November 19, 2013

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“The composition side of Combs’ work really shines in “Apparition,” which travels through many movements until reaching a peaceful and relaxing end.”  – What’s Up! Magazine on “gazing”


“Solta a Franga” 2011

September 5, 2011

I noticed a nice radio segment out of the Netherlands which appropriately features Gary DiBenedetto “Twin Towers” for the coming anniversary next week of the tragedy, 9/11.  The second half of the program features almost the complete album, “Safe Passage,” Electroshock Records – 2010.  Listen to the full broadcast here.

1.   ‘A Question Of Principle’ movement 1, 2 & 3.
2.   ‘Self Portrait’.
3.   ‘Twin Towers’.
Gary DiBenedetto: “Twin Towers” – 2010. (ELECTROSHOCK RECORDS ELCD 051)

4.   ‘Dispatch’
5.   ‘November 13, 2009’
6.   ‘Abysmal’
7.   ‘The Giant Eye Of The 5th Dimension’
8.   ‘X503’
9.   ‘Unrelated’
10. ‘Safe Passage’
11. ‘Trinity 666 – The Last Train To Hell’
J.C. Combs: “Safe Passage” – 2010. (ELECTROSHOCK RECORDS ELCD 053)


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 just realized recently that I should create a couple videos for “Safe Passage.”   Here is this first of probably a couple more.

A nice review by Damian Koczkodon over at Elmusyka in Poland.  Damian also nicely surprised me by creating a video to accompany the review.  A very kind gesture.  An excerpt:

“Ta twórczość, mimo eksperymentalnej etykietki, daje się swobodnie słuchać dzięki swojej różnorodności. Może stanowić dobrą zachętę dla lubiących wyzwania odbiorcy”

The full review here.   This is the video for the track “Safe Passage.”  

Here is a short review of Safe Passage.

J.C. Combs


Electroshock Records


Llamativo trabajo experimental, basado en la combinación de técnicas de collage sonoro con audiopaisajes urbanos y atmósferas musicales.

Las piezas, con títulos como por ejemplo “Trinity 666 – The Last Train to Hell” (que cierra el disco), “November 13, 2009”, o “The Giant Eye of the 5th Dimension”, son como audiorretratos, algunos realistas, otros con toques sobrenaturales, que oscilan entre los aires costumbristas y el Ambient oscuro, además de entre otras influencias.


A remarkable experimental work based in the combination of techniques of collage of sound with urban audio passages and musical atmospheres, this is a noteworthy album. The themes, with such titles as for example “Trinity 666 – The Last Train to Hell” (closing the album), “November 13, 2009”, or “The Giant Eye of the 5th Dimension”, are some sort of audio portraits, some realistic, others with supernatural touches, flowing from folk airs and dark ambient among other influences. – DOMINIQUE CHEVANT –