Joe's musical background began at age 13 playing guitar as a hobby. By 17 he started to pursue music more seriously, writing original songs and playing synths along with his guitar. In 1988 he learned record engineering and music production at The Recording Workshop School in Ohio. After he left two years of work for Greenpeace in 1991 and relocating to San Francisco, Joe began aggressively writing and recording demo tapes & CDs. One song from a demo CD, "The Lost Cats Cry", was featured on a KITS radio compilation album of local Bay Area artists called "Noisy Neighbors".
In 1997 Joe created "Discovery". This full length album represented a break from the pop music of past work and began a new path into the realm of ambient music. Discovery is 12 songs based entirely of synth space music. Discovery showcased a new writing style, focusing more on atmospheres and moods rather than the traditional structured songs of popular music.
In 1999 Joe released his second album "Talking To The Dead". A conceptual CD like Discovery, Talking To The Dead is twelve songs about the paranormal spirit world. The album features spooky bleak textures mixed with melodic passages from ethnic and electronic sounds and a few samples from the "dead". An evocative and sometimes scary soundtrack of the spiritual dreamscape. It was a surprise hit receiving rave reviews and praise from critics and fans alike. It's been played on numerous radio and Internet stations and in underground clubs as well as being mentioned in several industry magazines and web sites. The song "Lalurie" was featured on the nationally syndicated radio show Hearts of Space program titled "Funeral Songs".
After the success of Talking to the Dead, Joe took a brief hiatus from music and relocated back to his hometown of Columbus Ohio. After he settled in from his sabbatical he eventually returned to writing and released his third CD, "Remnants of Zen". Yet another departure from the past, Remnants of Zen is a minimalist four part concept, each song a long atmospheric piece establishing a moment of tranquility and a reflection of the simplicity of ones past. The use of classic vintage synth sounds helps establish the mood. It's an attempt at capturing the sound of Zen itself.
In addition to his music Joe was also DJ known as Ax Nyslie. He spun Gothic, Industrial, and Elecrtronica music every Sunday night at a Columbus Ohio club called Outland. During this time he created "Aniron". This album takes all the styles and influences of the past work coalesced into an intoxicating collage of hypnotic deampop and ethereal passages. Aniron, taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's Sindarin language meaning "desire", features sounds of erotica and romanticism creating intimate moods and melodies of passion and sorrow. Aniron is layered with angelic voices, pulsating rhythms, chiming guitar passages and synth orchestrations. In addition to Joe's vocals, Aniron also features the haunting and beautiful voice of Ilona Euopa.
2007 saw the release of "Finding The Garden Sanctuary". It is a fantasy themed work that takes you on an ethereal journey into a secret lost world. The musical story is told through an array of quiet and stark phrases and haunting drones echoing through a cathedral of forests and gardens created with synthesized sounds of mystical creatures and voices guiding you to the garden sanctuary. The music creates a feeling of escapism away from the burdens of this modern existence into a dream world that is all your own.
Two years later came "Thanatos". It was a break from the previous felicitous melodic work and dives deep into the darkest melancholic realm to date. Thanatos is dubbed as "The requiem for mankind". It is six compositions mixed in two parts, the alpha and omega, foretelling the grim ending of all things. It takes the listener on a tour of a global graveyard with eerie stark drones, hollow wails and moans, and slowly executed tortured notes until you descend into nothingness. Powerful and provocative, Thanatos is undaunted in its imagery of an apocalyptic nightmare that man has deeded to himself. The song “Tortured Landscapes” was featured on the Hearts of Space program “Ghosts”.
2011 was a return to the original classic space music with “Pale Blue Dot”. This 12 song album captures the beauty and awe inspiring views of the celestial heavens. The title track features spoken word by the late astronomer Carl Sagan contemplating Earth’s place in the Universe as a small stage in the vast cosmic arena. Pale Blue Dot is forged with classic synth sounds merged with structured drones and experimental ambient sounds recorded here and in outer space. The song “Dying Pulsar” was featured on the Hearts of Space program “Catharsis”.
Joe's music continues to be heard on XM Sattelite radio shows and Internet streaming podcasts. His work has been featured in reviews by various print & online publications. In addition to his own work Joe has done CD mastering for other independent artists. He is also an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer and frequently volunteers at Perkins Observatory. The astro images can be seen in the gallery.