Sunday, June 25, 2006

Artist Profile: Violet

Violet (Washington, DC): NanoHz No.1

J. Surak (aka Violet) is a veteran experimenter from Washington, DC. Since the early 1980s, he has explored the netherworld between improvisation and composition to create something between the two auditory realms of experimental music.

Since his early recordings under the name -1348-, Surak established himself in the international hometaper underground network of the 1980s, releasing tapes on the his own Watergate Tapes imprint, along with such artists as Controlled Bleeding, F/i, and Kapotte Muziek; and collaborating with such icons as Zan Hoffman, Crawling with Tarts, and John Hudak. At the same time Surak performed with the notorious DC area industrial band New Carrollton.

The 1990s found Surak living and performing in Russia. There he formed the group Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye which created site specific works using found materials and sounds.

At the turn of the millenium Surak created a new duo, V. which quickly blew out of the its initial framework of free improv into a unit that pushed the limits of composition, constantly reinventing itself with each recording and performance. After 11 albums in 2 years, the duo disbanded, leaving Surak to further continue explorations under his solo project called Violet. Found objects, microcassettes, damaged cds, prepared acoustic instruments, and old record players outfitted with foil are the tools of choice. Violet has collaborating with Alexei Borisov, Frans De Waard, Betrand Denzler, Michael Gendreau, Andrey Kiritchenko, Kotra, Francisco Lopez, Andreas Tilliander and many others. Since 2002 Violet has released numerous recordings in a variety of formats and has performed across the USA and Europe.

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