Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Ariel Marcus Rosenberg (born June 24, 1978), better known by his stage name Ariel Pink, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, California. His music is best known for a lo-fi sound which draws heavy on the influence of 1970s-80s pop radio and cassette culture, and has been credited with pioneering the 2000s hypnagogic pop style as well as inspiring the chillwave genre. Pink first gained recognition after signing to Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label in 2003, where several of his limited-edition home recordings were first reissued.
Ariel Pink was born on June 24, 1978, the son of Mario Z. Rosenberg and Linda Rosenberg-Kennett. His father, a gastroenterologist, was born in Mexico City and his family is Jewish. His parents divorced when he was two years old. Rosenberg was raised in the Beverlywood area of Los Angeles. In his youth, he attended Beverly Hills High School and later entered the California Institute of the Arts studying visual art. After dropping out, he joined a Hindu ashram before focusing on music, wanting to "hide my personality, I could sing in different voices, use cover pictures that looked nothing like me".
Working at a record store, Rosenberg developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the pop canon, listening and absorbing everything from Michael Jackson and '80s radio pop to more obscure, experimental music, such as R. Stevie Moore, Throbbing Gristle, Can and death metal. He has cited The Cure – particularly their early albums – as his favorite band of all time. He started writing songs at "around age 10" and has since recorded over 500 songs in various shapes and forms on hundreds of cassette tapes, the majority of which have never been released.
Rosenberg's early recordings, often conspicuously DIY, foregrounded a distinctive lo-fi sound that has since gone on to inspire various artists and styles; he has been described as the "godfather of chillwave." His approach subverts the common privileging of songwriting over production, making the recording medium and sound texture a large part of the artwork itself. After receiving attention in early discussions of hauntology in music, the "hypnagogic pop" label was coined to describe him and similar sounding acts from the late 2000s. Pink produces and plays almost all of his own music, and, in his early days, was noted for creating drum sounds and effects using his mouth. Despite having a low profile in the mid-to-late nineties, his self-recorded music was considered to be influential on the development of the DIY culture in music.
In the summer of 2003, Pink passed a CD-R on to Baltimore, Maryland-based band Animal Collective after being introduced by a mutual friend at one of their shows. Unbeknownst to Pink, Animal Collective had recently started their own record label, Paw Tracks. Recalling the time, the band says in the CD-booklet that it
Several weeks later they contacted him to sign him on Paw Tracks, making Pink the first non-Animal Collective musician on the label. The next year, the label reissued The Doldrums, an album which had been originally recorded in 1999, described by John Maus as "it achieved something completely unforeseen with the language of pop." Paw Tracks (now co-owned by Carpark Records) released two other reissues of Pink's previous recordings, Worn Copy and House Arrest. Although the music was widely misunderstood at the time, over the years, the work gradually received recognition.
In 2006, Pink's collaboration with Holy Shit front-man Matt Fishbeck led to the release of Stranded at Two Harbors.
Having been primarily a recording artist up until this point, Pink's early solo tours and performances were generally met with much negativity, because "it was music that was never intended to be performed live for commercial audiences." However, after initially spending years playing shows with pre-recorded music, karaoke style, Pink slowly attracted what would become his full-time band, composed of renowned musicians who have since helped bring his recordings to life.
The band, known as Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, consisted of keyboardist/guitarist/backing vocalist Kenny Gilmore, drummer/vocalist/guitarist Jimi Hey, and guitarist Cole M.G.N. (Ethnik Klensr, The Samps, Nite Jewel), and bassist Tim Koh'. Consistent touring with a fixed band lineup led to a much more accessible and musically tighter show for concert goers.
In November 2009, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti was signed to 4AD records. He released a new mp3 single "Round and Round" in March 2010, marking a studio quality departure from his former lo-fi recordings. 4AD released it as a
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