AMN Podcast: Totem> – Solar Forge

Solar ForgeTotem>
“Blooming Ore” (mp3)
from “Solar Forge”
(ESP Disk)

More On This Album


Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Kirk Knuffke Quartet – Bigwig – 29 Jun 08
Guy/Crispell/Lytton – Phases of the Night – 27 Jun 08

AAJ Reviews

From AAJ:

30-Jun-08 David Buchbinder
Odessa / Havana (Tzadik)
Reviewed by David Miller

30-Jun-08 Steve Miller Trio / Elton Dean
Steve Miller Trio Meets Elton Dean (Reel Recordings)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

29-Jun-08 Klez-Edge
Ancestors, Mindreles, NaGila Monsters (Tzadik)
Reviewed by Lyn Horton

29-Jun-08 Miles Davis
Miles Davis: Someday My Prince Will Come
Reviewed by Samuel Chell

29-Jun-08 Yitzhak Yedid
Suite in Five Movements (Between the Lines)
Reviewed by Budd Kopman

Umbrella Music Through July 20

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Wednesday, 2 July 2008
The Hideout
10:00PM | Roebke/Labycz Duo
Jason Roebke – bass
Brian Labycz – electronics
11:00PM | It s Not Too Late
Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello, electronics
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Jaimie Branch – trumpet
Frank Rosaly – drums
$6 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Josh Berman spins Whatever Is Happening At The Moment

Sunday, 6 July 2008
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Duets Night
Charles Gorczynski – alto saxophone
Jason Adasiewicz – vibraphone

Caroline Davis – alto saxophone
Tim Daisy – drums

Dave Rempis – saxophones
Charles Rumbach – drums

Dave Miller – guitar
Jim Baker – ARP, electronics

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
The Hideout
10:00PM | A Fox Can Be Hungry
Matt Schneider – guitar
Jason Adasiewicz – vibes
Anton Hatwich – bass
John Herndon – drums
11:00PM | Kimmel/Levin/Riordan
Jeff Kimmel – bass clarinet
Daniel Levin – cello
Marc Riordan – drums
$6 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Nate McBride presents The Electric Bass At Work

Sunday, 13 July 2008
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Levin/Stein/Berman/Roebke/Riordan
Daniel Levin – cello
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Josh Berman – cornet
Jason Roebke – bass
Marc Riordan – drums
two sets

Wednesday, 16 July 2008
The Hideout
10:00PM | Jeb Bishop Trio
Jeb Bishop – trombone
Jason Roebke – bass
Frank Rosaly – drums
two sets
$6 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Fred Lonberg-Holm Explores Incongruity

Sunday, 20 July 2008
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Matter and Memory Quartet
Jerome Bryerton – percussion
Paul Hartsaw – saxes
Andrew Scott Young – bass
Lilianna Wosko – cello
11:00PM | Nick Mazzarella Trio
Lineup TBA

Second Half of July at the ISSUE Project Room

From the ISSUE Project Room:

ISSUE Project Room
232 Third Street – Brooklyn, NY 11215

Wednesday July 16
ryan jewell+nate wooley+jesse kudler

“…to explore the micro and macro structural implications of improvised forms in a real time collaborative environment utilizing the the minute control of unstable sounds in excess audio and silence..”
For this Issue Project performance, Ryan has brought together two of his favorite collaborators, Nate Wooley and Jesse Kudler, who will be performing together publicly for the first time on this date.

Ryan Jewell- snare drum, electronics
Nate Wooley- trumpet
Jesse Kudler- electronics

Ryan Jewell was born in a small Appalachian river town in southern Ohio in an environment set between the rundown post-industrial factories by train yards and the natural beauty of the forested foothills on the Ohio River. The juxtaposition of these two seemingly conflicting environments has profoundly affected his aesthetic. He studied percussion and electronic composition techniques at Capital University and has since studied drumset with Susie Ibarra and tabla with Dr. Lowell Lybarger. Ryan regularly works as a solo performer and collaborator in the arenas of very quiet improvised music and very loud harsh noise. In addition to being a perpetual traveler of the US, he has also toured extensively in Europe. He was invited to perform at such respected international festivals as the SOWIESO 1 festival in Paris, the Kraak Festival in Brussels, the International Noise Conference in Miami, SXSW in Austin and Les Sciences Bruitistes also in Paris.
He has collaborated with such diverse artists as C. Spencer Yeh, Greg Kelley, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, Christine Sehnaoui, Bhob Rainey, Larry Marotta, Mike Shiflet, Tatsuya Nakatani, Reuben Radding, Hasan Abdur-Razzaq, Tom Abbs, David Boykin, Douglas Ewart (AACM), Graveyards, Envenomist, Fossils, Wasteland Jazz Unit, and many more…

Nate Wooley (b. 1974) was born in Clatskanie, Oregon. He began his professional career on trumpet with his father at the age of 13. After a brief stay in Denver, Nate moved to Jersey City in 2001. He has developed a highly personal style, mixing his knowledge of jazz and classical trumpet tradition and context with a very healthy bit of experimentation. His solo album, “Wrong Shape to be a Storyteller” on Creative Sources Recordings from last year was a culmination of this kind of thinking and was critically acclaimed as a benchmark for solo documents in the lowercase/reductionist tradition. His main thrust is still the trio, Blue Collar, whose sophomore cd “Lovely Hazel” on Public Eyesore was voted one of the top 10 jazz and improv cds by the Philadelphia CityPaper in 2005. Besides these projects, Nate does a great deal of work as a sideman with figures as diverse as John Butcher, Anthony Braxton, Paul Lytton, John Olsen of Wolf Eyes, David Grubbs, Daniel Levin, Stephen Gauci, and the Sound/Vision Orchestra.

Jesse Kudler, born 1979, improvises on guitar, synthesizer, tapes, radios and electronics, and he makes music on the computer. Recent interest has focused on both internal (electronic) and external (microphone/speaker) feedback, from radios/transmitters and microphones, allowing dynamic textures to arise in concert with the space in which they are played.
In his various travels, Kudler has performed with Matt Bauder, Kyle Bruckmann, Gene Coleman, James Coleman, Tim Feeney, Marcos Fernandes, Brent Gutzeit, Horse Sinister, Bonnie Jones, Jason Kahn, Mazen Kerbaj, Pauline Oliveros, Bhob Rainey, Vic Rawlings, Christine Sehnaoui, Mike Shiflet, Jason Soliday, Howard Stelzer, Christian Weber, Matt Weston, Jack Wright, Jason Zeh, and many others. He has toured the United States several times.
Jesse Kudler lives in Philadelphia. Current projects include: Benito Cereno (with Dustin Hurt, Chandan Narayan, Tim Albro, and Ian Fraser); HZL, an electronics duo with Tim Albro (and sometimes Dustin Hurt, as HZL BRD); Tweeter, a treble-intensive noise trio with Alex Nagle and Eli Litwin; solo performance and recording; and various ad hoc groupings.
His last name rhymes with “muddler.”

8pm $10

Thursday July 17th
roy vanegas+ ki

The sound of Noise Floor Music, Roy Vanegas’s solo music project is electronic, at times guitar-based, heady, typical, and experimental. The music can be described as an ambient cross between Arvo Pärt and Boards of Canada (with the audio mechanics of Western melody conjoining the two).

Roy Vanegas is a musically-inclined technician. His passions for post-rock, electronica, and neo-classical don’t allow him to choose the genre in which to work, so he attempts to put elements of them all into his music. He listens to Tabula Rasa every day.


Percussionist/vocalist Fritz Welch is a founding member of The Peeesseye and peeinmyfacewithsurgery. He has also played with W!77iN6, Irritating Horse Eye, Three Day Stubble, and the live video performance group Naval Cassidy and the Hands of Orlak. His approach to improvisation ranges from the absurd to the prophetic in a framework of blistering density and earthbound invisibility.

Michiko ::
One of member of No Neck Bluce Band.and MASK (Sabir Mateen and other). She played with many more musicians. She plays piano alto sax etc.., also performs Butoh dance.

Shiraishi Tamio::
Originally from Japan. mainly play alto sax. Performers with whom he played include Keiji Haino, Crash Worship, Alan Licht, and many more. Also he performed with many Butoh dancers in Japan. Recently he often performs outdoor.

8pm $10

Friday July 18th
duane pitre + corridors+ ilya monosov

Byron Westbrook (b. 1977) is a sound/intermedia artist living in Brooklyn, NY. His audio video performances as CORRIDORS involve the distribution of processed instrumental and environmental recordings through a multi-channel environment with a focus on energy distilled from sound and light. He has shared bills with Sawako, Tony Conrad, O.blaat, Lichens, James Blackshaw, Anette Krebs, Soft Circle, Mountains among many others, and presented at venues such as Tonic, Issue Project Room, Experimental Intermedia, Exit Art Gallery. He has also collaborated with Rhys Chatham in the drone metal group Essentialist (Table of the Elements), as well as performed in the ensembles of Phill Niblock, Rhys Chatham (alongside Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon), Glenn Branca and Jonathan Kane. He was a 2007 recipient of the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Commission through Roulette Intermedium. Releases are forthcoming in 2008 for both Corridors and Essentialist, along with European Corridors performances and a fall tour of the US with Alessandro Bosetti.


Duane Pitre (w/ ensemble)

Duane Pitre (originally from New Orleans) is a Brooklyn-based composer, improviser, and sound-artist. His primary instrument is electric guitar(s), which he plays in a nontraditional fashion, utilizing various objects such as mallets and rotary tools to coax unusual sounds from the instrument. His current works explore both chaos and discipline–and the territory that exists between the two.

In summer of 2007 Pitre’s album, Organized Pitches Occurring in Time, was released on Important Records (CD) and Trome Records (vinyl). This album consists of two versions of his lengthy drone/contemporary-classical composition Ensemble Drones. Ensemble Drones was performed live in December 2007 by a 13-piece ensemble in Burlington, VT, and future performances of the piece are in the works for Chicago, San Diego, and New Orleans.

Pitre has a number of releases scheduled for 2008, including a track on a compilation of experimental/avant-garde guitarists, which will also feature work by Keith Rowe (AMM), Tetuzi Akiyama, Sebastien Roux, and others. He is currently curating–and will be contributing a track to–a Just Intonation compilation that will be released on Important Records in late 2008. The compilation will include work by artists such as Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Fullman, Michael Harrison, and Arnold Dreyblatt.

Pitre is currently constructing, and writing for, a bowed-guitar ensemble, which will use unconventionally strung electric guitars (utilizing multi-unisons) tuned in Just Intonation. Tonight’s performance will be from this ensemble/material.

8pm $10

Tuesday July 22nd
Mary Magdalene Feastday Celebration Curated by M.M. Serra
A fantastic evening of films and festivities – a homage to the female subject and the exultant powers that SHE possesses as both a sinner and saint.

8pm $10

Wednesday July 23rd
mask mirror meets james rouvelle+ j sam sheffield +alessandro Bosetti

Alessandro Bosetti – mask mirror/electronics/voice
J Sam Sheffiled – electronics/network desing/visuals
James Rouvelle – electronics/network desing/text generators

Sound artist Alessandro Bosetti and he’s speaking sampler project “Mask Mirror” meet the media artists James Rouvelle and J Sam Sheffield.
Mask/Mirror a sampler to process recordings of spoken language in real time.
The sampler follows both sound and meaning criteria in sorting, organizing and processing samples and in formulating utterances.
It is a software tool based on max/msp and a speech recognition software interacting with my own voice during performances. It’s also a state of mind enabling expanded spoken and vocal improvisation, expanded communication and ecstasy.
It has been developed in collaboration with STEIM in Amsterdam.
In the Issue project room performance Bosetti, Rouvelle and Sheffiled will create a sonorous, linguistic and visual network using mask mirror, automatic text generators and translators and allowing the audience to participate via sms to the unfolding text improvisation.
Mask/Mirror has to do with virtually everything but at the same time it does not have anything special to do with anything special.
As well as being a blank mask I can put on my face – and my voice – it’s also a mirror that let me browse and talk to my memory while I am watching into it.
All mirrors are masks and vice versa. Both are tools enabling identity.

“It is difficult not to treat Mask Mirror, with its randomized garble of words, as a willfully cryptic Oracle of Delphi reincarnated as an Apple laptop. While Bosetti had described the project as “about the aboutness of being about” what Noise got out all of this is that it’s devilishly hard not to seek meaning even where it’s clear none is forthcoming. Not until the program, in a moment of absurd hilarity, spit forth the word “hamburgers” did it all click: Mask Mirror is a tool for shearing all meaning from language. It’s a liberation, of sorts, like the sound version of Rorschach tests: The mind is encouraged to wander freely and delight in words purely for their sound. In the information overload of contemporary times, Mask Mirror’s playful rupturing of sense–its nonsense, in other words–is a welcome respite.” Raven Baker – Noise/Citypaper

Alessandro Bosetti was born in Milan, Italy in 1973. He is a composer and sound artist working on the musicality of spoken words and unusual aspects of spoken communication, producing text-sound compositions featured in live performances, radio broadcastings and published recordings. In his work he moves across the line between sound anthropology and composition, often including translation and misunderstanding in the creative process. Bosetti is assistant professor in sound at the Maryland Institute College of Art MICA, Baltimore.
James Rouvelle is an interdisciplinary artist who uses visual art, music and sound. His work is experimental using electronics, mechanics, computers, and robotics. He is professor for interactive media at MICA in Baltimore.
J Sam Sheffield is a media and visual artist and programmer currently living in Baltimore.

8pm $10

Thursday July 24th
emily manzo
‘A night of vocal music from many genres’

Pianist Emily Manzo plays all of her favorite music- Webern, Ives, Neil Young, George Gershwin, Christy & Emily- with all of her favorite singers – Daisy Press (virtuosic soprano and champion of new works), Judith Berkson (of Platz Machen), Nick Hallett (!), Aaron Diskin (of Golem, Lycaon Pictus), Rachel Cox (of Oakley Hall), Pat Sullivan (of Oneida, Oakley Hall) and Christine Edwards (of Christy & Emily). Plus other surprise guests and DJs.
8pm $10

Friday July 25th
droid: amir ziv + jordan mclean + luke o’malley
w/ visualist cj

Advanced screening of: “DROID – The Spirit of Improvisation”
A documentary film by Rafael Altman

Emerging out of the underground dens of New York City’s DJ-based remix revolution – DROID pushes the envelope of improvised music, mixing elements from breakbeat / electronica to industrial rock and NU-form jazz. Their combination of all these disparate sensibilities is a touchstone to an incredible new scene in NYC; reminiscent of the eclectic mix of people and sounds that brought about the early 80’s NO WAVE scene. In 2000 the band was signed to Shadow Records and released “NYC D ‘n’ B” as well as various tracks on Shadow compilations “Hard Sessions” 1 & 2. NYC’s DJ Spooky and Detroit producer Carl Craig incorporated Droid’s music in their own remixes.

The musicians that make-up DROID combine experimentation, musicianship and an attitude for current beat culture. Amir Ziv (long-time member of Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey & leader of KOTKOT w/Marc Ribot, Cyro Baptista & Shahzad Ismaily) plays drums and co-leads with trumpeter Jordan McLean (Antibalas & leader of Fire of Space). The past few years have seen Droid collaborate with synth virtuoso Adam Holzman (keyboardist and musical director of Miles Davis!!!) As for the LOW-END…. BASS that is – it’s basically a rotating “electric” chair which so far has been bravely filled by the likes of: Tim LeFebvre, Jonathan Maron, Luke O’Malley, Shahzad Ismaily, Stu Brooks & Yossi Fine. Droid has been very active during 2007/2008 doing live events at their Lower East Side Estate home-base and recording/archiving their current sound.

Tonight’s event will feature an advanced screening of “DROID – The Spirit of Improvisation”, a documentary film by Rafael Altman. Followed by a performance set featuring Amir Ziv on drums, Jordan McLean on Trumpet and Luke O’Malley (Antiballas) on bass.

In addition, projection artist CJ (Chris Jordan) will be collaborating with the group as they fold time and space.

For more info on the artists and sound clips please go to:
8pm $10

Tuesday July 29th
harrius + the moth

Jenny Graf (Metalux) and Chiara Giovando (PCPCG) are Harrius, a duo from Baltimore, Md. Their first LP “Enter the Cotton Ring” was released on Ehse records in 2005. Described as a “bizarre dream of a record… this is willfully weirdly its own brand of wonder! It works a deep subconscious rupture…like a blood vessel mic’d up to volcano level.”

Harrius creates a strange and perplexing sound that straddles the line between psychedelic folk and electronic improv via BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Never resting on either side of the fence, they build soft arenas of song that are alternately revealed and consumed by a dense field of electronics. Far removed from any “noise” record professing the same instrumentation; Harrius uses vocals and violin to blend in and out analog electronic hiccups and tidal waves. Both their recordings and live performances yield carefully sculpted composition.

The duo has also recently completed a short film, “Proud Flesh”, a kind of psychedelic Western shot in the Badlands of South Dakota that is scheduled to Premiere in Baltimore on July 11th 2008.

For Issue Project Room Performance Chiara will be playing violin electronics and voice and Jenny will be playing Trinu, an istrument designed with Peter Blasser and voice.

The Moth is a Swedish improv/elctronicaduo comprised of Martin Öhman and Erika Alexandersson. With drums, voice and live electronics, attractive as well as repulsive soundscapes take form. The moth use no pre-recorded tracks since they are very fond of creating in the spur of the moment. And that’s what you’ll hear at ISSUE PROJECT ROOM – the spur of the moment!

Erika Alexandersson and Martin Öhman decided to form a band. At first the music was acoustic (it still is sometimes…), but after a while as moth´s do “the moth” went through a transformation and reinkarnated as an impro/electronica duo.

MARTIN ÖHMAN has received a lot of attention for his unorthodox way of playing. Martin uses fans, razors or whatever he can to create a different sound. In The Moth, Martin uses drums and cymbals, amplified with the help of contact microphones and manipulated through various guitar effects and custom made electronics. In recent years he’s built a reputation as a highly sought after composer by composing for bands, filmscores and other projects. In 2005 he put together and composed for an ensemble with The Moth partner Erika Alexandersson, world famous bassplayer Anders Jormin and trumpet phenomenon Arve Henriksen from the norwegian improv/electronica group Supersilent.

ERIKA ALEXANDERSSON has spent time tearing down the vocal boundaries and investigating the sound possibilities of the human voice. As a result, her singing stretches from melodic simplicity to making free improvised lyrics and transforming the human native sounds into music. Apart from The Moth, Erika Alexandersson appeared with the Swedish indiepop band Loney, Dear, and with her other duo, Josef och Erika, that recently was nominated a Swedish Grammy for their second album. Erika is also about to release her debut solo album in Japan during the fall 2008.

8pm $10

Wednesday July 30th

Music at the Bridge Festival Brooklyn Bridge Park in the Tobacco Warehouse

ISSUE Project Room presents and evening for the Music at the Bridge Festival

Theremin Society w/ members Dorit Chrysler, David Simons, Rob Schwimmer,

Theremin Society was founded in December 2005 by ISSUE Project Room Artistic Director Suzanne Fiol and thereminist Dorit Chrysler. The project focuses on the contribution of the theremin to 21st century musical culture and the musicians who have devoted their careers to this instrument. Participants are defined by varying approaches and a wide range of musical language, which has included abstract experimentalist to classical to pop electronica. To date there have been 13 Theremin Society performances and each one has featured new guest artists.

John Zorn’s Cobra

jim staley… trombone
sylvie courvoisier… plano
david weinstein… keyboard
annie gosfield,,, keyboard
anthony coleman,,, keyboard
eyal maoz,,, guitar
mark fekdman,,, violin
okkyung lee,,, cello
shanir blumenkranz,,, bass
ikue mori… electronics
cyro baptista… percussion
kenny wollesen… drums

john zorn…prompter

Written and premiered in 1984, “Cobra” is a classic in the circles of
new music, having been performed innumerable times. In fact, composer and “prompter” John Zorn says in the liners that it his
most-often-performed composition — no mean feat considering his prolific output. It is no wonder, though: There is a mischievous,
cartoonish quality to it that epitomizes Zorn’s style but also makes
for continually fascinating listening. Based on the composer’s
secretive “game pieces,” “Cobra” is a fun-filled, mystical,
blindfolded ride down a dark alley that circles back every few yards.
(Steven Loewy, All Music Guide).

Jonathan Kane’s February

Jonathan Kane is a Downtown NYC legend — as co-founder of the no-wave behemoth Swans, and the rhythmic thunder behind the massed-guitar armies of Rhys Chatham and the rock excursions of La Monte Young and one of the hardest-hitting drummers on the planet. With his solo work, Kane summons Swans’ concussive wallop, Chatham’s dense guitar strata, and the perpetual propulsion of 70s krautrockers Neu, then steers it all head-on into… the blues. Make no mistake about it: Kane is a bluesman, and beneath the high-decible bombast, he’s powering guitar-driven minimalism into the blues, and the blues into guitar-driven harmonic maximalism. So roll with Jonathan Kane down his Highway 61 of the mind — it’s the shape of blues to come.

This is a free concert and will take place in Dumbo NOT at ISSUE

Thursday July 31st

Walking Another Way + Cosmic Poetry –
New audiovisual compositions of ethereal qualities.

Walking Another Way – Being 98% water, jellyfish are the visual manifestations of water as a creature. First performed at EyeWash *Scenario” earlier this year, Walking Another Way is an all-immersive audiovisual performance exploring the elegant movements and mysterious world of the jellyfish. With Lady Firefly on live video mix and Dok and Zemi17 on live sound.

Cosmic Poetry – Cosmic Poetry premieres at IPR as a series of audiovisual performances dedicated to the cosmos. In the first installation, Cosmic Poetry transforms analog / digital noise, feedback, and video abstractions into flower-like and organic imagery — creating a sonic and visual jungle. Other short form pieces to be included. Developed by Lady Firefly at a residency at Experimental Television Center this summer.

Lady Firefly (a.k.a. Zarah Cabañas) is a video artist/VJ based in New York City who explores the vital, sensual, and transient qualities. Zarah performs and exhibits her self-dubbed “electrorganic” works throughout New York City and internationally including the River to River Festival, American Museum of Natural History, EyeWash, Eyebeam, and South Street Seaport; to eclectic events at nightclubs, warehouses, parks, music venues, rooftops, mountaintops, galleries, and living rooms. Festivals have included Territoria Festival (Moscow), Apositsia III Experimental Music Forum (St. Petersburg), Lux VJ Festival (Barcelona), LoopVideoArt Fair (Seville), DUMBO Arts Festival (NYC) and the Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival. She is a 2008 resident of Experimental Television Center, former resident at Chashama, Knitting Factory, and Nublu. She is also vocalist for Oloroso, saxophonist of audiovisual group Silence Corporation, and video editor at Blue Man Group.

Dok Gregory has been composing/performing and recording experimental electronic music since 1983. As a member of NYC based audio visual group Amoeba Technology from 1997 to the present, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and South America. Audio visual works have been featured in programs at the Forum Des Images in Paris, Basel Art Fair in Switzerland, The Kitchen and Lincoln Center in NYC, and elsewhere. Dok has also toured/worked extensively as a member of Psychic TV, Trance Pop Loops and Ransom Corps. Current projects include ongoing collaborations with fellow 23 Windows resident Zemi 17, and “ZGT” with Peter Principle of Tuxedomoon.

Zemi17 is a composer, musician and media artist who creates experiences that are to plant seeds for the evolution of consciousness. He is the co-founder of the Ransom Corp and 23 Windows Studio in Bushwick Brooklyn, co-curator of the Resonant Wave Festival in Berlin, and has lived and worked extensively in Indonesia collecting field recordings of insects and frogs, while researching and learning archaic and sacred forms of music.

8pm $10

Holy Slowness, Batman!

Yep, the AMN web site has been slow for the last week or so. I’ve had this issue off and on for a couple of years with the site’s hosting company. I even told them that the problem is their database server. However, for the last few days I’ve been sending a daily email to them explaining that the site will intermittently take 30-60 seconds to load a page. Their response has been “works for me.”

Three days ago I installed a caching package which helped a lot. But today we’re in turtle mode once more.

So, I am looking for a new web host. I will be happy to accept any recommendations. The host would have to support WordPress 2.5.1 and perform well with a (and this is the tricky part) 12 megabyte MySQL database that grows about 3-4 megabytes per year.

I know there are tons of hosts out there. However even the highly rated ones seem to have issues with customer support and performance, so I don’t want to end up back in the same situation. If you have had first hand experience with a superb hosting company that can operate under the conditions stated here, please let me know.