Knitting Factory Presents
Balam Acab, Foxes In Fiction, Nikki
Pennsylvania-based electronic musician Balam Acab has been slinging psychedelic tunes, equal parts dark and light, since 2010, with the release of his debut EP See Birds on Tri Angle Records. A year later, Koone released his debut LP WANDER / WONDER, which solidified BALAM ACAB’s place in the world of independent music. After releasing See Birds and WANDER / WONDER, BALAM ACAB had received significant critical acclaim and garnered a devoted fanbase, earning the musician the ability to tour throughout much of the world during 2011 and 2012.
As the project was gaining increasingly more and more momentum, Koone seemingly vanished from the world of music after finishing his last tour dates, providing little to no explanation for his disappearance or any indication of plans to return.
However, in 2015, BALAM ACAB finally emerged from hiding; near the end of the year, Koone released CHILD DEATH, the follow-up LP to his 2011 debut, WANDER / WONDER. Unlike previous album releases, Koone was set on self-releasing CHILD DEATH before even starting to work on it. Using only social media to provide updates on the album’s progress and promote its release, Koone turned down offers from record labels, PR companies, and managers, as word spread of the return of BALAM ACAB throughout the music community. As promised via his Twitter, Koone released CHILD DEATH the day he received the masters back at 9 pm EST - December 17, 2015. The 5-song LP featured a death metal logo on its cover, and initially, listeners were denied any ability to preview or stream any part of the album without purchasing. Although CHILD DEATH was released rather non-traditionally by an artist who hadn’t put out any official music in over four year, it received significant media coverage within within an hour of its release, and its positive public reception, by listeners new and old, provided Koone with renewed confidence in the vitality of BALAM ACAB. Later in 2016, CHILD DEATH was pressed on vinyl by Orchid Tapes.
Since the release of CHILD DEATH, Koone has put out a steady flow of singles, shorter, unofficial releases, and mixes on his Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages. Additionally, Koone has started multiple side projects or collaborative projects with aliases other than BALAM ACAB. Aside from his own music, Koone has been in the process of setting up a small tape label, with the intention to begin putting out releases in late August/early September.
Foxes in Fiction is Warren Hildebrand, an experimental pop and ambient musician based out of New York (formerly Toronto) who has been recording different genres of music in various locations under this name since the age of 15.
Hildebrand is the founder and operator of Orchid Tapes, a label founded in 2010, with the intention of having a place to release his own music. However, since it's birth in 2010, the label has grown into an amorphous hub for similar-minded musicians and artists. While still serving as an outlet for Hildebrand to release his own music, Orchid Tapes has consistently released great albums into the world by many other artists, including BALAM ACAB's latest official LP, CHILD DEATH on vinyl.
‘nikki’ is the ambient, soundtrack-esque project of Alec Koone (BALAM ACAB) and Adam D’Alexander (slow techno). The two met in Summer 2009 at Ithaca College during freshman orientation - before the semester had even began and instantly bonded over common music interests. As a music education major, Koone felt quite out of place at Ithaca’s music school, as he was considered unambitious by many peers for simply wanting to teach elementary music post-graduation. D'Alexander felt similar as a music composition major, restricted by the boring limitations and adherence to the “unbreakable” rules of classical music that were imposed upon younger students. The two students bonded over their disliking of music school, and they quickly discovered that they shared common interests beyond just music. They hated going to chorus at 10 am every morning. Both Koone and D'Alexander inevitably stopped pursuing degrees in music, despite having a remaining passion to create it.
Koone and D'Alexander had discussed collaborating on music many times in the past, but no work had ever come to fruition. Fast-forward to May 2017, somewhere in Brooklyn, in an Air BnB. As a yearly tradition, Koone (from Pennsylvania) and D'Alexander (from Ohio), along with other friends, would use New York City as a central location to meet up, hang out, and catch up with each other, On their last night in the city, the two ended up spending their last night in the city glued to their laptops until the sun rose, creating their first ever collaborative track. After sharing the track online and receiving positive feedback, the two decided to commit to the project and treat it as something serious. 'nikki' have released their first single digitally, with plans to release the single on cassette in the near future.
‘nikki’ has continued to create new material, with intentions of having a longer album completed sometime this upcoming Fall. Additionally, the duo is considering expanding into a trio, adding Morgan Elizabeth (frequent BALAM ACAB collaborator) to the group to contribute vocals, synth, and sampling to the group's live show and future recordings.