As Prostitutes, Cleveland's James Donadio has garnered a wealth of attention from myriads of rubberneckers far and wide for his gravelly, abrasive oscillations.This laud is all the more notable considering Donadio's unwillingness to self-promote outside of the reaches of his label's humble blog- any google searches turn up little more than the facebook and wikipedia pages of other bands called Prostitutes.
Donadio is a veteran of the midwest noise/electronic scene and a courier of encyclopedic knowledge about the area's history as a hotbed of off-kilter sonic and performative experiments. He moved from Kent, Ohio to Cleveland in 1992 and since has had his fingers in many musical pies: he played bass in the bands Getdown Airwaves, The Flat Can Co., and Speaker/Cranker, drums in Dutch Rub, started his own record label, StabUdown, in 2006 as a means through which to distribute his own music as well as that of other local favorites, and started operating under the Prostitutes moniker not long before his debut, Psychedelic Black, appeared on his own label in 2012. As a Cleveland resident he is in the company of many other beat-oriented noise gurus, including Emeralds, Bee Mask, fluxmonkey, Moth Cock, Outer Space, Sam Goldberg, and Skin Graft. Unlike these acts, though, as Resident Advisor points out, Donadio's productions feel like "the product of isolation."
Donadio's discography reads like a receiving line with the who's who of tech-noise labels. After Psychedelic Black, Donadio's next output was Mirror & Gate (Vol.I), a split cassette with Stephen Bishop aka Basic House on Bishop's Opal Tapes in 2013 quickly followed by Crushed Interior for Tulsa's Digitalis. The fall of the same year saw the release of his 10" Shatter and Lose with the Diagonal label of the like-minded Brit Powell, followed by a 10" release in early 2014 on Avian's sister label Mira. A couple months further into 2014 Donadio released the LP Petit Cochon, appropriately enough on Spectrum Spools (home also to kindred industrial spirits Container, Unicorn Hard-On, and Bee Mask), and then in November Nouveauree on Glasgow's Night School and Ecstasy, Crashing Beats, and Fantasy, again on Powell's Diagonal.
Over the course of all of these releases, Donadio has carved out and occupied his own particular groove in the techno community, and this niche is as solid and relentless as his 3D beats, the materiality and rough woodenness of which could leave splinters, and the spartan-ness of which is as much the result of a tailored control as it is a default. As Ian Maleney of Resident Advisor writes, "the refinement is never too much, and the tracks retain their raw energy." The brutality and inflexibility of Donadio's beats walks a fine line between wiping out and energizing. The Quietus wrote of the final B-side track to Donadio’s September EP Nouveauree that it “borders on ridiculousness, a blaring foghorn swells like a knocked lip, smothering everything in its wake." As a child of the midwest, a raw, violent industrial aesthetic is something perhaps especially close, or even an inevitability for Donadio. A good portion of Donadio's aesthetic camaraderie and encouragement is Europe-based, and yet he remains devoted to his local scene without getting sentimental. In her interview with Prostitutes, The Quietus's Sophie Coletta notes Donadio's tongue-in-cheek sampling (on Nouveauree) of the following phrase from the 1991 film, Body Parts: "The world is my fucking oyster. I'm a ten-year-old kid on the street corner, flying a red white and blue kite, you hear what I'm saying?"