Bring the Noise --Mike Rowell
The following is a by-no-means exhaustive sampling of Bay Area experimental musicians and resources. Most have recordings available for sale or, in some instances, trade (inquire first).
As for the airwaves, two radio shows -- "No Other Radio Network," at midnight Tuesdays on KPFA, and "Information Overload," at midnight Thursdays on KALX -- are devoted to experimental music, including local artists.
Auricular Records, 575 Haight, S.F. 94117. Your one-stop shop for the work of many local experimental musicians, including Big City Orchestra, Nux Vomica and Brook Hinton. Regular in-store performances provide artists with additional exposure. (In the East Bay, both Ameba and Rasputin have good-sized experimental sections, with some local products.)
Banned Productions, P.O. Box 323, Fremont, 94537. A primary source for product from local audio-anarchists AMK, G X Jupitter-Larsen, the Haters and others. Expect to have your musical preconceptions challenged.
The Bringdownz and National Disgrace, c/o Fred Rinne, 724 14th St. S.F. 94114 These performance-oriented Rinne-led noisefests feature homemade instruments like the Flatulator, a modified vacuum cleaner with a sound Rinne compares to "an elephant that's gone wild in a bean field." A Brindownz LP, Listen to Our Minds, is due out soon.
Charnel House Productions, P.O. Box 170277, S.F. 94117. Local experimental compilation Wakened by Silence, as well as works by local artists Allegory Chapel Ltd. and Trance, are available.
Crawling With Tarts, c/o ASP, 1155 5th St. Oakland, 94607-2548. Recommended listening for anyone who doesn't think they'd like "experimental music." Write for their catalogue of available product.
Foundation for Public Broadcasting, 3240 17th St. S.F., 94110. Performance-oriented multimedia project incorporating various unusual techniques in sound manipulation. Write to inquire about tapes or upcoming shows.
IAO Core, 1500 Park Ave #B-200, Emeryville, 94608. Although in remission at the moment, these local experimental stalwarts have several tapes available and are planning a CD release soon. Band leader John Ayres organizes an Abject and Unusual Film and Video Festival each year, featuring Bay Area experimental musicians.
Jesus Mosquito Music, 3527 Harrison #3, Oakland, 94611. Write for catalogues featuring tapes by Home Phlegm. A Limbic System, Confusion in a Jar and others.
Michael Mantra, c/o Tranquil Technology Music, P.O. Box 20463, Oakland, 94620. His Tibetan bell and "brain hemisphere synchronization" tapes share as much with New Age as they do with ambient experimental music, but they're pleasant, not cheesy, and anyone willing to call New Agers "spiritually dysfunctional flake-azoids" on record gets the benefit of the doubt.
Master/Slave Relationship. P.O. Box 191211, S.F., 94119. Over the past seven years, San Francisco's Debbie Jaffe has been combining her explicit S&M visions with experimental music ranging from brutal to blissful. having to be over 21 to order this stuff should give you a clue as to what to expect.
Para Coma, 1332 Monticello Ave, Oakland 94611. Using radio and television samples, effects, a variety of instruments and whatever else he can scavenge, this somewhat reclusive four-track artist has recorded some compelling tape collages. Not big on marketing his work, but he's probably amenable to selling you a tape.
PGR, c/o Silent Records and Distribution, 540 Alabama, Suite 315, S.F., 94110. PGR is the ongoing experimental music project of Silent President Kim Cascone; his current work is well described as "hyperminimal ambiences." Silent's also a good source for weird and wondrous noises from around the world.
Mike Shannon, Joy Street Studios, 18 Joy St. S.F., 94110. Shannon has been in the local experimental scene for years; in the late '70s he was in the Appliances, a group whose oeuvre involved amplified household conveniences. These days, he's liable to record "anything that has resonance," and markets his tapes through the mail. Write for catalogue.
Subterranean records, P.O. Box 2530, Berkeley, 94702. Label, distributor and mail order house. A good source of experimental music, local and other.
Taped Rugs Productions, c/0/ Charles Rice Goff III, 4312 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, 94609. Send for Mr. Goff's catalogue of some 40 high-quality home tapes from his largely improvisational projects, including Disism and Herd of the Ether Space. Often with political overtones, these tapes run the gamut in terms of structure and instrumentation.
Turbine Cassettes, P.O. Box 4585, Santa Clara, 95056. Small noise label and chief creative outlet for Anal Sadist, who accurately describes himself as a noise manipulator and general miscreant and annoyer. Write for a catalogue and be sure to mention Skinny Puppy.
Turbo Messiah, c/o Fidget Barn, 131 N. San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, 94903. Schizophrenic home tapists who range from experimental weirdness to industrial surf rock. They love mail.
Windowpain Industries, c/o Stephan Abbate, 457 Fillmore, S.F. 94117-3404. Abbate has two compilations featuring local experimental artists and a Windowpain 7-inch available for sale. --Mike Rowell
Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-14-95