Chris Strouth

Strouth has been a mover and shaker in the alternative culture and art scene in Minneapolis for decades, starting with his early roots in the now-legendary Rifle Sport underground art gallery in the mid-1980s.

In the 1990s, he was a vital part of the early house and techno music communities, developing pioneeering early EDM events House Nation and Depth Probe. He later formed Future Perfect, an experimental dub sound system that played frequently at the Walker Art Center and had a three-year residency at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art as well as releasing two albums, The Nature of Time and Music For Listening. He also started the Red Eye Collaboration’s Difficult Music series, the first new music series of its kind in the Twin Cities. Before Paris 1919, he was a member of such diverse bands as proto-noise experimentalists King Paisley and the Psych-o-delics, synth-pop combo Ex-Boyfriends of Pamela, and the highly experimental group A Most Happy Sound.

Besides performing, Strouth has been active behind the scenes helping other artists create and promote their work. Through the 1990s, he was the Director of Artist and Product for the Twin/Tone Records Group, where he oversaw dozens of releases and a stable of 10 labels. and later for Innova Recordings, record label of the American Composers Forum, where he worked on Stuart Hyatt’s Grammy-nominated record The Clouds. Strouth also produced and hosted the TV series What, which documented the 1990s Minneapolis pop explosion, and, with Rick Fuller, produced Holiday in Dirt: 14 Short Films of the Music of Stan Ridgway.

He also founded his own label, UltraModern Records, which has released albums by Ousia, Savage Aural Hotbed, the Vibro Champs, and Stan Ridgway. Currently he serves as the “Minister of Propaganda” for Stand Up! Records, the largest independent comedy label in the world, and writes a regular column for Twin Cities alt-weekly City Pages.

As a producer, Strouth has made records with dozens of artists including Michael Yonkers, Stan Ridgway, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, George Cartwright of Curlew, Microscopic Septet co-leader Phillip Johnson, and Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman.

In the six degrees of separation between John Cage and Judas Priest, Chris Strouth is number three.