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Biota was founded in 1979 in Fort Collins, Colorado, as the Mnemonist Orchestra. They were a collective of avantgarde musicians, lead by Mark Debyshire and William Sharp. Their music is a mixture of modern classical, experimental sounds, noise, industrial, avantgarde and free jazz.

Over the years, the Mnemonist Orchestra developed into Biota (the musical contingent) and Mnemonists (the visual contingent). Both Biota and Mnemonists work as one on productions of musical and visual components. The group has released nine LPs, one EP, one Tape, and four CDs on both their own Dys label and Recommended Records UK.

Their early releases were published by their own self-produced label Dys between 1981 and 1986. 1987 is when the group changed its name into Biota. They were among the earliest avantgarde groups that engaged in chaotic collages and harked back to abstract, dadaistic art.

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