Paisley Babylon

Paisley Babylon is a Chicago-based electronic band that got its start in Misawa, Japan in 1992 when founder and sole member Joe Wallace was working for the Air Force.

Joe Wallace performs as Paisley Babylon, but he also does DJ work as DJ Paisley Babylon and is available for bookings. You can read the full DJ Paisley Babylon bio and booking info or scroll down past the discography for more information and booking details.

He purchased his first keyboard there to create strange, hour-long audio textures influenced by the completely alien landscape he found himself in. Rural northern Japan was a strange place to write music and book shows in, especially when hardly anyone there could speak or read English. And why should they?

Wallace spent his time DJing, writing music and immersing himself in the local club scene in and around Misawa; fast forward to 1995 when Wallace found himself in an equally surreal environment—San Antonio, Texas. The extreme heat, open-minded small clubs and mutated music scene had room for Paisley Babylon’s now more-accessible electronic soundscapes and actual songs–PiL-influenced new wave sounds delivered with a sneer and a laugh.

Somehow Paisley Babylon fit in right alongside the mariachis, the punk rockers, and Third Coast blues bands. A string of cassette-only releases (inspired by legendary label ROIR) around this time included the Paisley Babylon debut title, Synthetic Noises For Beginners, an over-ambitious lo-fi synthpunk-meets-ambient outing. Think Brian Eno meets Public Image Limited.

In 1996, Paisley Babylon appeared on the Uncle Buzz Records compilation album Acid Ranch 2000. A year later, the first Paisley Babylon CD, The Alpha Wave Variations was released to reviews which, while 99% favorable, always contained a drug reference or mentions of isolation tank-type experiences while listening to the album. The beat-driven songs had Morricone influences mashed up with John Carpenter sensibilities (the film maker, not the guitar player.) The ambient sounds were again the stuff of horror films and nightmares. Eno once said his music was full of “evil and doubt”. Comparatively, Paisley Babylon’s ambient tracks are filled with zombies and hallucinogens.

An extended stay in Texas was not to be. In 1999, Paisley Babylon found itself in residence in Iceland for two years, performing live shows via Internet radio stations and for audiences in frozen, out-of-the-way places. Much of Paisley Babylon’s 2007 follow-up album, Midnight Hallucinations, was recorded in Iceland, where Wallace found himself DJing and recording for two years.

The CD is full of strange mental journeys—an hour-long brain theater recording oscillating wildly between sinister ambient landscapes and more beat-driven, scary songs. Some call it an excellent soundtrack for your next fever dream or for a day spent with a tank of nitrous oxide.

Today Joe Wallace has taken up residence in Chicago and has resumed Paisley Babylon after living in South Korea for a year. He returned to the USA in 2005 and slowly began assembling tracks to put onto a new album.

Now, Paisley Babylon is putting the final touches on a new combination of hallucinatory astral travels and dance-floor attack formations. The new album, tentatively titled Blue Velvet Bondage,  is to be released on vinyl to coincide with a digital release featuring a modified track listing, making the vinyl more appealing as a collector’s item. The vinyl release of the album features tracks that will be unavailable in the digital release, while the downloadable album will contain alternate tracks complimenting the vinyl.

Paisley Babylon is available for shows, in-stores, spoken word performances and other appearances. To contact for booking, tour support and other concerns, visit or e-mail You can also phone 773-275-8602 for additional information.


Synthetic Noises for Beginners (cassette) 1996 Zombie Records

Uncle Buzz Records–Acid Ranch 2000 (track) 1997 Uncle Buzz Records

The Alpha Wave Variations 1997 Uncle Buzz/Zombie Records

Quaalude Soundtracks (Unreleased) 1999 Zombie Records

Mission Giant–Operation GO! 2001 (remixes) Fellowshipwreck

Working In Three Dimensions 2002 (music supervisor/soundtrack) Texas Society of Sculptors/Wallace Productions

The Camera Is Your Friend 2002 (music supervisor/soundtrack)

The Vegetable Man Project LP 2002 (track)

Midnight Hallucinations (2007) Turntabling Records

The Revenants 2009 (trailer soundtrack) Wildclaw Theatre Company/Turntabling Records

13 Unusual Tracks 2009 (track) Turntabling Records

Hyperbubble–Candy Apple Nightmares 2010 (remix) Socket Sounds Records

Paisley Babylon’s Joe Wallace also works under the name DJ Paisley Babylon. Here’s his bio as it relates to his DJ work:

I’ve worked under my own name and as DJ Paisley Babylon behind the decks in one form or another since 1987. I got my start working in radio as a midnight-to-6AM disk jockey in central Illinois, and briefly ran a mobile DJ service before I joined the Air Force in 1991.

In the military I worked as a DJ in Japan, Iceland, and South Korea. I did events, on-air spinning, live mashups and on-air megamixing for audiences that didn’t always appreciate the cutting edge approaches I was taking at the time. Back in the 1990s, the phrase “mash up” hadn’t happened yet and I wasn’t aware of anyone doing live remixes on FM radio.

From 1999 to 2000 I was involved in an Internet-only radio station called F.A.K.E Radio, doing more insane live mashups, sound collage and straight DJing of sounds ranging from Bauhaus and Coil to New Order, Trans AM and The Orb. It was an interesting experiment which couldn’t last after the funding ran out, but was great fun while it lasted.

I did some DJ work in San Antonio from 2001-2003, but not much. I picked up more DJ work when I relocated to South Korea, spinning for the American Forces Network on-air and for events. After leaving the military in 2005, I took some time away from the DJ decks but came back to do sets at Chicago Horror Society events like Zombie Disco.

I am back in the game as of 2009, happy to spin sounds ranging from disco, New Wave, electronica, Chicago industrial and 80s/90s derivatives, strange genre-bending combinations of all of the above. I also spin soundtrack sounds from the 60s and 70s–you haven’t lived til you’ve heard Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Goblin, Claudio Simonetti and other luminaries mixed with Big Audio Dynamite, Beck, Clash and others.

I am currently available for bookings–call (312) 504-1264 for details or drop me an e-mail to jwallace (at) turntabling d0t net. I am available for events, club bookings, parties, etc. I have an extensive library of the above genres and also have plenty of rare vinyl–especially the horror-related material, new wave, and what I call “unheard” music.

I’m based in Chicago but am available to travel. My schedule does require some notice for cross country travel–for best results on either coast, please call at least seven days in advance. Midwest-based gigs are easier to schedule with short notice.

I have PA gear suitable for medium-sized rooms–typical club/band performance spaces or smaller. Please contact me directly for rates and availability. Thanks much for having a look at the bio, I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, please feel free to download this DJ mix I did as a promo giveaway for HorrorHound 2009 in Indianapolis at the booth.

Joe Wallace/DJ Paisley Babylon

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