logo

VIDEO SPOTLIGHT @CUNEIFORMRECORD
RSS Feed Widget
MAY 2017 RELEASES

Fifteen years in the making, Minnesota eclectic prog / avant-pop / art-math quintet Bubblemath's sophmore sequence, Edit Peptide, provides a worthwhile wait with its non-formulaic formula of lively textures, wacky and virtuosic musicianship, hypnotically robust vocals and charmingly astute attitude. Blending in-your-face intricacy with eccentric experimentation, dense and poppy harmonies, symphonic vibrancy and tongue-in-cheek foundation, Bubblemath are clever and musicially intricate, but despite their loyal adherence to high information-density compositional constructs, they make serious and seriously quirky music that doesn't take itself too seriously and allows the fun to shine through.

The current Bubblemath line-up came together in 1998 and released their 1st, 2002's Such Fine Particles Of The Universe. Then came mostly silence. Naturally, they recognize that having so many years between albums could be —as Kai Esbensen jokes— "[an] advantage or a detriment. Maybe both!" He reflects that the group originally thought it’d be “a breeze” to follow-up Such Fine Particles of the Universe, an album that won them 86,000 MySpace followers and Minnesota Music Academy’s "2002 Best Eclectic Recording” award. However, a series of setbacks, ranging from "broken equipment, to broken promises, to loss of funding, to loss of partners and pets and parents, to incompatible mix engineers, to extended sabbaticals, to extended medical emergencies" made it difficult to accomplish that ambition." Add in other factors, and it's easy to see why Edit Peptide gestated for so long. Ultimately, the lengthy hiatus did prove positive, though, as it allowed "all five of [them] to become better musicians" who are capable of yielding a more striving, unpredictable, and colorful collection. They couldn't be prouder of it!

It's not often that a band releases a new album after such a long hiatus, let alone something that exceeds expectations beyond fans’ wildest dreams. Somehow, though, Bubblemath has done just that with Edit Peptide. By conducting so many divergent styles, refining their songwriting and compositional skills, and most of all, sticking to their guns when it comes to crafting highly challenging and adventurous, but also quite hypnotic and welcoming, tunes, the quintet proves just how perfectly a band can fuse the familiar and the fresh.

Bands, like the human beings that comprise them, are mortal. Against all the odds, in the face of an unstable record industry that never embraced their restless experimentation, Chicago avant-rock pioneers CHEER-ACCIDENT have survived to release their 18th album, Putting Off Death. More than 30 years after first joining forces, fellow eclecticists Thymme Jones and Jeff Libersher have faced down the inevitable and returned with a new set of songs that’s as unpredictable, exploratory and viscerally compelling as anything they’ve released over the course of their erratically evolving career. The music is action packed and filled to the brim with living, breathing humanity. The band’s continuing hunger bleeds through in the music’s immediacy. As Jones says, "There's still something to prove."

The band’s third release for Cuneiform follows in the elusive, meandering trajectory of their earlier work, which is always instantly identifiable if never quite definable. They’ve managed to conjure a unique collage of intricate prog, lush pop and experimental noise, drawing on hugely disparate influences without ever settling on a sound that could be definitively traced to any of them in isolation. Meaning that they always did and continue to, sound like no one but themselves.

Following their previous release, No Ifs, Ands or Dogs, after a gap of six years, Putting Off Death is on the one hand simply an assertion that "We’re still here" from a band that never expected to be. CHEER-ACCIDENT continues to make vital, adventurous music after three decades despite - or maybe because of? - a revolving cast of collaborators (more than a dozen musicians are featured), and a notoriety in uneasy balance with an accompanying obscurity.

In the unusually long span since the band’s last release, the music industry has undergone seismic changes, which led CHEER-ACCIDENT to question whether traditional albums were still the ideal platform for their music. In the meantime, they continued to write music until the seven songs that make up Putting Off Death revealed their thematic and musical coherence and virtually demanded to become an album.

Listening to the singular blend of invention and accessibility, challenge and chemistry throughout the new album, another meaning for Putting Off Death emerges. Complacency can be its own kind of death, one that CHEER-ACCIDENT defiantly laughs in the face of. Jones and Libersher have adhered to the forward-thinking definition of the term "progressive" while subverting and diverting from the genre with cleverness and abandon.

Switzerland doesn’t produce many musical acts compared to other European countries, but the ones that do emerge are always of the highest quality. The Great Harry Hillman is a quartet from Lucerne, a lakeside city in the center of the country. About the name: Harry Hillman was an American athlete who won three gold medals at the 1904 Summer Olympics. That the hurdler Harry Hillman deserved his own band became apparent when exactly 105 years later The Great Harry Hillman came into being. Performing a sort of undefinable post-jazz which represents the jazz and creative music of today, we all feel quite that Harry Hillman would be pleased.

The Great Harry Hillman’s music combines jazz, rock, and improv into a subdued, layered, yet thrilling sound that will appeal to fans of bands like Radian or Tortoise, as well as modern jazz artists like Mary Halvorson.

The Great Harry Hillman thinks of itself as a collective, with nobody dominating the creative process and everyone making their voice heard. "We have music from all four bandmembers on the album," say the musicians, who speak as one. "Everyone brings tunes, fragments, et cetera, and we finalize every song together. Everything is a collective decision at the end." This philosophy has helped them to create a sound like no one else, one that has gradually mutated over time while retaining its essence. "Although we all have different backgrounds and work in different genres, it is very important that we are always open to any kind of influences from each of us. We wanted every song to have it's own strong mood," they say. "It was not the idea to feature extended solos, but to feature a strong sound as a band."

The album also has a strong live feel; while the sounds are electronically manipulated at times, this is music made by four men in a room. Indeed. Tilt is a quiet but powerful album by four thoughtful musicians who are more than capable of rocking out when they feel like it, but would more often than not rather wrap the listener in delicately constructed sonic webs of indefinable beauty. There are no gold medals in music (unless gold records count), but The Great Harry Hillman deserve a spot on the artistic podium for sure.

And speaking of artistic podium, Tilt comes in a specially band-designed and put together package, which is quite splendidly wonderful!
"Metaphorically, we could say that Miriodor is a planet, with aliens communicating in their mysterious ways with planet Earth," says Miriodor's keyboardist, Pascal Globensky. In that sense, the long-lived Montreal band's ninth album, entitled Signal 9, could simply be considered the ninth set of musical messages from that exotic heavenly body.

The Miriodor discography has been building strength upon strength with each successive album. The band combines jazz, classical, rock, and international influences for an arresting, idiosyncratic sound that eludes description but remains immediately identifiable as Mirodor.

Picking up where the most recent coded message from planet Miriodor, 2013's Cobra Fakir, left off, Signal 9 arrives like an invitation to an otherworldly voyage. Each track marks another twist and turn in a journey across strange, captivating landscapes populated by creatures, crafts, and constructions whose like has never been glimpsed outside the band's idiosyncratic ecosystem.

Globensky, drummer Rémi Leclerc, and guitarist Bernard Falaise have expanded Miriodor to a quartet with the addition of bassist Nicolas Lessard as a full-time member. Accordingly, the band works like a one eight-handed, four-brained organism here, operating more organically and collectively than ever.

And while Miriodor often forges some of their heaviest sounds to date over the course of Signal 9, the album is also loaded with off-the-wall humor and some beautiful, contemplative melodic moments. The combination makes for some crafty contrasts, frequently flipping back and forth drastically from one mood to another multiple times within a single composition for a jarring-but-thrilling effect.

Once you return to your everyday life after emerging from the alternative universe of Signal 9, the whole album seems like some kind of fever dream you've just emerged from. But the big difference is that it's a dream you're eager to leap right back into again.

FEBRUARY 2017 RELEASES

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2016 RELEASES

MAY / JUNE 2016 RELEASES

JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2016 RELEASES

OCTOBER 2015 RELEASES

MAY / JUNE 2015 RELEASES


JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2015 RELEASES
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2014 RELEASES
MAY 2014 RELEASES
JANUARY 2014 RELEASES
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2013 RELEASES
facebook twitter
© Cuneiform Records 2014
ARTISTS | TOURS | ABOUT | DISTRIBUTORS | STORE | CONTACT | LICENSING