August 17, 2011
J.C. Combs (born 1970) is a Seattle-based neoteric composer. His works include “Charmed Elixirs” from 2008 (Sequenza21 described it as “antique poise and luminescence recalled in a disturbing dream from just last night”), “Bats in the Belfry” from 2009, “Safe Passage” on the premiere Russian label Electroshock Records from 2010 which has been featured on Max Shea’s “Martian Gardens” (WMUA 91.1FM Amherst and online), Don Campau’s “No Pigeonholes” program (KOWS FM Sonoma and online) “Solta a Franga” (Netherleands), The Mystery Lesson –radio show presented by Daniel Spicer. 97.2FM in Brighton, UK, “WWSP”, Program “Ambient Aether/Space Continuum”, Aural Innovations Space Rock Radio (show #249) and more; Jane Martin” from 2010 (video excerpt of a piece set to dance at BEAF), “Minstrel Nomadic” from 2010, “File Under: Misc.” (an ongoing album of misc. works featuring many artists), and “Rings of Saturn” – 2010. Combs also participated in the international event 60X60, 2010 – Magenta Mix. In 2011, Combs released “Confessions of a Deviant Machine,” a collaboration with Lee Noyes on the label Con-V, which was included in “Spiritual Archives” magazine year-end favorites of 2011 and Acts of Silence magazine top 100 netlabel releases of 2011.
2012 brought the release of “The Chrome Castle and an Overgrown Lawn” on his independent label Cellar Door Records.
In the summer of 2013, Combs released the EP “Gazing” on the Spectropol label, which has been featured on radio programs including Max Shea’s “Martian Gardens” (WMUA 91.1FM Amherst and online) and Don Campau’s “No Pigeonholes” program (KOWS FM Sonoma and online) and Miniature Minotaurs with Kurt Gottschalk (WFMU 91.1 FM in New York and 90.1 FM in the Hudson Valley). Gazing is also the soundtrack for some great choreography by Susan Haines with performances in Bellingham WA. More performances in early 2014 will include even more music from Combs.
In the fall of 2014, Combs announced a solo piano project called “Excursion” which consists of a travelogue in and around Seattle. 10 works composed between October and November. In March 2014 Combs returned to his private label after a two year hiatus and released “Every Junkie is a Recording.” , a piece which travels in and around ambient, drone, accidental sounds, mystery synthesis and melodic noise.
Combs has also been involved in several compilation projects, including “ImprovFriday Volumes 1. and 2.” and “For Japan” on the “Amaranth Records” independent label. He has also made appearances on the “Three Legs Duck” label and “Spectropol” label via compilation projects.
Combs founded and is actively involved in the serious musician’s social network “Sound-In” 2009-present.
I’ve been doing my best to keep up with reviews, but I think I may have been slipping of late with all the work I’ve been up to. Being an artist of any type with a full-time job makes operating a blog more trying, but I do believe I have enough energy to get by (knock on wood).
Anyway, below is a quote from a very thoughtful review by David Nemeth on the pages of “Acts of Silence.”regarding “Confessions of a Deviant Machine” – Lee Noyes, myself, on the Con-V label. (PS: I shy away from using the term “netlabel” because the “net” part no doubt will become irrelevant in the future in the recording industry).
Maybe the “liking” of various experimental improvisational music is much like Justice Potter Stewart’s recognition of hard-core porn, ” . . . I know it when I see it.” For me, I know when I like a record when I like it, and I really like Confessions of a Deviant Machine. – Acts of Silence (David Nemeth reviewed)