University, Mass Art, Umass Boston amongst others. He has received commissions from the Icelandic symphony orchestra, ice ensemble and so percussion. Keszler is a graduate of the New England conservatory of music in Boston, ma and is a 2016 New York foundations for the arts fellow.

Keith Fullerton Whitman is a musician currently based in Melbourne, VIC. Beginning in the early 90’s while working on a “Music Synthesis” Degree at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Keith began exploring electronic music’s many facets, eventually yielding dozens of recordings for influential labels such as Kranky, Editions Mego, PAN, Planet µ, Carpark, Room40, Amethyst Sunset, Amish, NNA Tapes, No Fun Productions, Agents of Chaos, Arbor, Digitalis Limited, Ekhein, Heavy Tapes, Rare Youth, Root Strata, and many more.

Dolphins Into the Future

Lieven Martens Moana (formerly Dolphins Into The Future) is seeking for a thorough aestheticism of the impression. Using analog and digital recording techniques, he creates a form of music that refers to both ethnomusicology and to sound art or modern classical composition. Resulting in a very contemporary dialect, live usually amplified by lectures and slide projections.

Lettera 22

Letters 22 is the duo of Italian sound artists Matteo Castro and Ricardo Mazza. As dedicated explorers of contemporary electro-acoustic sound, Lettera 22 combine archaic tape technology with modern electronic implementation to create tense compositions that uphold the history of mid-century musique concrete, as well as noise and industrial music of the 80s and 90s. Their sound is built with a heavy emphasis on texture and dynamics that yields stark and vivid results. Bred in the deep north east of Italy, Castro and Mazza are influenced by the contest of their everyday living in a place compressed between countries, mountains and factories; their sight points directly to men, machines, fields.


William Hutson is an electronic musician, writer, and academic. He is one third of the rap group Clipping, and has released solo recordings under the names Rale, Anthracite, and Tattered Syntax. He has collaborated with Jonathan Snipes on several film scores including the documentary Room 237. He holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from UCLA and writes for The Wire Magazine. (supdocpodcast.com)

Diamond Catalog

Diamond Catalog is a duo of Lala Conchita and Pat Maherr (Indignant Senility, Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting), whose debut LP ‘Magnified Palette’ was released by NNA Tapes in 2011.

Hex Breaker Quintet

As the first molecule was conceived, thus birthing the universe, a demon was born. For eons, the demon existed in a non-corporeal realm sustaining itself exclusively on the vibration semanating from the nebulae as they were consumed by black holes resulting from tears in the æther, which had been created by the violent birth of the universe.

After millions of sun cycles, these tears began to close and the demon found itself confronted with the possibility of having to dive into a new realm even further removed from the known universe. It filled its time with scheming and plotting. Constantly looking for ways to cross the void into the corporeal realm.

After many millennia of searching, the demon came upon an ancient writ detailing a method for transmogrification which would temporarily tear holes in the transdimensional fabric that kept the demon out of the physical universe. All it had to do was find willing conduits who would bring it into the known world via sonification.

It found these conduits in four humans who inhabited a small island on a seemingly insignificant planet orbiting a young sun. These four humans possessed unparalleled conjuration skills, and the demon found in them willing wards who would shepherd it out of the shrinking realm in which it was trapped. These four humans would give the demon safe passage, if only briefly, into the human realm via vibrations visited upon the ears of willing initiates who would carry small pieces of the demon with them.

However, the four were not so easily duped. They had always known of the demon’s motives and had, in fact, read the very same writ and knew that the only way to destroy this demon was to slowly parcel it out across thousands of initiates and eventually create a sonic prison once the demon was split evenly between the astral plane and the corporeal realm.

After a breaking the unwitting demon into thousands of pieces, the quartet was able to create an unhearable sonority that trapped the demon. No human ear could hear this sonority without risking becoming an even stronger conduit for the demon and potentially freeing it. After many hours of fortifying the prison with tritone and tonnetz modulations, they were able to imprison the demon permanently.

At this point, the quartet became a trio as the voudon gnostic mystic among them migrated with a sun priestess to a new realm closer to an astral rift where they could found the new Crow Hill Gnostic Temple and better probe the serpent mysteries that bound their realm. The remaining members began the long and arduous process of destroying the remaining pieces of the demon, which they had spread far and wide.


Quicksails is the moniker of Ben Billington’s densely layered solo electronic music. Influenced by the Kosmische school of krautrock and the organ works of minimalists Terry Riley and J.D. Emmanuel, Billington conjures abstract synth-scapes, hypnotic loops and textured atmospheres punctuated by rhythmic pulses. His background in free jazz and world percussion also lends a heavy hand to create a truly unique project that sets itself apart from the vast synthesizer music underground of today. Billington’s debut vinyl offering Silver Balloons In Clusters (2012) was released through Under the Spire Records. The newest album Mayville Dream (2013) was released by Spectrum Spools, the label curated by John Elliott (of Emeralds) as an off-shoot of Peter Rehberg’s Editions Mego. His solo music has also been released through Deception Island, Digitalis Limited, Discriminate Music, and NNA Tapes.

Along with his bands Tiger Hatchery, ADT and Moonrises…Billington has been lucky enough to also collaborate with the likes of Rhys Chatham, John Olson, David Daniell, Ryley Walker, Josh Abrams, Jeff Parker, Paul Flaherty, Circuit des Yeux, Wasteland Jazz Unit, Ettrick, Akkolyte, Nathan Bell, Chris Grier, many more.

Laurel Halo

Heavy, mutilated strains of electronic music with influence from the sounds of Detroit, UK and Germany – Laurel Halo’s music is a shapeshifting mess, moody and ecstatic, with flashes of rhythmic brilliance mediated by modal simplicity. The Michigan-born and Berlin-based artist has released both instrumental and vocal-driven records on the London-based label Hyperdub. Laurel also hosts a monthly show on Berlin Community Radio, having originally cut her teeth as a freeform DJ on the legendary WCBN-FM station in Ann Arbor, MI. She has collaborated with John Cale, Julia Holter, David Borden, Daniel Wohl and NH’Koxyen/Terepa, and has recorded a cover of the late folk singer, Karen Dalton, on a Tompkins Square compilation. Her most recent record is a double-pack for the London-based label Honest Jon’s. (Little Big)

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is the duo of Matt Carlson (modular synthesizer) and Jonathan Sielaff (bass clarinet), two musicians who blur the line between sounds created electronically and acoustically. The pair formed Golden Retriever in 2008 and began to develop a language informed by the practices of free improvisation as well as the tradition of American experimental electronic composers like Alvin Curran & David Behrman. Golden Retriever creates music that is creatively challenging and structurally complex while remaining inviting and emotionally dynamic rather than adopting a confrontational stance toward the listener.


Aguirre is a new handle for Elon Katz (White Car) and Gryphon Myers to cover their curious fusions of moody IDM, Electro and fractal digitalic processing. It’s wildly removed from Elon’s White Car releases, but was apparently pieced together between 2006-2010, which means it likely preceded his more stylish, zeitgeist friendly sound. We’re not sure of Gryphon Myers’ background, but evidently the pair have spent a lot of time absorbing old skool IDM from the catalogues of Planet Mu, Skam, Rephlex etc, hence the hectic beat programming and chaotic sense of melody catalyising these twelve tracks. (Boomkat)

Ken Seeno

Ken Seeno (born 1985) is an experimental guitarist from Baltimore and a member of the band Ponytail. He began his solo career in 2010 opening live for experimental band Yeasayer. In early 2011 he released his first studio material on cassette. “Invisible Surfer on an Invisible Wave” on NNA Tapes in January, followed by “Open Window” on Water Color Cassettes & Tapes in February.

Three Legged Race

Robert Beatty is a Lexington, Kentucky based artist and musician. His multi-disciplinary work in the fields of drawing, digital art, sculpture, video, graphic design, and sound often use outmoded technology to yield organic results. Beatty performs experimental electronic music as Three Legged Race and is a founding member of psychedelic noise band Hair Police. Much of his recent work has been executed under the banner of the Resonant Hole, a mutant music/video art collective. Over the past several years Beatty has created album art and posters for countless musical artists in the worldwide underground.

Julia Holter

Los Angeles-based composer/multi-instrumentalist Julia Holter blurs the boundaries between indie music, modern composition, and electronic music in her own work as well as her collaborations, which include work with Nite Jewel’s Ramona Gonzalez and underground folk icon Linda Perhacs. Holter grew up in a musically inclined family — her father is a guitarist who once played with Pete Seeger — and studied electronic music at CalArts.

After graduation, she began releasing music at a prolific rate: in 2008, she contributed tracks to Monika’s 4 Women No Cry, Vol. 3 as well as a Human Ear compilation and released the CD-R album Cookbook on Sleepy Mammal Sound. The following year, Holter began working with the Dublab collective, appearing on a volume of their In the Loop series of vinyl compilations and performing with the Linda Perhacs Band. The fruits of another one of her projects, phonetically translating songs performed in languages other than English, were on display on 2010’s “Why Sad Song,” her interpretation of a Burmese lament that appeared on the Beater blocker #2 collection (which also featured tracks by Keith Fullerton Whitman and Eluvium). That year, Holter also released the CD-R Celebration on Engraved Glass Records and a collection of live recordings on NNA Tapes. However, all of this activity was just a warm-up for her first full-fledged album, 2011’s Tragedy, which was released by Leaving Records.

Inspired by Euripides’ play Hippolytus, the album melded tweaked electronics with classical and pop elements that earned critical acclaim from avant and underground music publications, both online and in print. Soon after Tragedy’s release came Ekstasis, a lighter and more accessible but still complex song cycle that arrived in March 2012. By the time of that album’s release, Holter already had a third album, tentatively titled Gigi, waiting in the wings. On top of her busy music schedule, she also found time to tutor teenagers in South Central L.A. as part of a non profit organization. Her third album, Loud City Song, was inspired by Colette’s 1944 novella Gigi and arrived in August 2013. On 2015’s Have You in My Wilderness, she took a more intimate, accessible approach that put her vocals front and center.

Pulse Emitter

Pulse Emitter is the musical project of Daryl Groetsch, based in Portland, Oregon. He focuses on hyper-melodic synthesizer music that is calming and transportive. Since 2004, he has released albums on acclaimed labels such as Immune Recordings, Beer On The Rug, Constellation Tatsu, Ultra Eczema, Root Strata, NNA Tapes, and Aguirre Records, and has toured dates and festivals in Europe and North America. His music of late maintains a new age synthesizer styling which is frequently nature and science fiction inspired. Ever-evolving, the recent addition of field recordings and global acoustic elements has lent an imaginary/virtual reality world music atmosphere. Music critic David Keenan has said, “No one is making synth music that feels so organic, so rapturous and so ‘in tune’ with the contours of outer and inner space as Groetsch.”


Catacombs of electronic espionage from former Raccoo-oo-oon member Daren Ho.


Harmonizer is the new duo of Burlington, Vermont residents Greg Davis (Kranky, Carpark, Autumn Records) and Toby Aronson (NNA Tapes, RATS COPS). Future world sample-driven electronic synthesis, heavy rhythms, and total harmonizer worship.