The origins of Fonik date back to 1999 when both members worked in the Psychiatric Challenge Collective finally splitting to form the duo in 2005. Working essentially with free improvisation / experimental noise (using prepared guitars and electronics) Fonik had an uncompromising approach, blurring the boundary between music, noise and art.
Please note that Fonik split in 2013 in somewhat acrimonius circumstances
Performances were generally the ‘core two’ but occasionally an impromptu trio or quartet happens depending on situation / availability of the ‘occasional contributors’ listed below. The duo’s background was varied coming from jazz, avant garde, post rock, industrial and new music.
Material recorded was occasionally reworked with various sound editing techniques bringing a completely new angle to the sound. It was a kind of a combination of traditional improvisation techniques combined with diy technology. Reworks could be done in real-time, this becoming an improvisation in itself, with parameters being tweaked as and when required. Otherwise traditional tape editing / musique concrete techniques were employed but using digital software.
Fonik presented the films ‘Nosferatu’, ‘ Metropolis’, and ‘Das Kabinet’ providing a live improvised soundtracks (Manchester’s’ Green Room completely sold out). They worked on a re-edit of ‘Metropolis’ for 2010.
Foniks’ work is available on Electronic Musik, Casual Seizures, aReW Recordings, Earth Monkey Productions and Knife in the Toaster.
Fonik also made occasional appearances as part of Manchester musicians collective ‘Gnod’.
Fonik were seen playing and sharing the bill with with (amongst others) Sun Ra Arkestra, Evan Parker, MoHa!, Damo Suzuki, Frakture Big Band, Bark!, Lol Coxhill, Acid Mothers Temple, Primordial Undermind, John Russell, The Good Anna, Spoils & Relics, Orion Arm, Blood Moon, Paul Bradley, Mayming, Naevus, Lee Patterson, Cheap Machines, Stables, Serfs, The A Band, Johnny Scarr, Ghost of an Octopus, Beach Fuzz, Peterloo Massacre, Hunter Gracchuss, Thee Moths, Graham Clark, The Long Tail, Paul, Gimp Nipples, Parting the Wild Horses Mane, Ford Maddox Brown, Baltic Fleet, Sonver, Petals, Designer Babies, Duet for Theremin & Lapsteel, Chora, Danny Saul, They Destroyed His Image, Rhodri Davies, Eddie Prevost, Mark Wastell, Paul Rutherford, Phil Marks, Paul, Philip Jeck, Keith Rowe, Colin Potter, Roy Harper, Tim Hodgkinson, Roger Turner, Solar Fire, Swung Dash, Smear Campaign, Astral Social Club, Stuckometer, Illuminati, Disco Operating System, Fibreman, The Telescopes, Horse Hair, Noise Club, Barbarians, Lanterns, The Tajalli Vortex, Cooper Jones, FTSE 100, Ashtray Navigations, Konk Pack, Gnod, Action Beat, Agripon, Poltergroom, Sannyasin, Good Noise Bad Noise, Cardboard Lung, Clutter, Janek Schaeffer, Mole, Phil Morton, Phil Lucking and Dan Weaver.
Harry Gallimore – electronics
Ian Simpson – prepared lapsteel / electronics
Pascal Nichols – percussion (Parting the Wild Horses Mane on Both sides)
Dave Jackson – sax / reeds (Solar Fire Trio)
Tim Lyons – trumpet / electronics (The Sandells)
Both Ends Burning (2005)
Northern Solar Noise (2006)
New Instrumental Usage (2006)
Split with Ford Maddox Brown (2007) on Casual Seizures
Scatter Graph (July 2007)
Claymans Next Victim (2007) Electronic Musik
Beneath the 5th Pyramid (2008) Electronic Musik
Resonator (July 2008) on Earth Monkey Label
Nosferatu (2008) also on DVD with 3 selective soundtracks
Fuel (2008) on Knife in the Toaster Records
Dystopian (2008) Electronic Musik
Sounding First (January 2009) 3” ep
Sounding Second (January 2009) 3” ep
A Burning Watercolour (2009) Electronic Musik
Lithium Burn (2009) split with Bacillus on Electronic Musik
Beekeeper (2009) Electronic Musik
Current Theories (2009) Electronic Musik
Super Cluster Pts 1 + 2 (2009 with Gnod) Electronic Musik
Einsteins Prediction (2009) Electronic Musik
Two Studies (2010) split with Noise Research on aReW Recordings
All EM releases are available by searching Archive.Org or googling Electronic Musik.
What’s been said ….
Unrelenting Warrington-based champions of experimental music in the UK’s most unlikely location. Faust minus the muso elements. Scraps of radio, alien tones, BBC radiophonic (pun intended?) workshop sensibility. – Golden Lab Records 2007
The diversity of instrumentation lends intself to variety, excitement, surprise, and overall interest- and entertainment-value. Improv suits small groups, in my view. But it takes more than limited numbers of personnel, of course. To a man, your attention to detail and your listening to one another, the lack of ego, makes for a real shared dynamic. – Murmurists 2006
Creeping precise drones that bubble and crackle through your mind space like shrinking inside a switched off television with a 9volt battery taped to your tongue, on an abandoned beach somewhere in the cosmos, and realising your CB Radio is destroyed and the voices you’ve been hearing are starting to turn. Outstanding bleak drones from these Warrington men – Casual Seizures 2007
Fonik – home-made synth & guitar improvisations to make you hide behind the sofa. Warrington’s finest electronic improvisers coming to exterminate your ears “like Stockhausen’s worst nightmare” – Dave Jackson (Solar Fire Trio) 2007
The project from the guys who brought you Psychiatric Challenge and every event in Warrington that ever incorporated experimental music. Dark electronics mingle with a tortured guitar in blissful mayhem. Fonik have collaborated with everyone from modern composers such as AMM drummer Eddie Prevost to noise-brats such as Stuckometer drummer Pascal Nichols (who’s not a brat, he’s actually a dude) – Rowf Rowf Rowf 2007
Quite unique what you do with your sound … interesting – Le Missile 2007 (Here & Now)
back for more sonic attack – Freeform 2007
After hearing their performance I felt scoured – Cardboard Lung 2007
Absorb their musical score into available orifices – Velvet Nightmares Magazine 2007
An ambient accompaniment of whirrs, clicks and hums of processed sound 8/10 – Owen Hewson 2007
Everyone in Eat lights digs your sound – Eat Lights, Become Lights 2007
It’s nice to hear something like this…it makes me want to play when I listen to it..- JJ 2007
Utterly weird, freaked out and just a little unnerving!! Outside of the box is an understatement!! Perfect! Those two ep’s are seriously nerve jangling – Bad Acid 2008
Free noise drone junkies – Bad Uncle 2008
Near-impenetrability, obstreperous twists and turns, brash radio or TV interjections,
and the old analogue synthesiser textures. It’s a sort of concise and episodic
version of the old German group Kluster or 1960’s AMM – Alan Haselden 2008
Thanks for a great set and making the event special – Burst Couch 2008
Having played alongside many luminaries, inc. Nurse with wound collaborator Colin Potter, Acid Mothers Temple, Evan Parker, Parting The Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and supporting Sun Ra’s Arkestra this November, this December Fonik will be bringing their psychedelic terrorism to Birmingham – Black forest Radio 2008
We had lots of great feedback about you guys, everyone was really impressed – The Noise Upstairs 2008
Great set you did at The Kings, I think you opened a few eyes. You’re always welcome – Ken Norbury (Kings Arms , Salford) 2009
Like Fuck Button’s Dads’ – Cath Aubergine 2009