Biography, Releases, and Reviews
Jason Pfaff is an accomplished American composer and multidisciplinary artist with over 30 years experience making music. He plays piano, drums, synthesizers, and sings within his own cinematic genre 'Multidimensional' (blending Classical, Ambient, Pop, Electronica, Hip Hop, Blues, and Rock). He is the brother of the late musical force, Kristen Pfaff (Hole, Geffen Records). Among many musical influences, some include Beethoven,The Cure, Daniel Lanois, and The Flaming Lips. Jason has worked with many accomplished musicians and closely works with Grammy nominated music mastering engineer, Anthony Casuccio.
Performing since 1992 in and around Buffalo, New York, Jason's performances have ranged from Rock bands to Classical and Ambient piano, to Experimental Electronic based concerts with guest musicians and video artists. Jason has also produced for local and worldwide. He also dabbles with writing, comedy, podcasting, and film-making.
Jason released his debut (fully produced with vocals) EP "Spaceship Blues in December of 2018, while also evolving his multi-media business- Pfaff Music. Aside, Jason’s diverse and cinematic music catalog serves independent multimedia and businesses worldwide. Some notable music placements include the HBO film “A Place in the Caribbean” (2017), “Prisoners of the Dead” (2011), and a featured artist track in Future Music magazine (CD 2000).
Fish Sandwich- 1989-1991
Non John Defectors-1992-1996
Rainbow Girls (Cashcow Record Co.)- 1993-1997
Lunch Ladies- 1995-1997
Ribcage (Emergency Poncho Records)- 1997-2000
Jason Pfaff- 2003-
Pfaff, Flood, and Gorman- 2006-2007
Music for Ultras- 2016-2017
June 1997. Ribcage LP- by Craig Reynolds
"At its most successful, Ribcage's diary of postmodern play-time amounts to a double-back deconstruction of "pop" music, as well as a surprisingly inventive show of control over the raw materials of pure sound. Like a cartoon character who runs off a cliff only to find himself dangling in mid-air before falling wildly to the red earth below, Pfaff runs off the edge, only to watch the cliffs crash to the red earth below.."
Feb 2008. Battle Battle CD- by Jerome Lindberg of Buffalo Rising
“Overall, the album offers the listeners a sanctuary to be creative themselves; the cinematicism of the songs beg for visual accompaniment. One can almost see the end credits rolling as the drums swell in the album's final track Opus Aloria. One of the best things an electronic album can do is put the listener in a space that’s almost meditative, allowing them to hear a story in the instruments, much like how each observer of a painting will impart their own meaning to the finished canvas. This album has that quality. If you’re a fan of Ninja Tune, Mo Wax, Domino, Compost Records, or a fan of quality and interesting music, Jason Pfaff’s battle battle album should be in your collection.”
(full article here)
Oct 2009. Battle Battle EP- by Sam Inglis/soundonsound.com
"Jason Pfaff's album explores a variety of electronic music styles, from Mobyesque techno-blues to doom-laden film score...The ensuing half an hour makes for a rewarding listen"
Oct 2012. Moon Bone LP- by Brad Huff
"Pfaff's latest release "Moon Bone" is a brilliant melody rhythm collision sounding similar to a Moby album produced by Trent Reznor that Peter Gabriel once had a dream about."
Aug. 2014. Indie Son LP- by Wolfsong
"Eclectic and vibrant! The music felt like a trip around the world, a rip in the fabric of time . . something like water filling in all the nooks and crevices . . music so full of life and loaded with creativity, emotion and dreams . ."
July. 2015. Meal: the all american father and son improv experience LP- by Scantron
"Best album to come out of Buffalo in a long time. A breath of fresh air and one of the only well executed local concept albums since Electroman's American Googaloo. Wonderful arrangement that joins the likes of my other heroes Van Dyke Parks, George Martin, and MGMT."
Dec. 2020. Spaceship Blues EP- by Scantron
"I thoroughly enjoyed Jason Pfaff’s latest EP music release “Spaceship Blues":, and listening to it for review has caused a change in myself and brought me to reflect on my relationship to music both as a listener and as an artist. This release, to me, fits well into the postmodern type of environment that defines the current climate, where many genres can co-mingle and co-exist. At the same time, it reflects a similar vibe that was present from the decade spanning from the 90s to the early 2000s when genres like electronic, folk, indie rock, etc could co-exist and reflect on each other.
The first track, “Closer”, has an electronic beat, rocking guitars, and melancholy vocals that refrain “I just can’t figure it out”. It is ambient in multiple ways, from trance-y to noise rock and is a great mood piece to start the vibe of this eclectic album.
This is followed up by the second track “A Stellar Wind”. This piece is more lyric heavy, with content similar to early Dylan mixed with 90s Beck: “And then the angry shepherd came clean, when he found out santa klaus was green, he dropped the act he crossed the line he told them everything, he never spoke again now he just singssss”. The vocal style moves from reminiscent-of-Leonard-Cohen on the verses to belting a David-Bowie-balladesque chorus delivery style. With both those artists mentioned in the previous sentence having moved on from this world, Jason Pfaff may be some of the closest you will get to this type of art moving forward on this material plane. With acoustic sounds of piano and drums setting a natural mood, this is offset by the production effects that process the acoustic instruments and bring skilled texture to the overall piece. Arrangement, production, performance, and songwriting are all showcased by this piece.
The centerpiece third track “Megafone” starts out with heavy drums and titular vocal processing sound. It is heavy rock style, but with live recording on the percussion it proves its later refrain “nothing means nothing if it ain’t got soul” because you can feel an energy that is lacking in much over-produced and over-processed music of today. It is definitely produced and processed, but in a way that is a lost art in today’s market. Verse lyrics like “too many selfies but not enough self” defines the antithesis of what music like this song make you feel and a world apart from the hope an album like this brings. When the expertly juxtaposed melodic chorus of “I’m waiting for the greyhound bus” come in, it makes you wish you could take a greyhound bus back to when music like this was popular. The only way to do this is to cause a shift in music like this album is leading towards.
The fourth track “A New Dawn” upon careful listening can lead one to its titular focal point. It juxtaposes many elements like acoustic drums with electronic rhythms, guitar strums with glitchy electronics, and toy piano notes with sequencer arpeggios. These dualities are mixed together in a very subtle way and can be missed on first listen if one is not careful or mindful. The vocal sounds or chant toward the end of the track place a human character above the apparent dualities and highlight their synthesis and transcendence.
“How it Ends” could refer to this as the final track on the album, the end of a highly-personal romantic relationship, or to humanity with its culture and civilization at current point. This track I personally pair in my mind with the second track in that they both showcase the four elements mentioned in the last sentence of that track’s review paragraph. This similarity gives cohesion to the album and a style to the eclectism found in all its five tracks. The word Spaceship reminds me of futuristic processing on this track, from heavy industrial-drone leads in the middle all the way to the few final electronic beeps one might miss if they tune out the album too early. It features electronic musical elements that are alive, not empty. They are filled with the second element: Blues. You sense true emotional expression and even pain, yet possibly melancholic hope? That is what this album is to me. It took me a long time to review this album because it is not a simple feat. If one were to hear this album and dismiss it, it would be because themselves could not handle the self reflection. This current society has been running from its duty to understand where it is in arts and social history too much in popular music, and Spaceship Blues is the antidote whose sweetness is a coting for one to take a pill that if not bitter is at least melancholic to the core. At least that is real emotion and the type of production this generation needs. The road to heaven may be paved with a philosopher’s stone, and this is truly a masterwork that makes me look forward to the future: from listening to this album more, from seeing further output from Jason Pfaff, and from seeing where society including myself moves with culture and arts. The end of this paragraph ties with its start and a threefold reflection brought on by this album and presents itself to any willing reader of this review or listener of the album: Spaceship Blues."
Discography (bands and solo releases)
One Man Jason Band- (LP unreleased) 1992
Rainbow Girls- 'Brainbomb', 'Wet', 'Call Away' (Cashcow Recording Co. 7" single) 1994
Rainbow Girls- self titled (EP- cassette) 1994
Rainbow Girls-WBNY 91.3 FM Compilation CD 1994
Lunchladies (I-VIII unreleased) 1995-1997
Nietzsche's Holiday Sampler: 'Music for the Needy' 1996
Temple of Music (compilation-Atom Smash Records) 1996
Ribcage (LP- Emergency Poncho Records) 1997
Wake (LP- Emergency Poncho Records) 1997
The Window (LP- unreleased) 2000
Ribcage II (LP- Emergency Poncho Records) 2002
Battle Battle (EP- Nowon Productions) 2007
Pfaff, Flood, and Gorman- (misc.) 2008
Trainsong (single- Nowon) 2009
Animal Tracks (LP- Illuminaughty Records) 2015
'Closer' (single- Illuminaughty Records) 2016
How it Ends (single)- 2017
Misc albums, singles, and remixes: (includes various producing, engineering, mixing, and remixing credits)
Michel Weber- ('Float' single, misc.) 1996, 1997
Rob Scarfia- (misc.) 1998
Janitor Joe- (remix) 1999, 2016
Stefan Nicolo- (misc.) 2001
Jake Midlar-'Airbourne' (EP) 2002
Ronny Brown- 'Brighter Day' (single) 2005
Becca Rice- 'Trust' (single) 2006
Alexis Joyce- 'Advanced Being' single (and misc.) 2006
Laura Jean- (single, misc.) 2007
Y.E.P. Allstars: 'The Saints and Ballin Ballers' (EP) 2007
Kathyrine Joyce- (misc.) 2007
The Riblars- 'Sooner Than Now' (remix) 2008
Luke Pfaff- (misc.) 2009
Jeremy Neff- (remix) 2009
TIm Shephard-(misc.) 2009
Gary Rutkowski- Collision of Sticks-'Water' (remix) 2010
Ray Kelsey- 'Couch Cushion Forts' (LP) 2011
CL- (misc.) 2011
Eben Flood- self titled (EP) 2012
Hesu Whitten- (misc.) 2013, 2014
Jess Classic- (misc.) 2012-2016
Danny Castelluzzo- (misc.) 2014
Hans Zimmer- Destiny's Door (remix: 'Here Come the Elephants') 2014
Jason Pfaff feat. Janitor Joe- 'Serfs Up' - (single) 2016
Sarah Salsa- (single) 2016
Writing and Published works
Jason Pfaff- Ribcage: a collection of poems from 1990-2000 (33 1/3 degree Lions Press, Ventura, California (out of stock)
VIlla Maria College SKALD magazine- (misc.) poems 2006, 2008
Compilation (self published)- samples here
Mix CDs (playlists)
Infringement Festival. 10/28/16.
Serf's Up (feat. Janitor Joe). 03/20/16.