Can you dig it? Olympia, WA is the place. Wild screaming teenage rock'n'roll is the medium. Phonograph records are the vessel. The Phono Safari: Olympia Underground is the super-groovy pak of musics made to rile the savage breast.
What follows are a stack of albums from the '90s that originate in the Olympia Underground. Included are performances by some Olympia icons: Lois, Mikey Fitz, Rachel Carns, Justin Trosper, Calvin Johnson, Matt Steinke, Kathleen Hannah, Audrey Marrs, Paul Schuster, Miranda July, DJ KO. Six LPs for $50.00, wha? Vibrate on.
- Lois Infinity Plus [KLP058]
- A seductive mix of everything that we love about the Lois: the natural wit, charm, poise and grace of a beauty school drop-out on the lam. Accompanied by Heather Dunn on the drums, Lois has brought new focus to her singing, playing and songwriting on this, her third album. You never suspect her of leaving the thumbtack on the teacher's chair, but wait a minute; this hits hard like an anvil loaded pillow at your slumber party of two, a well balanced dart thrown to the heart.
- Internal/External Featuring... [KlP106]
- Electronic music fiesta featuring the multi-media multi-talents of many! Behind the scenes of the Olympia underground lurks a talent heard but rarely seen. Paul Schuster has recorded with Some Velvet Sidewalk, Jason Traeger, KG and his own band P.E.Z.; produced the Spells and Julie Ruin and toured with Miranda July. Internal/External is Paul's latest creative outlet. Featuring... began as a recording project in 1997 while Paul was experimenting with electronic music. After fleshing out the songs, he invited a slew of local folks to add their own touch. To wit: Angie Hart, Joseph DeRouselle, Kanako Wynkoop, Kathleen Hanna, Lois Maffeo, Justin Trosper, Al Larsen & Carrie Brownstein, Calvin Johnson, Slim Moon, K.O. (IQU), Rachel Carns, all contribute vocals or instruments to Paul's foundation. Masterful drum'n bass/pop/noise/r'n b crossover, genre-blending with leisure.
- Dub Narcotic Sound System Bone Dry [KLP068]
- It's Olympia Gone to Memphis, the result of the second Dub Narcotic Sound System session at the famed Royal Recording Studio. This EP was produced by Stax Records alumnus William Brown. The song "Bass Hump" features horns by Memphians Ben Cauley (a founding member of the BarKays), trumpet, Jack Hale (Memphis Horns), trombone, and Lannie McMillan, saxophone.
- IQU with Miranda July Girls on Dates [KLP094]
- Two of the Northwest's most idiosyncratic entities combine their unique visions into one heady concoction, a project entitled Girls on Dates. IQU regulate techno into an amorphous being, genre-bending by integrating analog instrumentation against sampling, programming and oscillating synthesizers in their uniquely Olympia fashion. Miranda July from Portland, Ore. is the premier experimental performance and spoken artist today. Miranda July is a modern story teller. The two pieces here feature the otherworldly tones of Miranda with the kaleidoscopic electro-hush of IQU to chilling effect. Includes two remixes by K.O. and DJ Swiggs.
- Fitz of Depression Let's Give It a Twist [KLP031]
- Fitz of Depression hold a sacred place in the lexicon of Olympia folklore: the crossroads of all things Hessian, everything hardcore, punk, pop, new wave, metal, heavy and hopeful. This album is their first full length collection and shows off their every side. Revered within the city limits, often misunderstood beyond them, they played every party in Olympia for 8 years. Recorded by Jack Endino at Dub Narcotic Studio.
- Mocket Fanfare [KLP070]
- There are twelve Mocket songs on Fanfare, a new rock bottom, pure rocket fuel and sandpaper. Nothing softer than hard ice cream, everything happening at once. Mocket hails from Olympia: Audrey Marrs and Matt Steinke sing and play, while Carolyn Rue plays a drum set. Matt Steinke is also known for his work with Satisfact, a different kind of bleep on the radar screen. Fanfare is the second Mocket platter (following their debut album on the Olympia label Punk in My Vitamins).