My short bio can be found HERE
Long(ish) bio + samples BELOW:
I was born in Oswiecim, Poland. I live in Glasgow, UK.
I attended Music School from the age of 8. Later I studied Art and Theater.
In 1998 I became a member of the Glasgow based Hassle Hound. The band has releases on Staubgold, Pickled Egg, Twisted Nerve and Textile Records. Tracks from our records were selected by John Peel and presented on Radio BBC 1. We recorded and toured until 2008 when the group split up due to logistical troubles. Each of us went on the solitary road to create our own art.
I began solo recordings in 2000 while I was working for Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw. I submitted my music to a few competitions. As a result I composed music for two theater productions and collaborated with Marcus Schmickler (A-Music) on his composition “United Untitled” during The Goethe Institute programme called “Sounds D” dedicated to emerging Polish composers.
I moved to New York in 2004. I was involved in a few experimental / noise projects there such as: 3i’s (with Marc Orleans and Pete Nolan), Ozone Swimmers (with Marc Orleans), Franklin’s Mint (with Phil Franklin). I played with Jackie O Motherfucker, Kevin Shea, Wende K. Blass and Scarcity of Tanks. I continued my solo recordings on the 4-track but slowly started to transfer files onto computer. My first solo album High Moon, Low Sun was released by Setola di Maiale in 2008.
Lost and La Station Radar
In 2009 I started to collaborate with the French label La Station Radar which first released Ahata / Anahata - a noise collaboration with Liam Stefani aka Skitter . It was followed by my sophomore solo LP Lost. LOST resembles a short histoire de l’amour, complete with instrumental soundscapes filling in the gaps between narrative lyrics.
In 2010 the label released another project I worked on with Skitter – The Strongest Walls Open As I Pass.
Composing for the Screen
In 2009 I was selected for the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists. I was also accepted onto Film Scoring Mentorship Program – Composing for the Screen 2009. Sponsored by BMI, this New York City based program selects nine emerging film composers. The final assignment – incidental music for “Zodiac” was the first score I had written. It was performed by string quartet ETHEL. The work was guided and assessed by David Shire.
Since 2010 I have been musically collaborating with TVP Kultura.
In January (2011) my piece – Amsler Grid was included in “An Exchange with Sol LeWitt” show at MASS MoCA.
In June 2011 the split LP project with Dirty Beaches – Double Feature was co-released by La Station Radar + Atelier Ciseaux and Night People.
Alex Zhang Hungtai aka Dirty Beaches and Ela Orleans are long time friends, artistic allies, and adventurous spirits. They both spent lives traveling between different cities, countries, and continents. The commonalities represented in Double Feature resound in a sense of space and time, a cinematic view of nostalgia. This is not a nostalgia that is trying to re-create the past but an art that seeks to use the presence and power of history to create more content in the present (Shawn Reed, Night People).
In May 2011, my 16 track tape collection of lo-fi 4 track recordings called NEO PI-R was released on Clan Destine Records. The cassette sold out and was later re-released as the LP in December 2011. NEO PI-R is the sonic equivalent of perhaps a Tanguy painting. It is sparse, but filled with both whimsy and deep brooding symbology. This is post-punk from the Gaslamp Era. Andrew Weatheral once titled a Sabres of Paradise album “Haunted Dancehall”, and that term is a perfect description of this tape (Dafydd McKaharay, Mishka).
Mars Is Heaven
My next solo LP Mars is Heaven was written in 2011, towards the end of my residency in New York City. The record consists of 8 songs inspired by Ray Bradbury’s “Mars is Heaven”. The story (written in 1948) was a critique of a smug assumptions about the superiority of American values such as: sentimental nostalgia, idealism, and above all delight in the pleasures of the senses. It also expressed deep cynicism about family life, pessimism about progress, and disdain for people in the mass to a degree that approaches misanthropy.
In August 2011 I left the US and moved to the UK.
STATEMENT LP – a 4 way split between my friends – Slim Twig, U.S. Girls, Dirty Beaches and myself was released in the Summer 2012 by Clan Destine Records (at the time I was co-running the label) in an edition of 500. The LP is available HERE.
Earlier in the Autumn 2012, 80 MINUTES OF FUNK – a split cassette with Curt Crackrach was released by Clan Destine Records (edition of 100). 40 minutes compiled on my side is a collection of my TV, radio and theater work, field recordings and loose experiments.
TUMULT IN CLOUDS (2LP) the limited edition of 300 copies featuring 19 songs was released on 12.12.12. on Clan Destine Records
At he same time a limited edition of the remix LP called ELA AND THE PROPHETS featuring contributions from artists such as: Silver Strain, Slim Twig, The Drum, Skitter, Dan Melchior, Mushy, U.S. Girls, Os Ovni, Pyramids of Mu, Nattymari and Fostercare was released. It sold out overnight.
In 2012 I also collaborated on Dan Melchior’s Backward Path which was released in the Autumn, 2012 on Northern Spy
In 2013 I started to experiment with the sound of dance music and acid patterns. I started to work on this particular genre under the name TRACT. First success came with the release of Clandestine Traxx, where I joined forces with my friend – Marie Liden aka Bläck. Then, I produced the track called Light In Extension, which will be the part of the upcoming 12″.
In August 2013 I collaborated again with SKITTER on “De Flechettes” LP. The record was released in a limited edition of 250 copies on Clan Destine Records and is available HERE
To be sure, the result sounds little like either artists’ usual sound worlds; instead the two have created something mutated and beautiful in its own strange way. It’s steeped in disembodied, ghostly vocals punctuated by digital electronic stabs, rumbling low-end bass sweeps and a thrilling if occasionally frightening dynamic shift.
In October 2013, Tumult In Clouds received The Dead Albatross Music Prize voted for by the finest record shops, radio presenters, listeners, writers and record collectors from across UK and Ireland. You can stream The Dead Albatross Music Prize awards HERE
The record has been reissued as the Double LP and the CD on Parental Guidance in January 2014 and is available HERE
2014 started with the European Tour. In January, I visited Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Brussels and I ended my journey in London’s Cafe Oto. In February, I was offered a residency at École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Bourges, where I was working on the original soundtrack for the feature movie ARCHITECTURE OF AN ATOM by Juliacks The movie is planned to be premiered in January, 2015, at Moderna Museum in Malmo.
In March, I was commissioned to create the soundtrack for the short movie WE THE OTHERS directed by Maja Borg. The film is the co-production of Maja Borg Productions and Dazed and Confused (Dazed Digital). The movie was launched on March 17th, 2014. Simultaneously I was collaborating with Maja Borg on the multimedia performance for Counterflows Festival which took place on April 4th. Currently, I am composing the original score for Borg’s next film – THE MAN.
In April/May 2014 WARP will release first of the series of compilation EP’s with my remix of Laraaji’s piece – KALIMBA on it. This will be a part of the label’s project to reissue the catalogue of All Saints label, an imprint that has released records by the seminal names including Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Jon Hassell and Laraaji.
I continue to work for TVP Kultura. In March, I was contracted to create the soundtrack for the Polish version of the televised national music competition “Young Musician Of The Year”.