since 1992

C O R P O R A T E . R E P O R T

j u n e . 1 9 9 8

thank you for reaching the 21/22 corporation web area. the following corporate report presents a brief outline of the history of the corporation thus far. we hope you enjoy reading about the growth and development of our projects and ideas, and hope you will continue to investigate this website as it develops into an online resource.

A . B R I E F . H I S T O R Y

THE 21/22 CORPORATION was founded in 1992 by charles noel. based in columbus, ohio, the corporation began as an open conceptual entity, intended to incorporate everything from experimental electronic music to cutting-edge graphic design. in its first two years of existence, it served as the launch pad for charles' sonic experimentations, which were compiled in a series of modest cassette releases, and circulated by hand to various friends and fellow artists. the music on these cassettes--created almost exclusively on a single 4-track tape recorder--fused hip-hop, industrial dance, and noise music together to forge an uncompromising, primal, and low-tech approach to sound construction.

throughout this period, charles also made his mark with columbus' prototype electronic band BODY RELEASE, along with members titonton duvante, mike szebczek, and todd sines, who took the formulas of electronic dance music into new, unexplored areas.

by 1994, charles initiated the FUSION series of tape compilations, hoping to build on the connections he had made through his solo work and as part of BODY RELEASE. over the next two years, charles obtained songs from dozens of artists (from columbus and beyond), and released a total of 6 FUSION cassettes, consisting mostly of dance music (especially techno, jungle, and related forms). the FUSION series was distributed throughout the midwest, and managed to sell about 100 copies each, through the internet and local promotion. although this too was only a modest enterprise, it succeeded in bringing diverse electronic artists together, and created an interest in the electronic dance music of the central ohio area.

the next phase was vinyl production, which began in january of 1995 with charles' self-produced solo EP entitled "reconnaissance" (level 1201) under the artist name MONOCHROME. this EP consisted of charles' experiments with jungle music. 500 copies were pressed, most of which were taken by watts distribution and sold throughout the world. charles' second jungle EP, released in summer of 1995 under the name FUZZY LOGIC?! (level 1202), fared more poorly due to rushed production and a dirty pressing. 1000 copies were made, but only about 200-300 were sold (the remaining copies have been valuable as giveaways and promos). with this release, charles gave up on vinyl for a while.

by early 1996, edward luna had joined the corporation in an official capacity, and a new project was undertaken: TRACE ELEMENTS. the TRACE ELEMENTS series began as a way for several artists to contribute artistically and financially to one release. with the encouragement of detroit's 7th city distribution (owned and operated by dan bell), the first TRACE ELEMENTS (level 1203) was released in the fall of 1996, featuring tracks from todd sines, charles, titonton, and m/c/jones. this release was critically acclaimed, and sold over 1000 copies.

through 7th city, a second TRACE ELEMENTS (level 1204) was also prepared in the winter of 1996/7, to feature music by powerhouse, titonton, ihannoa, and myungho choi. this release was disastrous to say the least. while the music was nearly as strong as the previous TE, numerous problems plagued this record. for example, the original mastering of this release had a mysterious lock groove in the middle of a song which required a re-master. even after re-mastering, TE 2 was responsible for several breakdowns at our local pressing plant. moreover, the label art was held up for months. when it finally did come out in the fall of 1997, TE 3 also sold miserably, with only about 400 copies sold out of 900 pressed. as a final insult, a whole box of this release was returned to us by the distributor, which the corporation elected to buy back, at cost.

a more modest success, released simultaneously to TE 2, was a limited-edition solo techno ep by charles noel as ARCHETYPE, entitled "time dilation effect" (level 1206). 600 copies of this record were made, intended to confuse and perplex buyers with its highly-experimental music and packaging.

the final release distributed through 7th city was the concept ep entitled "scalable architectures" (level 1205) by todd sines as CRON, which had been prepared in late 1996 but was delayed for over a year. perhaps the most musically and artistically cohesive release by the corporation thus far, CRON did manage to attract the attention of several experimental electro/electronica labels in europe, through which todd plans to release more of his music. out of 1000 pressed, about 500-600 were sold.

a more melodic release, TRACE ELEMENTS 3 (level 1207), was unveiled in march of 1998, featuring tracks by ohio native dan curtin, the UK's dego mcfarlane, longtime friend dac crowell, and a lost collaboration between titonton and morgan geist. TE 3 has been distributed once again through watts, and has sold about 400 copies as of this writing (june 98).

the next release by the 21/22 corporation will be TRACE ELEMENTS 4 (level 1208), featuring 5 experimental techno tracks and lock grooves.

despite our numerous challenges and setbacks, the 21/22 corporation continues to stand for experimentation, innovation, and accessibility through underground--and overground--media.

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