"The danger is in the neatness of
In the world of electronic music there are few record labels
more experimentally extreme than Phthalo.
But Phthalo is more than a record label. Phthalo is a vehicle
for expression, in music, of the only reality we live in and
too often fail to recognize as such.
Phthalo artists are stylistically diverse and unclassifiable,
yet they share in common this full-throttle, all-inclusive,
fearless vision of the way things really are.
Phthalo music is music that demands to be met on its own
terms, music that lives in defiance of all category, music
that deconstructs every presumption and opinion, music that
calls into question the preconceived notions listeners
inevitably bring to the experience of listening, music that
dismisses such tired concepts as "old" and "new" and operates
exclusively in the "now."
The brainchild of artist/composer Dimitri Fergadis (AKA
Phthalocyanine), Phthalo officially embarked in 1997 in order
to launch the adventurous Phthalocyanine project Navy Warship.
Like a warning shot across the mainstream's quarter-deck,
Fergadis' original intention was "to create a new idiom, or at
least a new type of comment on idiom." Steering clear of both
the narrow strictures of academic music and the dance-happy
inanity of the club/rave scene, Fergadis seeks music that is
relevant only outside the consensus aesthetic, or what he
calls "herd dynamics," that tendency to like what we've been
told to like, living in a kind of "magnetized state," drawn
primarily to what is familiar.
Contrary to this habitual behavior, Phthalo artists must be
technicians of timelessness, pointers, sayers, engaged in an
absolutely faithful relationship with the truth, working with,
as Fergadis puts it, "no settlement for the next best or for
the halfway. This is the abandonment of halfway."
Many of todays's fastest rising artists began their recording
careers on the Phthalo label. Phthalo was the first label to
release DNTEL, whose reputation is currently in a huge
crescendo. Phthalo was also one of the first labels to receive
demo recordings from Vladislav Delay, and his "Sistol" project
was one of the first, if not THE first release of his publicly
available, another significant world premiere brought to you
by Phthalo. In addition, Phthalo issued the debut recording of
Daedelus who is now on his way to Plug Research fame and
fortune. And Phthalo acts Eight Frozen Modules, Jason Potratz,
and Terminal 11 are all on the verge of breaking through to
wider audiences as well. Phthalo is always out in front,
mining the future and reporting back, making accessible these
field recordings of nature in all her digital ubiquity.
O.S.T. is probably the archetypal Phthalo artist, as Fergadis
describes him, "reckless, austere, prolific, no catering,
offensive to the refined, the opposite of refined in fact:
raw, unprocessed, gut-level, bestial, heavy, hard, obsessive,
driven by an apperception beyond compare of the process
through which the ears simultaneously organize the current
moment and anticipate the next one coming."
Other Phthalo artists include Gerald Wenzel, with his Csound
research, a programming environment which is a direct
descendent of the famed Music N languages associated with
Columbia, Princeton, and Bell Labs research, and Robert Merlak,
whose Italian Acid Techno-meets-Videogame soundtrack sound
stylings go on a "digression with no return." R.I.S.D alumnus
Libythth is a purveyor of post-I.D.M. "houseabilly clown rave
spasms," the funniest music you will ever dance to and then go
home and think about for days afterward.
The Phthalo stable also boasts such luminaries as Massaccesi,
Vid (mastermind of the Incomplet label), Wobbly, and Jay
Cloidt, a veteran composer, sometimes heralded as "the Spike
Jones of the Bay Area new music scene," a world-class talent
from whom the famed Kronos Quartet have commissioned music.
The most recent Phthalo triumph has been the addition of Mark
Gage (AKA Vapourspace) to the label's roster, a legendary and
historic figure in the dance music scene, one whose influence
is heard throughout much of the electronic dance music being
Under the aegis of the forward-thinking Fergadis, the Phthalo
story is epic and ongoing, impelled by a willingness to
recognize what is impossible and do it anyway. This requires
wide ears and an open mind.
Phthalo unfurls its sails overdramatically, primed to explore
the next uncharted sea, armed with trumpets, both to beckon
and forewarn, an invitation to the imminent demolition of
boundaries and boundedness.
Welcome to Phthalo, a paradise of possibility.
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For more information please contact Lynn Hasty at (323) 466-5141 or
We love Barry Smolin! Thanx for writing this informative
Green Galactic Los
Angeles 323.466.5141 | Green Galactic New York