20 for 20 Years of Shinkoyo

For 20 years, Shinkoyo has been the connective tissue for a wide range of artists, musicians, thinkers, and more, a space for pushing conceptual boundaries and visionary exploration. Over the last two decades, Shinkoyo members have been part of creating vital arts spaces like Silent Barn, Paris London West Nile (which became 285 Kent), and Oakland’s East Nile. Their list of collaborators is endless, including titans like Maryanne Amacher, Alvin Lucier, Tony Conrad, and Lou Reed. By pushing and supporting one another through their various projects and collaborations, Shinkoyo has uncovered new forms of composition and sought unexpected methods of collective action. 

“Shinkoyo connects to a wildly diverse set of influences, musically this includes the work of icons like Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, and David Tudor, to “outsider” influences such as Al Margolis, Annea Lockwood, and genre-based sounds from left-field new age and hard noise electronics scenes.” – Nate Wooley, Sound American on Shinkoyo

20 Years of Shinkoyo is a four-day festival at Roulette, beginning September 6 and running through the 9th. It brings together artists from each and every era of Shinkoyo and celebrates the myriad threads of the collective’s activities over the past 20 years. Additionally, the festival introduces its future with Artist Pool, a non-profit initiative grounded in Shinkoyo’s collective ideals. More info is available HERE, as well as below.

Weds, Sept 6, 2023: Nat Baldwin, Sherae Rimpsey, Lala Harrison Ryan & Jason Chavez McMahon 

Thurs, Sept 7, 2023: Lia Kohl, Matt Mehlan, Dave Scanlon, Zeljko McMullen 

Fri, Sept 8, 2023: Mario Diaz De Leon, Cyrus Pireh, IE (Michael Gallope + Mariel Oliviera) w/ Jeff Tobias, Diamond Terrifier, Clara Latham

Sat, Sept 9, 2023: Mikel Patrick Avery’s Sore Thumb, MV Carbon, Matt Mehlan & Sonnenzimmer’s Slow Dances, Beautifulish (Katherine Young & Sam Scranton) 

In celebration of this event, Matt Mehlan put together this incredible playlist featuring music from the first 20 years of Shinkoyo.

Cyrus Pireh – Thank You Guitar

Cyrus plays the guitar like a force of nature. He has other similarly titled pieces, more epic in scale (see: here or here), but this track is the perfect example of his work. It’s a joyous prayer of gratitude, played on his custom 12-fret electric, shredding but also melodic and gentle.

Lia Kohl – First Picture of a Weather Pattern

The first track from Lia’s first album, initially released on Shinkoyo/Artist Pool on cassette – newly reissued by Florabelle on vinyl). Lia is one of the best listeners, and it’s powerfully apparent in her recorded work, the way she assembles sound. As an avid fan of art made by clouds, her music is a salve for me – and this (perfectly titled) track is a great entry to her world.

Skeletons – THE EDGE

From the most recent Skeletons release – my b(r)and since 2002. This LP is all songs on the Shtar, an instrument created and built by Peter Blasser – one of the founding artists of Shinkoyo.

Beautifulish – Inchworm

Katherine Young is a bassoonist and composer currently based in Atlanta. Our paths have crossed multiple times – at Oberlin and more recently in Chicago, where this duo with percussionist and electronic musician Sam Scranton came to be. Their LP as Beautifulish pulls you into what feels like the inside of their instruments, detailed and particular noise worlds.

MV Carbon & Aki Onda – Erased Gase

Two legends of the outer reaches come together for a CASSINGLE, sold out in less than a week. In my time-travel fantasies, this has a big display at Sam Goody and a video on MTV.

Doron Sadja – RESIDUALS II 

A gorgeous piece from one of the founders and integral forces of Shinkoyo and co-founder of Paris London West Nile (before it was 285 Kent). His recorded output is so painfully underappreciated – see here (on the great 12k) – I annoy him to make a record for Shinkoyo every year or so… 

Peter B – Don Sallo

Peter Blasser and his work as an instrument builder – and his incredible music, which sadly (to me) goes less noticed – has been a huge inspiration and instigator of the Shinkoyo aesthetic. This song comes from his Din Datin Dudero LP, and was featured on the Music of Shinkoyo compilation LP – it features songs written w/ his line of Oval Synths.

New Pope – NASA Update

One from the latest from New Pope, the duo of Clara Latham – who was in The Gongs with Peter B and Stefan Tcherepnin – and Bobby Matador of the great Brooklyn band Oneida. Motorik-like rhythms, incredible organ work, and Clara’s epic songwriting.

Jason McMahon – You Dear, Woody Houses?

After making everything he touches better with Skeletons, Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, Chairlift, and other bands – Jason has stretched out on his own in the past few years with two gorgeous and weird LPs. There are riddles inside of the riddles if you look hard enough.

Matt Mehlan – Slow Dance #1111

In 2021 I released this album of music for Slow Dancing paired with a deck of cards for stochastic choreography – which is basically like a weird yoga game you can play with friends if you have those kinds of friends.

Peter Blasser – IV (Ambrazier)

Another from Peter featuring Severiano Martinez and Johnny Mischeff, off the Ambrazier LP which showcased an early delay instrument of Peter’s, which has since evolved into the Cocoquantus. This is where the name “Silent Barn” originated, thanks to Seve’s brilliant improvising mind.

Ablehearts – May at the Farm

Before he was Mas Ysa, Tom Arsenault was Ablehearts. I want to take a moment to publicly beg him to make an LP this weird again.

Nat Baldwin – tripticks

Nat has since used the name of this track for his label Tripticks Tapes, which has released an incredible slew of recordings of the best improvisers and experimental composers in the past few years. A personal favorite whatever he’s doing, and in particular because he can go from pop gorgeousness to improvisatory growl so fluently and freely.

Lia Kohl – Moon Bean

What I think of as the centerpiece of Too Small to be a Plane, a beautiful epic of overdubbed cellos.

Peter Blasser – The Moon Camera

Before he was writing his own software, Peter built song beds for his instruments in C-Sound, a classic text-based program in the world of early computer music, here paired with some early prototypes of the instruments he now sells as Ciat-Lonbarde. What I love about Peter’s instruments, I also love about his songwriting. One thing he’s written about is “listening to the circuit”, a kind of feedback loop of influence, which you can hear in both of his songs on this playlist.

Regattas – Diamond Terrifier

Sam Hillmer and his band Zs were such a huge part of my musical universe in NYC – hard to overstate how inspiring, both from a musical and scene perspective (putting on shows, series, starting new projects, bringing people together). We released this solo LP on limited edition CD-R, mixed and edited it in the basement of Silent Barn (now Trans Pecos) around the time of the Skeletons LP “Lucas”.

Severiano Martinez – Clocks (You Go to Sleep)

Seve was an integral force behind Shinkoyo – he came up with the name (in a dream he had that he was going to start a fashion label called “Shin12koyo” – the 12 was silent), helped fundraise for the first few releases, and really created so much of the energy and creative aesthetic of the label early on, in projects like Sejayno (with Peter B and Carson Garhart), as the drummer/drum machine operator in early Skeletons, on film projects and so on. This album is a lost classic, IMHO – it’s pretty perfect and ahead of its time, dance music inspired abstractions…

Zeljko McMullen – Inside

From the 4th ever Shinkoyo release, Zeljko’s “Disorder” – an epic. Zeljko is a true NYC minimalist/maximalist legend, his work has crossed paths with Tony Conrad, Lou Reed, Larry Clark, Maryanne Amacher, and others. This early work explains so much about all the work he’s made since – but also remarkable in its purity. 

IE – Smuggler

IE is a band formed by Michael Gallope in Minneapolis – Mike’s name is all over the Shinkoyo and associated catalog, playing at various times with Skeletons, in Janka Nabay’s Bubu Gang, in Starring w/ Clara Latham and so on. IE are true drone aesthetes – but what’s remarkable is the way they’ve taken early collective drone exercises and transformed them into pop tunes, without losing any of the vibe and exploratory essence. At Roulette, they perform in a special grouping with saxophonist Jeff Tobias.

Angel Deradoorian, Dylan Fujioka, Patrick Shiroishi – Basic Flowers

Angel is a great friend and someone who I’ve long been a fan of. Patrick – who’s put out an amazing string of recent releases – reached out a few years back with this really lovely recording – when he emailed he said he was a huge fan of the Regattas LP and that made me incredibly happy. A deep familial jam to close things out for this playlist, which is (if you can’t tell), the vibe. 

Foxy Digitalis depends on our awesome readers to keep things rolling. Pledge your support today via our Patreon or subscribe to The Jewel Garden.