K. Paul has been playing music since age 16 when he learned guitar. Then he learned bass. Then he went to the University of Illinois where he studied at the Experimental Music Studios under Scott Wyatt. He recorded and performed with numerous fixtures of the Champaign-Urbana music scene at the time, including Area, Bryan St. Pere, (drummer for Hum), Calvin Banks, and Charles Guy’s experimental improv collective Designer Mustard Gas. He also produced videos for the seminal Champaign punk band Bad Flannel, which featured Jeff Dimpsey (later the bass player for Hum), Gordon Pelegrinetti (later of Steakdaddy Six), etc.
Most of the time he was writing guitar pop/punk but in 1997 or so his compositional drift became more experimental, incorporating home-made electro-acoustic instruments and electronics as well as the compositional principles derived from studying and listening to the likes of Iannis Xenakis, Brian Eno, Stockhausen, John Cage, Edgard Varese, Holger Czukay, Alvin Lucier, and other pioneers of 20th century experimental composition. His work at this time was limited to small-run boutique issues of a project known as Xenopraxium.
In 1999 he said “f*ck this” after hearing Squarepusher and Goldie; suddenly he was struck as if by lightning and began to listen to vinyl-based music, particularly drum and bass. Soon after, he obtained turntables and learned to mix, and began producing under the moniker OTOLATHE. A fixture in the Boston drum n bass scene in those years, he devoted a website to the growing ruckus there, and joined the Advance Recordings crew. With DJ Timestretch and P. Hinchey, OTOLATHE constituted a trio known as the Juarez Kings, and the most notable track to be produced by them was the dance- floor mayhem-inducing Tarantula. Later came projects with Geoff White, Morgan Packard, and Mark Holmes (of Actual Proof).
A move to Tampa in 2000 saw K. Paul returning to his guitar- based work, playing in an acoustic songwriting duo with Robb Guido that eventually turned into the band She Wears Me Out. With SWMO’s breakup in fall of 2003 came another transformation in K. Paul’s approach to sound & composition: a construct which he refers to as The Desmotron, which is an autonomously functioning sensor of energy patterns in deep space.
The entity known as OTOLATHE (now more commonly referred to as o+oLA+he) is merely the human interface for Desmotron, who makes sense out of incomprehensible and utterly unprecedented energies available to sufficiently tuned individuals. These energies include archetypes of the collective unconscious, ghost imprints, immortal soul-babies of generations of Taoist monks, the output of quasars/pulsars/anti-matter sinks, anti-time vortices, immortal shamanistic/druidic/aboriginal phantasmic projections, the psychic imprints of the energies derived from tribal rituals throughout the universe and other galaxies, etc.
However, the siren song of guitars and bass proved too strong for K. Paul to resist, and, after about one year playing indie rock with Tailspin Recovery, otolathe began to use an incredibly diverse and divergent assortment of instruments for his communications. Analog synthesizers, often modular, sometimes solid state, oftentimes of gas tube or vacuum tube construction, were used to mangle and process or accompany guitars and basses. Frets became optional. Instruments became treated, sometimes incorporating the temporary confinement of e.g. crickets within an acoustic guitar, mic'd with a condenser and further sonically mangled. Collaborations with Josh Sherman (formerly of Tailspin Recovery), Neil Jendon (formerly of Catherine), Hal McGee, Joshua Manchester, Don Butler, Danny McGuire, Vivian Oblivion, Big Sugar Victorious, Jay Peele, Microwave Windows, etc. were circulated around Florida and beyond.
In 2007 K. Paul and Josh Sherman founded Meatronic Recordings, a netlabel promoting experimental music, sound, and noise. The intent, as always, is to document and to propagate the amazing music of Florida. To use all music and sound. To listen while we are alive.