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The Olivia Tremor Control was an Athens, Georgiamarker indie rock band in the mid- to late 1990s which, along with The Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel, was one of the three original Elephant 6 projects. The band was founded by the remnants of the group Synthetic Flying Machine (Jeff Mangum, Bill Doss, and Will Cullen Hart) in 1994 and disbanded in early 2000.

Sound and History

The band's distinct sound is a mixture of Doss and Hart's pop and experimental tendencies. This chemistry is evident in their albums given that some tracks are 2-3 minute songs, while others are electro-acoustic collages ranging in length from 2 seconds to 10 minutes, and differing in content from vibrant horns to near silence. Furthermore, the band released a record of experimental electro-acoustic music, The Late Music, Volume One, under the name The Black Swan Network, in 1997. Another Black Swan Network release, a 7" EP on the Happy Happy Birthday to Me label, appeared in 2000, though it did not feature Bill Doss. In October 1997, a "collaborative" LP between The Olivia Tremor Control and The Black Swan Network was released, originally as a tour-only item, and later put out as a CD by Flydaddy, which gave the record the title, The Olivia Tremor Control vs. The Black Swan Network, though the band had never wanted the record to be named as such.

The band was influenced by the odd quality inherent in dreams and asked their listeners to send in tapes describing their own, examples of which can be heard in the final track of Black Foliage and the OTC-BSN collaborative LP.

Other Projects

The members of The Olivia Tremor Control embarked on a variety of different projects before and after the band broke up. Eric Harris released a record under the name Frosted Ambassador and later two CD-R releases under his own name on Cloud Recordings, the label founded by Fernandes and Hart in the wake of OTC's demise. Pete Erchick released two records, Individualized Shirts and Special Fanfare For Anything, under the name Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't. Bill Doss followed OTC by putting out records as The Sunshine Fix, a name he had used years before. The Sunshine Fix has evolved from a recording project to a formal working band. Hart's post-OTC project, Circulatory System, has taken a similar route. The self-titled 2001 LP continued the melding together of pop and experimental traditions the OTC had worked on and won high accolades from the press.

Signal Morning, Circulatory System's sophomore LP features the reunion of Will Hart and Bill Doss singing harmonies on its opening track. Signal Morning was released on September 8, 2009 on Cloud Recordings.

Reunion

In 2005, the Olivia Tremor Control temporarily reunited, solely for live shows, at the behest of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. They appeared at a UK version of the festival, preceded by warm-up shows in Athens and London; that summer, they again played Athens, at the Orange Twin Conservation Community, as well as gigs in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and L.A. In the fall of 2008, all members of the Olivia Tremor Control toured with other members of the Elephant 6 collective as part of the Holiday Surprise tour. In May 2009, Will Hart said in an interview that the band had recently re-entered the recording studio: "We've got two songs for the next Olivia record, in my opinion. They're on Bill's hard drive."

Members



Discography

Studio Albums



Compilations



EPs and singles



Compilation appearances



References

  1. PitchforkMedia News
  2. elephant6.com
  3. Optical Atles
  4. PitchforkMedia Review
  5. PitchforkMedia Review
  6. PitchforkMedia News
  7. [1]


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