Active since the early 90s, Kenneth James Gibson has led several musical lives, becoming known for ambient, neo-psychedelia, americana, and dream pop as well as several styles of electronic and avant garde music. Born in Canada but raised in El Paso, Texas, the multifaceted artist started out as a member of noise pop band Furry Things, who released two albums and a few singles and EPs on Trance Syndicate (King Coffey of Butthole Surfers record label)during the ’90s. Their 1995 debut, The Big Saturday Illusion, was engineered by Stars of the Lid‘s Adam Wiltzie, and the 1998 follow-up, Moments Away, was co-produced by Gibson and Medicine‘s Brad Laner. While a member of Furry Things, Gibson debuted his solo electronic alias Eight Frozen Modules, which melded space rock guitars, glitchy ambience, dub effects, and mutilated drum’n’bass breakbeats around the same time American electronic artists such as Lesser, Kid606, and Laner‘s project Electric Company were starting to gain prominence. The first 8FM full-length, The Confused Electrician, appeared on Trance Syndicate in 1997, as did the Daydream Nightmare EP.
Following a move to Los Angeles, the second 8FM album, Random Activities and Broken Sunsets, appeared on Phthalo in 2001. By this time, the American glitch/IDM/breakcore scene was earning attention in the underground music world, and several well-received albums and EPs followed on Orthlorng Musork, Tigerbeat6, and g25productions. By the mid-2000s, 8FM‘s increasingly hardcore sound had also developed significant dancehall reggae and jungle influences, as reflected by releases for labels like Planet Mu (which also released material by the related project Electronic Music Composer), Shockout, and Mutant Sniper.
Around this time, Gibson also began making glitchy minimal techno under the name [a]pendics.shuffle. Several EPs appeared under this name in 2004, and the full-length Helicopter Hearts was issued by Orac Records in 2005. The project became his main outlet, with dozens of 12″s following on labels including Mo’s Ferry, Trapez, and his own Kompakt-distributed label, Adjunct Audio. He also released material under his own name as well as Dubloner (a more dub-influenced alias, which collaborated with Meat Beat Manifesto‘s Jack Dangers), Premature Wig, and Reverse Commuter. He has also collaborated with a number of artists such as Damian Lazarus, Mr. C (of The Shamen), and Douglas McCarthy (of Nitzer Ebb).
In 2009, Gibson went back to band roots and along with Stars of the Lid‘s Brian McBride formed an americana / chamber pop group called Bell Gardens. The duo debuted in 2010 with the EP Hangups Need Company, followed by the full-lengths Full Sundown Assembly (2012) and Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions (2014). The Evening Falls, an ambient album recorded under Gibson‘s own name, was released by Kompakt as part of their Pop Ambient sublabel in 2016. In the Fields of Nothing, his second outing for Kompakt, followed in 2018. Gibson started a new band in 2016 called Toler Gibson with Gavin Toler of Winter Flowers. The band also includes Bell Gardens and Furry Things drummer Charlie Woodburn. Toler Gibson focuses on a vintage country sound with tinges of psychedelia. They released their album “The Days Before” on UK’s Rocket Girl Records in May 2021.
Gibson also composes music for TV & film. His emotive and multidimensional sound palette has led to his music being composed for or placed in a multitude of television shows, commercials, and film.
– Biography by Paul Simpson | All Music