The last two decades have been rather tumultuous for Jason Coffman’s experimental/noise project Anaphylaxis. After a hugely productive period in the early 2000s, which featured numerous releases, collaborations, and concerts, Anaphylaxis’ activity as a band slowed to a crawl for various personal and professional reasons. As a result, the self-described “definitive” Anaphylaxis album, Shell Beach (nice Dark City reference, by the way), has never seen the light of day… until now.
Originally recorded between 2005 and 2007, Shell Beach existed only on a hard drive until just recently, when Coffman and his primary collaborator Andrew Horton decided to finish the album once and for all. And so, Shell Beach is currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp — it will be released on April 12 — as both a digital release and as a limited edition cassette release (which will also come with some bonus materials).
Four tracks from the album are currently streaming on Bandcamp, and contain a fair amount of sonic diversity between them. The tracks range from muffled beats, buzzing electronics, and harrowing drones (“Lost Girl (Smithy’s House)”) to sweeping, ethereal atmospherics à la lovesliescrushing (“Gwen Stacy”).
To provide some background for the Shell Beach release, Coffman has also written an extensive piece on the history of Anaphylaxis that chronicles not just their releases and collaborations, but also concerts, band personnel, and even the equipment used in their various incarnations (which includes a couple of Hello Kitty theremins).
Coffman mentions some Cornerstone performances, which of course brings back a bunch of memories for me, not just because it’s Cornerstone, but because I was at those shows, too. As strange as it sounds, there was quite the burgeoning Christian experimental/noise scene in the early 2000s, which included Anaphylaxis as well as artists like White Trash, Inc., Signalbleed, and Audio Paradox, and together, they made a holy, glorified racket on that Bushnell, Illinois campground. It was a heady time, one that seemed full of possibilities for what “Christian” music and art could be, and it’s nice to be reminded of it once again.