J. Surak

Improvised electro-acoustic musique concrète from Washington DC

Jeff Surak started in the early 80s participating in the international hometaper network. He released his music under the name -1348- on his own Watergate Tapes imprint along with other artists such as Controlled Bleeding, Kapotte Musik, Odal, F.A.R. and collaborations with John Hudak, Crawling With Tarts, Zan Hoffman and others. Surak also performed and toured with his live unit New Carrollton creating improvised post industrial soundscapes. During the early 1990s Surak spent most of his time living in Russia, where he formed the noise group Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye (Joint Venture), which did site specific performances. In the late 90s, Surak returned to recording and live performance with the free music duo V. After releasing numerous recordings and touring the USA, V. disbanded and Surak focused on solo works under the name of Violet, creating organic irrational compositions, using electro-acoustic instruments and tape/cd/vinyl manipulations.

Currently Surak performs under his own name, operating in the netherworld between composed and improvised music, moving between musique concrete, drone, noise, & free improvisation using whatever sound implements at hand. He has collaborated with such artists as Alexei Borisov, Zan Hoffman, Bertrand Denzler, Rinus Van Alebeek, Marta Zapparoli, Frans De Waard, Michael Gendreau, Lina Lapelyte, and as Dead Violets with Thomas Ekelund, and as Critikal with Dmytro Fedorenko. Surak runs the Zeromoon label and directs the annual Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music in Washington DC, presenting performances by a wide range of artists from Phil Niblock, Magma, Univers Zero, Merzbow, Faust, Noveller, Odal, Andrea Parkins, David Behrman, John Butcher, Cut Hands, Okkyung Lee, U.S. Girls, and hundreds of others.

Contact: hatemail@zeromoon.com

"Very much like watching a giant wildfire consuming nature or the eruptions of a volcanoe or seeing an avalanche go down, strikes you both with fear and awe, makes you stare straight into the eye of danger without being able to move a limb." ~ Cracked

"Dark and mysterious, mixing in bits of Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker, Wolf Eyes, blending them into Violet's ominous world of sound." ~ Aquarius Records

"Like beautiful rats hugging a sinking ship." ~ Wire

"We always enjoy his restrained yet unwavering approach, fearlessly exploring dark zones of implied violence and subdued terror." ~ The Sound Projector

Listen - Recent Albums

Listen - Old Albums

Recordings (2002 - 2016)

Lost Geographies - limited edition cassette & zeromoon on bandcamp, 2016

ALL GOLD - limited edition cassette Staaltape, 2015

Dillhole and Fashion Delete - limited edition cassette & zeromoon on bandcamp, 2015

Skull Cloud - limited edition cassette & zeromoon on bandcamp, 2013

Harmonium Bacterium - limited edition cassette & zeromoon on bandcamp, 2013

Salarymen - Out to Lunch - with Gary Rouzer. limited edition cassette & zeromoon on bandcamp, 2013

Sucked Orange - with Marta Zapparoli. Free Music Archive, 2013

Hotel Bethanien/Gates Open - zeromoon on bandcamp, 2012

Songs from the floorboard - zeromoon on bandcamp, 2012

Atlantic Pyramid mp3
zeromoon, 2011

Violet Ray Gas and the Playback Singers CD
zeromoon/Sentient Recognition Archive, 2009.

Live in Tallinn mp3
Clinical Archives, 2009.

»Iron Music For Uncorrigated Youth« C20
Fukk Tapes Lets Erase, 2008

Fender Bender 3" cdr
collaboration with Freiband
MOLL, 2007

Bricks + Bullets
Arterija, 2006

Nexsound Live Reports, 2006

Attack Of
collaboration with Clon
zeromoon, 2006

Blind from staring too long at the sun
zeromoon, 2006

Dead Violets - Organ Grinder
collaboration with Dead Letters Spell out Dead Words
zeromoon, 2006

Dreamland Recordings, 2006

Spirals of Involution, 2006

with Alexei Borisov
top-40, 2006

Live In Tallinn (split double with Rinus Van Alebeek)
chmafu, 2005

collaboration with Kotra
Nexsound Live Reports, 2005

collaboration with XV Parówek
XVP/Zeromoon 2005

Dead Violets - This is not Normal Music - cassette tape c50
collaboration with Dead Letters Spell out Dead Words
Fukk Tape Lets Erase, 2005

The Sun is Shining and the Flowers are Blooming on Violet Street 3" CD
Scarcelight, 2005

Bogatiri - CD
split release with Alexei Borisov and Michael Gendreau
Zeromoon, 2005

Luminescence CDR
Haamumaa, 2004

Error Mechanics 3"
Digitalis Recordings, 2004

Fukk God Lets Create, 2004

Live in the Living
RRs.R, 2004

nexsound, 2004

Violet Rechord - Zhopa (Monotony and Repetition)
Six track collaboration with Andreas Tilliander
earlabs.org, 2004

3-way split - Kurt Buttigieg/Violet/Zanguts
RRs.R, 2004

The Long March - Violet+Bertrand Denzler (collaboration) 3"
Zeromoon, 2004

36 - Violet+Das Torpedoes (collaboration) 3"
Zeromoon, 2004

Resita Mold - Violet Shifts (collaboration with Frans De Waard) 3"
Zeromoon, 2003

Zeromoon, 2003

Let the Sunshine In 3"
Zeromoon, 2003

"Sometimes in The Quietest of Moments the Pipes Don't Fit and the Bathtub Makes you Scream and the Toaster Wants Your Blood" 3"
Zeromoon, 2002

Two mp3 only tracks on Slap Art Digital Union

Ulitsa Novatorov - Jeff Surak & Alexei Borisov (collaboration) 3"
Locus of the Assemblage, 2002


Sea of Vapors
(14'00", 2014)
By Sylvia Schedelbauer
Music by J. Surak

Gasland Part II
(125', 2013)
By Josh Fox
Selected music by Violet

Way Fare
(6'30", 2009)
By Sylvia Schedelbauer
Selected music by Violet

Otto; or, Up with Dead People
(94 min, 35mm, 2008)
By Bruce La Bruce
Selected music by Violet

False Friends
(4'50", 2007)
By Sylvia Schedelbauer
Selected music by Violet

Degradation #2, X-Ray: Government Radiation
(3'30", 16mm, color, 2007)
By James Schneider
Soundscape by Violet

Degradation #1, X-Ray: Shroud of Security
(3'30", 16mm, color, 2006)
By James Schneider
Soundscape by Violet



Salarymen (with Gary Rouzer)