Ueh – Cambous

This track was featured on a compilation entitled Do Whatever You Want, Don’t Do Whatever You Don’t Want!! which features works relating to the Japanese collective known as Acid Mothers Temple. The collective got started around 1995 and have gone through many different incarnations based on who was performing at the time, including Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno, Acid Mothers Temple SWR, Acid Gurus Temple, and Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. This track from Ueh originally appeared on a self-titled release put out on the house label for Acid Mothers Temple. Though Ueh doesn’t actually share members with Acid Mothers Temple, it is associated with the group through both releases on their label and a split release, Pataphysical Overdrive To My Cosmos with Makoto Kawabata. That came out in 2004 and it doesn’t look like there has been anything else put out by Ueh, though members Benjamin Gilbert and Audrey Ginestet has been active with a group called Aquaserge since Ueh went on hiatus. I’d recommend digging into Acid Mothers Temple, though the sheer size of their discography can be a bit intimidating. I’ve got some recommendations below in case you’re ready to dive right in:

Dark Stars in the Dazzling Sky

Pink Lady Lemonade

The Beautiful Blue Ecstacy

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Jessica Moss – Plastic Island

You may not have heard Jessica Moss’ name before, but you’ve probably heard her violin. She appears on Godspeed You Black Emperor!’s album F♯ A♯ ∞, Arcade Fire’s Funerals, and one of my favorite albums of all time, Broken Social Scene’s debut Feel Good Lost, among others.

Under Plastic Island is her first solo release, though she’s also part of At Silver Mt. Zion and Black Ox Orkestar with other members of Godspeed You Black Emperor!. Despite her connections to so many well-known groups, she clearly has a highly developed aesthetic all her own, blending electronic drones, violins, and beautifully manipulated vocals. For more information about Moss, check out her site. Though Under Plastic Island was released on cassette, it is only available at performances. Her touring schedule will be updated here in the future.

M. Mucci – Dangerous Summer

This is the title track from M. Mucci’s 2013 release put out on vinyl by Tall House Recording Co.. The distinctly medieval sounds accompanying M. Mucci’s guitar come from a Vielle, here performed by B. Grossman. The vielle is a stringed instrument somewhat resembling a violin but with five strings instead of four, and it was a popular instrument among troubadours and court musicians during the medieval period. In the 15th century the word began to be used when referring to a hurdy-gurdy which is also a stringed instrument but which is performed by a mechanical wheel turning against the strings instead of a human bowing them, in the case of the vielle.

M.Mucci has a Bandcamp page with lots more music, though I’m not sure if more medieval instruments make appearances.

Below is an image from the National Gallery in London depicting an angel playing the stringed instrument, likely painted by a contemporary of Da Vinci.

N-1661-00-000069-wpu
Associate of Leonardo da Vinci (Francesco Napoletano?), 1452 – 1519 An Angel in Green with a Vielle about 1490-9 Oil on poplar, 117.2 x 60.8 cm Bought, 1898 NG1661 This painting is part of the group: ‘Panels from the S. Francesco Altarpiece, Milan’ (NG1093; NG1661-NG1662) http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG1661

Lake Mary – Chipa // North Dakota

Put out last year by eilean rec., who also put out Wil Bolton’s latest, Lake Mary’s And the Birds Sing in Chorus First is a treat from start to finish. While his earlier releases blend his guitar work with sustained drones, this release reflects a more stripped-down approach, which could have something to do with the fact that each track was recorded in a different place as the artist traversed the US. Lake Mary is the performing name for Chaz Prymek, who has been releasing music under the Lake Mary moniker since about 2010. The location may have been different, but Prymek’s masterfully contemplative playing remains solid throughout. I’ve been listening to his earlier releases, like There are Always Second Chances in the Mountains and Canopy/Mardotsha which add drone-y experimentation to the mix and they are also excellent. There’s also a live set on his Bandcamp where he performs with the Ranch Family Band, and it’s pretty neat to hear how those sounds are constructed in a live setting. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody who reads this regularly that this ticks a lot of boxes for me, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

Sam Prekop – C+F

This track from The Sea and Cake’s Sam Prekop is just as undeniable as The Sea and Cake are at their best. It comes from his second solo release, Who’s Your New Professor put out by the good folks at Thrill Jockey in 2005. Though it predates the modular synth sounds that dominate his most recent releases, like 2015’s The Republic, you can hear some of those beautiful tones percolating through his earlier solo work.

As I mentioned in a previous post, The Sea and Cake went on hiatus around 2004, and Archer Prewitt and Prekop both released solo records soon after. It’s interesting to listen to Who’s Your New Professor alongside Prewitt’s album Wilderness. Maybe I’m trying to shoehorn something here, but these albums shed light on what each guy brought to The Sea and Cake. Though Wilderness was Prewitt’s last solo output to date, Prekop has continued to record on his own in addition to reuniting with the rest of The Sea and Cake. Another great solo record of his is Old Punch Card, which is full blown synth goodness. I was lucky enough to see Prekop live when he performed at Hausu Mountain’s birthday party a few years ago and it was a real treat. To get a sense of what the set up looked like check out this live video from 2011. Prekop also did the cover art for the most recent release from Good Willsmith entitled Things Our Bodies Used to Have. Good Willsmith are a great group who I’ll have to write about at greater length because Doug, Max, and Natalie create some really beautiful jams and they are also beings of pure wonderful light.

Sabbatical – Sojourn North

So often when writing these I look up an artist that I’ve really been digging but don’t know much about and find a wealth of releases to dig through. While that is always a pleasant surprise, there’s a part of me that kicks myself for not finding them sooner. I’m pleased to announce that this is the opposite case. Sojourn North comes off Sabbatical’s debut, Sundown, which was put out on the label Love All day in January of 2016. Of course the result of finding a group this early is that there is not much information on them, so this comes from the description by the label:

Recorded over a six year period, Sabbatical’s Sundown germinated in the cracks that separate the disparate moments of a life, and found its rhythms nursed in the openings that emerged between other projects. In those spaces – periods of exception from the flow, journeys, downtime, lacunae – Sundown waited for its creator, gathering energy, until it grew to become the centre point around which Sabbatical’s other activities would begin to orbit.

Cheers for usage of the word lacuna! Love All Day has only put out a few releases, including a cassette from Panabrite, but those who are interested in warm, synth-driven ambient drones should keep their eyes on them and Sabbatical in the future.