Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Experimental guitarist Koen Holtkamp began his solo work with the formation of his label apestaartje while attending the Art Institute of Chicago in the late '90s. Holtkamp's work with heavily processed guitars and layers of textural sound began around this time with solo project Aero, using his label to release albums Pretend in 2001 and Rises & Falls in 2003. Around 2005, Holtkamp relocated to Brooklyn where he began focusing on Mountains, the drone project he'd begun with apestaartje co-founder and fellow Art Institute student Brendon Anderegg. The band released their first self-titled album on their own label in 2005, with subsequent releases following on better-known indies such as Catsup Plate and eventually Thrill Jockey. In 2008, as Mountains was continuing to grow in terms of audience and critical acclaim, Holtkamp issued his first solo work under his own name with the silently majestic experiments and meditations of Field Rituals, offered up on U.K. ambient label Type. The album was well-received and he followed in 2010 with the limited-edition, LP-only release Gravity/Bees, as well as a myriad of collaborative releases, EPs, and other vinyl-only fare. Plenty of touring took place for both Mountains and Holtkamp solo in these years, as the projects performed in venues ranging from basement spaces to international festivals. 2014 saw the release of Motion on Thrill Jockey, a stand-alone album that was paired with companion piece Connected Works. Connected Works compiled most of Holtkamp's vinyl-only material in a digital format for the first time.