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Angst Experience were a Kalistani band formed in 4083 in Maridon, Neveras. Often considered one of the pioneers of trip hop music, the band rose to fame with the release of their self-titled debut album. The original Angst Experience line-up consisted of Imogen Holland, Jackson Bennots and Madeline Odom. Robert Couturier joined the band in 4086, shortly after the release of Angst Experience and Odom prior to the recording of the band's second album Sequence.

Alongside other artists like Entresol Hsyteria and Mariann Karlsson, Angst Experience came to define the Maridon sound of the late 4080s. Following a brief hiatus between 4091 and 4094, the band returned with a less dance-oriented sound and released three further albums: Numbness (4095), Trajectory (4097) and Infinite Emotions (4102). After the band's final dissolution in 4103, the members continued to sporadically perform and record together, notably for a one-off performance of their debut album to celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary in 4111.

HistoryEdit

4083-4084: Formation and early yearsEdit

Angst Experience was formed as "Maridon" by Madeline Odom and Jackson Bennots in Maridon, Neveras. Imogen Holland joined the group shortly afterwards, replacing Bennots as lead vocalist. Odom and Bennots give conflicting accounts of Holland's addition in the band. Bennots claims that she was a close friend of his prior to the creation of the group while Odom suggests that Holland and Bennots met at one of the group's first live performances. Both credit her with shifting the group's style from a more traditional dance and electronic sound to incorporate aspects of experimental and hip hop music.

4084-4086: "Take a Ride", "All for Nothing" and early successEdit

In June 4084, the band released their debut single "Take a Ride" to critical acclaim and national success, reaching the top 20 on the national music charts. By this time, they had become one of the highlights of Neveras' emerging night club scene and would later become among the most influential artists associated with the Maridon sound. During this period of early success, Angst Experience received support from record producer Scott Cameron.

Imogen holland

Holland during a photoshoot

Later that year, the group began recording their debut long-play to be released through independent label Juniper Records. In addition to the group's principal members, they received assistance from producer Scott Cameron and his wife Mariann Karlsson and this included recording much of the album in their garage studio. In December 4084, "All for Nothing" was released as the band's second single and various prominent remixes of the track caused the band to develop an even larger following.

4086-4088: Debut album and line-up changesEdit

The increasing popularity of the Maridon sound, which was now being referred to as "trip hop", and Angst Experience enabled the band to improve their recording facilities and techniques. Consequently, they decided to re-record many of the original tracks from Angst Experience prior to its release, including the two previously released singles. The re-recorded versions were packaged as a double A-side and re-released in 4087, followed by another new single "Reveal".

The self-titled album was released in January 4086 and was a number one record for several weeks in Kalistan. Critics praised the experimental and innovative sound of the band, which fused elements of hip hop, like sampling, with electronica, funk, baroque pop and psychedelic rock. Furthermore, the album had a distinctly regional sound and lacked many of the traditional hallmarks of international hip hop music.

Mariann karlsson

Mariann Karlsson played an important role in the early success of Angst Experience

In the wake of the album's success, Angst Experience embarked on an continental tour and recruited Rildanorien multi-instrumentalist Robert Couturier to support them in live performances. After only a few live performances, the group invited Couturier to join them as an official member. Alongside Couturier and the other three members, Angst Experience were assisted by several touring musicians and, while playing dates in Valruzia, a string quartet.

Despite their success, controversy erupted when it was revealed in the press that Madeline Odom and Mariann Karlsson had been engaged in a long-term sexual relationship without the knowledge of the rest of the band or Scott Cameron, their assistant producer and Karlsson's husband. After the revelations, Odom briefly disappeared from the band's live in late 4087 but returned to play a homecoming show in Maridon in May 4088. By the end of the year, Bennots, Holland and Couturier decided that the atmosphere of hostility was disruptive to the creative process and asked Odom to leave the band.

4088-4091: Sequence and hiatusEdit

Having already begun the writing process prior to Odom's departure, Ansgt Experience had completed the recording of their follow-up album by the end of 4088. Although featuring many of the defining characteristics of their debut, Sequence was regarded as a more commercial record and an attempt to achieve international success, especially in dance-music night clubs across Terra. While critical opinion was not as positive as their debut, the album sold far more than Angst Experience and many of the tracks were widely played in hip hop, dance and alternative music venues alike.

Ganjam angst experience

Angst experience headlining GanJam

In 4090, the band headlined the GanJam's "L Night", with the performance recorded for a later live album. Retrospectively, Bennots described this show as "our last true performance as Angst Experience". Despite playing a small number of shows in local venues in early 4191, the group began to feel as though they had lost their creative direction. After a particularly problematic show in Neveras City, in which the crowd booed as they showcased a new ten-minute track, they confirmed through their website that the band would split to focus on other musical projects and their personal lives.

4094-4098: Numbness and TrajectoryEdit

During the band's hiatus, Couturier and Bennots had released a short extended play with former Entresol Hsyteria vocalist Iryna Jaraslavič, employing a more direct and abrasive sound in comparison to the pair's work with Angst Experience. When Jaraslavič fell ill during a tour, Holland was brought in to provide vocals in live performances. While backstage, the threesome decided to return to recording as Angst Experience and began writing their third album in 4094. Entitled Numbness, it was released the following year and achieved moderate commercial success.

Angst experience return

Promotional image announcing the band's return

Making the decision not to continue as a live act, the group focused on creating a "deeper sonic experience" in the words of Bennots. Over the next two years, the band wrote and recorded Trajectory, their most radical and experimental release. Featuring extensive use of rap and spoken word, it employed a loud-quiet dynamic influenced heavily by alternative rock and grunge artists. Trajectory received critical acclaim and won the Hawthorne Prize for "Best Alternative Album". The band agreed to provide a live television performance of the record and employed numerous additional musicians including Madeline Odom, who had reignited a friendship with the band's members.

4098-4103: Infinite Emotions and separationEdit

Following the success of Trajectory, the band released their GanJam headline performance from 4090 as a live album. For their final release, Angst Experience decided to pursue a two-part project. Initially, this was intended to be two separate albums to be released in quick succession but financial difficulties for the record label made this impossible.

Angst experience studio

Cherry Studios in Neveras City, where much of Infinite Emotions was recorded

In the end, Juniper Records collapsed around half-way through the recording of the band's fifth album and so they approached Mariann Karlsson, who allowed them to use her studio facilities to finish the recordings. Assisted once again by Scott Cameron, the band settled on a double album, with two distinct moods and styles. Despite initial reservations, Holland convinced the rest of the band, as well as Karlsson and Cameron, to release the album on a "pay-what-you-wish" digital download basis.

Critically, the album received mixed reviews. The first half, which featured Cameron and Karlsson's production most prominently, was likened to their sophomore record, Sequence, and featured several tracks which would become popular in night clubs. In contrast, the second half was almost entirely recorded in Baltusia prior to the collapse of Juniper and featured a melancholy mood with a more ambient instrumentation.

Musical styleEdit

Angst Experience are frequently cited as one of the most influential artists on the development of trip hop and the Maridon sound- terms which are often used interchangeably. Indralan hip hop artist Qian Cheng claims that "no artist did more for the diversity of hip hop and its incorporation of electronica than Angst Experience". Initially considered a dance or electronic act, the utilisation of heavy bass and frequent sampling (common in hip hop of the period) created a unique sound.

Later in their career and following the mainstream decline of the trip hop phenomenon, Angst Experience became associated with experimental music and adopted lyrical themes from grunge and alternative rock. In combination with a change in vocal style, this created a more melancholy or "gloomy" sound for the band.

MembersEdit

  • Imogen Holland - vocals, guitar, production (4083-4091, 4094-4103)
  • Jackson Bennots - drums, keyboards, string arrangements, production (4083-4091, 4094-4103)
  • Madeline Odom - bass guitar, nose flute (4083-4088)
  • Robert Couturier - bass guitar, guitar, organ, production, drum programming (4086-4091, 4094-4103)

DiscographyEdit

  • Angst Experience (4086)
  • Sequence (4089)
  • Numbness (4095)
  • Trajectory (4097)
  • Infinite Emotions (4102)
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