My short bio can be found HERE
Chronological bio + samples for journalists etc BELOW:
I was born in Oswiecim, Poland. I am based in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
I attended Music School at the age of 8. Later I studied in Art School and Theater Academy.
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 countless logistic troubles. Each of us went on the solitary road to create its 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 program called “Sounds D” dedicated to emerging Polish composers.
I moved to New York in 2004. I was in a few experimental / noise projects based in NYC 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 and The Judy Blooms. I continued my solo recordings on the 4-track but slowly started to transfer files into 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 French label La Station Radar which at first put out Ahata / Anahata - the collaboration with Liam Stefani aka Skitter (sold out). 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 NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists. I was also accepted to Film Scoring Mentorship Program – Composing for the Screen 2009. Sponsored by BMI, this New York City based program selects nine emerging film composers. 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 by Clan Destine Records on vinyl 12″ 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 solo 12″ LP Mars is Heaven was written in 2011, towards the end of my residency in New York City, the record consist 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 US and moved to UK. Since then I have been working as freelance composer, musician. I am based in Glasgow, Scotland.
STATEMENT, 12″ LP – a 4 way split between Slim Twig, US Girls, Dirty Beaches and myself was released in the Summer 2012. The idea of the record came from Alex (Dirty Beaches) The art is designed by Meg Remy (U.S. Girls). The LP can be ordered through Clan Destine Records, which released it in the edition of 500 copies and various places including HERE.
Clan Destine Records also re-released my first solo album “High Moon Low Sun” on a cassette in the limited edition of 75. The tape is sold out but the material is available on CD Baby
here is one of the songs:
Earlier in the Autumn 2012, 80 MINUTES OF FUNK – a split cassette with Curt Crackrach was released (edition of 100). 40 minutes compiled on my side is a collection of my TV radio and theater work, field recordings and loose experiments cementing it all together into one lengthy journey.
TUMULT IN CLOUDS (2LP) the limited edition of 300 copies featuring 19 songs was released on 12.12.12. on Clan Destine Records
The record came out along with a limited edition of the remix LP called ELA AND THEE 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. It sold out over night.
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 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 released on the upcoming LP.
In August 2013 I collaborated with SKITTER on “De Flechettes” LP. The record was released in a limited edition of 250 copies on Clan Destine Records and it is available HERE
To be sure, the result sounds little like either artists’ usual soundworlds 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. Stream The Dead Albatross Music Prize awards HERE
The record was reissued as a Double LP and a CD on Parental Guidance and is available HERE
2014 started with the European Tour. I visited Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark and Brussels. This year is going to be my big step into the world of soundtrack. I currently work on two of them: ARCHITECTURE OF AN ATOM by Juliacks and THE MAN by Maja Borg
I am currently working on two LPs and preparing for a multimedia collaborative performance with Maja Borg for Counterflows Festival which will take place on April 4th.
My remix of Laraaji will be released on an EP – a part of Warp’s project to reissue the catalogue of All Saints label, an imprint that has released records by seminal names including Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Jon Hassell and Laraaji (the release is planned for April/May 2014)