The Elephant 6 Recording Company

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The Elephant 6 Recording Company (or simply Elephant 6) is a collective of American musicians who spawned some of the most notable independent bands of the 1990s, including The Apples in Stereo, The Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beulah, Elf Power, and Of Montreal.[1]




The collective was officially founded in Denver, Colorado by childhood friends Robert Schneider, Bill Doss, Will Cullen Hart, and Jeff Mangum[2]. The four grew up making music and sharing cassette tapes in Ruston, Louisiana while attending high school together[2]. They started several bands and pet projects; Doss and Hart with The Olivia Tremor Control (then called Synthetic Flying Machine), Mangum with Neutral Milk Hotel, and Schneider with The Apples in Stereo.

It was Schneider who created the E6 record label when he moved to Denver, Colorado in late 1991 to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder[2]. There, he and new friends founded The Apples (which eventually became The Apples in Stereo). Recorded by April 1993, The Apples' Tidal Wave 7" EP was the first E6 release.

Doss had moved to Athens where he joined Hart and Mangum in Synthetic Flying Machine, which became The Olivia Tremor Control. They released California Demise as their first recording, and E6's second[2].

Success, disbandment and continuation

Several Elephant 6 projects began to find commercial success in the late 1990s, including Beulah, Dressy Bessy, Elf Power, The Music Tapes, and Of Montreal, as well as the founding bands. Most of the bands subsequently signed with major record labels; E6 as an entity slowly deteriorated until the collective called it quits — due to recording difficulties and lack of organization — in 2002. The collective's bands all moved on to various labels and projects of their own.

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