Auxiliary Phoenix is James Strain, a jazz / hip hop producer, multi-instrumentalist & DJ based in Carlow, Ireland. Coming from a background of progressive rock, jazz fusion, alternative hip hop and turntablism, these elements are combined through modern experimental hip hop production. Auxiliary Phoenix has produced remixes for Divine Styler, Lisa Papineau, Yonen, windings & Bearcubbin', amongst others.
The music is performed live by the Auxiliary Phoenix Trio, which is led by Auxiliary Phoenix on bass, with James McDermott on keyboards and Jake Quinn on drums. The Trio performs music from the Auxiliary Phoenix discography alongside music written together as a group, expanding on the songs with a more fusion-driven sound and improvisation.
Auxiliary Phoenix is also one half of High Elders, a collaboration with Delaware emcee Gentle Jones. The debut album 'Forest of Pencils' came out December 9, 2014 on Little L Records. The album was Album of the Week for the start of December on Dan Hegarty's 2FM & 2XM show, 'The Alternative'. The follow up mixtape 'More Magick' was released in May 2015, and includes new music, remixes and the best previous collaborations between Gentle Jones & Auxiliary Phoenix.
"You could call it Alt Hip Hop with some offbeat Pop sensibilities thrown in, but that will only tell part of the story. Packed with imagination and flair, 'Forest Of Pencils' is one of those albums that stands out for the kind of reasons that aren't just positive, but ones which suggest a fruitful and highly creative career awaits High Elders." Dan Hegarty
"It's a terribly off-putting cliché, but this is about as pure and honest as creative music can get, an extremely talented guy making music that is in a category that we can only loosely describe, maximising the tools at his disposal with no sign of the well drying up. You get the sense that the more music from the past that Strain delves into, the more unique and special his creations will become, but it's not just about looking to the past, that's only a small part of it. What's happening here is an extremely gifted and naturally creative mind running amok with amazing results, let's see where they take him." - Remy's Music & Film Blog
Beats, Tape-01 (2012) - EP
Balii (2014) - EP
European Space Museum/Terradome (2014) - Single
High Elders - Forest Of Pencils (2014) - LP
Camelopardalis (2017) - mini-LP