Insect Ark

When Dana Schechter started Insect Ark as her “true” solo project in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2011, she set out to build desolate and hallucinogenic galaxies of sound completely alone. Working solo offered an escape into the deepest realms of self-reflection, dredging and birthing a sonic beast that was utterly unhinged and totally liberating. Focusing on experimental, noise, and avant-garde drone, Insect Ark’s first years produced records that were raw, ominous, and totally unique. While defying comparison, these new sounds possessed Schechter’s distinct musical spirit, found woven throughout her 20+ years of band/collaboration work.

After years of working alone, live drums were added, showing that Schechter’s singular vision could also expand into heavier and more crushing territory within a collaborative space. From 2015-2019 Portland-based drummer/electronics builder Ashley Spungin played in the band. Highlights include 2018’s “Marrow Hymns” on Profound Lore Records, EU and N. American tours, a recording residency at synth mecca EMS Stockholm, and appearances at Roadburn, Basilica Soundscape, and Northwest Terror Fest. The duo toured heavily, often DIY-style, including on trains, boats, taxis, and cars. In July 2019, Spungin and Schechter stopped working together.

In September 2019, drummer Andy Patterson (SubRosa, the Otolith) joined. A month of rehearsals and a massive N. American tour with Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu were the band’s laboratories to prepare a new album, recorded by NYC engineer Colin Marston after the tour. The result: “The Vanishing” (February 2020, Profound Lore Records).

The EU tour for “The Vanishing” got started in March 2020 and was cancelled after one week, due to the first wave of Covid-19. Schechter made a short DIY mini-film documenting the time around making the album. Dana stayed behind in Berlin and Andy returned to Salt Lake City; they stopped working together in early 2021, unable to continue due to living thousands of miles apart and 1.5 years of pandemic-related disassociation.

In September 2021 “Future Fossils”, an exercise in the spirit of stark minimalism was released by Consouling Sounds –  a collection of solo archived outtakes, excerpts, and live improv tracks from 2016-2018. Re-embracing solo work after a break of 7 years, the EP’s A side features three all-synthesizer solo tracks, recorded at a Guest Composer residency at EMS Stockholm. On the B Side, a live noise improv set, performed at a church in Brooklyn NY in 2016, has Schechter on lap steel/synths, and former collaborator Ashley Spungin on synths/percussion.​

Now settled in Berlin, Schechter continued writing music for a new album. In 2022, drummer Tim Wyskida (Khanate, Blind Idiot God, Azonic) joined the band. Fearlessly shape-shifting, the intensely potent creative pairing of the two musicians revealed a shared obsession with innovation and distillation, and the new songs were gutted, reworked, and rebirthed when Wyskida joined, resulting in the album Raw Blood Singing.

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