Matt once wrote: “So, I got my hands on a 4-track recorder, probably via Sean (O’Donnell, collaborator on the first Burning Machine recording), and, inspired by his use of loops in our session, resolved to get some kind of “looper.” I wound up with a Boss 202 “Dr. Sample.” Beloved device. I also around this point stumbled on the trick of creating a feedback loop using nothing but guitar pedals and a Rockman compressor/sustainer, long since broken. I spent a lot of time recording and collaborated with Caleb Cliff on some material, including brief participation in his band Datura Tide with Matt Tiffiletti.
Then, one day, I was walking down Samson Street near where I lived and Lora and I bumped into each other for the first time in years, since we’d attended WCU. Around that time she was involved with her Siren’s Silence poetry journal and was organizing a series of readings. I volunteered to “do sound” and provide backing noise, and when she asked for a tag to list on the fliers, I used “Radio Eris,” (sometimes, illogically, E.R.I.S.), which I’d hit upon as a title for mix tapes I made…”if I programmed a radio station, it would be like this…” The “radio” was a reference to Patti Smith’s Radio Ethiopia (and not so much REM’s Radio Free Europe), and the “Eris” was a reference to harmonious randomness I fancied the tapes had to them. I had just read the ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy the year before…
So the readings were a success by and large – fun, at least - and Lora and I discussed recording her poetry. One evening she dropped by, and I, fired by Eno and Discordianism, had her read a poem cold onto a spare track of tape, one containing a particularly nice improv with Caleb. She read Revol, and when we listened back to it, I was struck by how incredibly the experiment had worked; the phrasing of her reading coincided with the changes in the music even though she had no idea what was on the tape while she read.
This was so cool! So we recorded a bunch of poems over a bunch of recordings and accumulated some interesting tracks.
Then, Steve Murtaugh, another acquaintance from West Chest U, resurfaced. He and Steve Zimmerman had a band, The Great Glass Elevator, and had launched a record label, Orange Entropy. When Steve M. heard the tapes, he asked if he could release them on OE. Then he asked if we could put together a live ensemble. Then he wound up backing us up on guitar, poor fellow, and Radio Eris was well and truly born.”
released May 5, 1999
Lora Bloom: vocals
Caleb Cliff: bass
Steve Murtaugh: guitar
Matt Stevenson: keyboards, electronics, fx
with Linda Ranieri: cat bass on 10
Matt Triffiletti: guitar on 8, 9
Recorded on four-track cassette at Matt’s apartment in Center City, Philly, 1998-1999.
Almost Wish I Was recorded live at City Gardens, Trenton, NJ in February 1999 - at the first-ever live Radio Eris gig.
Radio ERIS began as an ambient spoken-
word project in 1999, but mutated rapidly into "Philadelphia's post-everything band." (a.d.amorosi) From poetry readings to, open mics to rock clubs, afterhours bars, stages and strip clubs, to Dutch churches, book stores and basements, Radio ERIS continues to surf the chaos....more