Orphx have been creating their unique fusion of rhythm and noise for almost thirty years, combining the propulsion of techno with the experimental techniques and critical themes of industrial music. They have been working across different genres and music scenes over the last three decades, moving from audio/visual noisescapes in local clubs and art galleries during the 90s to shoestring tours across Europe and on to the last decade of performances at techno clubs, festivals, and underground events around the world.
The project was founded in 1993 by Rich Oddie, Christina Sealey, and Aron West, who began creating improvised performances inspired by early industrial music and new waves of noise from Europe and Japan. Following cassette releases on their own Xcreteria label, West departed to focus on noise project Tropism while Oddie and Sealey began to push Orphx in a more rhythmic direction. Their distinctive sound used powerful layered rhythms, modulating soundscapes, and processed vocals and samples to explore themes of personal struggle and social control. Over the last few years this early work has been documented by releases on Hospital Productions, Mannequin Records, and Oddie’s own Ekstasis label. By the late 90s, Orphx was drawing inspiration from the more experimental fringes of techno, electro, and dub. The project became Oddie's solo studio effort but live performances continued to be collaborative. Working closely with Germany's Hands Productions label, the duo gained an international following as one of the pioneering acts within the European "rhythmic noise" scene. Over the last decade, Oddie and Sealey have again collaborated on both live performances and studio recordings as their work connected with both techno and industrial audiences through a series of acclaimed releases on the Sonic Groove label and remix work for a wide variety of artists, including Conrad Schnitzler, Front Line Assembly, Nomeansno, Perc, Oscar Mulero, Drumcell and Svreca.
Orphx have refined their sound across numerous releases and many changes in tools and techniques: from reel to reel tape machines and homemade instruments to software sequencing and processing, and moving back again to hardware following Sealey's adoption of modular synthesizers in 2008. Oddie and Sealey are renowned for delivering improvised live performances that combine modular synth, drum machines, software, and live vocals. They have toured throughout Europe, North America, Japan, and China, appearing at international festivals such as Berlin Atonal, Forte, Katharsis, Labyrinth, Mutek, Rural, Voltage, and Unsound, and regularly performing at techno temples such as Berghain, Tresor, and Khidi. Their work has been featured in film soundtracks and documentaries, including I Dream of Wires (2014) on the resurgence of modular synths and Soundtrack for the Urban Decay (2015) on the history of industrial music. In recent years, they have been working on new audio/visual performances using infrasound and multi-channel speaker systems, working in collaboration with video artist Patrick Trudeau and McMaster University's Institute for Music and the Mind. Active collaborations and side projects include Orphx + JK Flesh (Justin Broadrick of Godflesh), Eschaton (Orphx + Ancient Methods), Ontario Hospital (Rich Oddie + Huren), and Oureboros (Rich Oddie + Aron West).