February 23, 2017
'Archive 1993/1994’ is a collection of 20 tracks from Orphx, some completely unreleased and some that were rediscovered on rare cassettes from when Orphx was three members (Rich Oddie, Christina Sealey, and Aron West). The material will be released on Alessandro Adriani’s Mannequin Records (2x12") and Purient’s Hospital Productions (CD) on March 10th.
Orphx was formed in the fall of 1993 by Rich Oddie, Christina Sealey, and Aron West (T-Non) in the Canadian suburbs of Dundas, Ontario. Inspired by early industrial music and new waves of noise from Japan and Europe, they began creating improvised noisescapes using an assortment of second hand and scavenged equipment in West’s basement, dubbed The Pit. These experiments were documented on two cassettes released in late 1993 and early 1994. Orphx soon began making connections with other experimental artists in Canada and around the globe through the tape trading networks that flourished at that time. Throughout the summer and fall of 1994, they presented monthly concerts in collaboration with Sublimatus, an experimental music and art collective that provided great influence and inspiration. With Sublimatus, Oddie and West established the Xcreteria cassette label to release and distribute experimental music from the Southern Ontario area.
By 1995, West had left Orphx to focus on his project Tropism but continued to contribute with technical assistance and the documentation of live performances. Oddie and Sealey began to incorporate more rhythmic elements into Orphx, inspired by their immersion in the Southern Ontario rave scene. They also began to explore more ambient and electro-acoustic work under the name Antiform. This soon led to the Fragmentation album on Malignant Records in 1996, which demonstrated a distinctly rhythmic approach to power electronics, dark ambient and death industrial. Orphx built on this foundation to develop a fusion of techno and industrial music as part of the European “rhythmic noise” scene, working closely with Germany’s Hands label and touring extensively throughout Europe. Their music would later come to the attention of techno fans through the Sonic Groove label, who have been releasing their output on vinyl since 2009. In recent years, Oddie and Sealey have returned to the improvisational approach that characterized their early work but now with different tools: most notably, the modular synthesizer systems that have featured prominently in their live performances and studio recordings from 2008 onwards.
Over the past two decades, Orphx have moved through and re-combined a wide range of genres and styles, from primitive power electronics to electro-acoustic soundscapes to razor sharp industrial techno. Throughout all these phases, they have retained and refined a signature sound: deeply textured, darkly meditative and driven by a hypnotic pulse. This archival collection highlights the genesis of that sound, gathering together some of the best material from their first two cassette releases along with previously unreleased tracks recovered from the original 4 track tapes.
A1 / 1. Conceptus
A2 / 2. Gestation
A3 / 3. Miasma (Edit)
A4 / 4. Inhumed
A5 / 5. The Sodomite
B1 / 6. An Initial Process
B2 / 7. Excruciate
B3 / 8. Monophilia
B4 / 9. Juliette
B5 / 10. Metaplasmic Disjecta
C1 / 11. Veil of Dream
C2 / 12. Exposure
C3 / 13. Reservoirs of Infection
C4 / 14. A la recherche d'un corps
D1 / 15. A Landscape of Wounds (Edit)
D2 / 16. Accuracy Overloads Procedure
D3 / 17. Lecture 17
D4 / 18. Serial Deaths
D5 / 19. Beautiful Wreckage
D6 / 20. Live Fragment 21/10/94