Phil Cobb • Paul Lai • Chris Meszler • David Moeggenberg • Marty Sataman

duoUpsilon Acrux is an instrumental quintet (dual guitars, keyboards, bass and drums). Their music is generally very intense, loud, hard-hitting and unbelivably virtuosic. Upsilon Acrux's music is demanding on many levels, but mostly it demands that you listen to it a number of times before forming an opinion, because only after you've gotten familiar with it can you get past the sheer complexity and onslaught of it all and hear the amazing musicality of what they are doing. This combination of blazingly fast, interwoven musical lines delivered at blinding speed mixed with their unique melodic sense makes Upsilon's music instantly recognizable.


RUNE 3345

"This, our fourth, is the first album we made with 2 drummers and unlike our last one, we fully embraced 'EPIC' as an overall theme and really stretched out more than ever w/ compositions and sound.
With 2 drummers + bass + Moog and guitar we separated the band into halves with the Moog highlighting whatever needed to be highlighted.
Every song has tons of polyrhythms and close interval tensions and we really came into our own here. All the songs are mid to long length and tried to break several rules per section. We even had songs people liked and asked us to play, which was a first...
Of people's favorites is, of course, the Goblin song from Dawn of the Dead which we combined with another Goblin song and Ballet Instructor which is basically classical math rock.
Other than these 2 songs I would say most everything is very challenging both sonically and compositionally. I believe we were trying to make music for the future, but it turns out the future is not as interesting as we hoped it would be; instead its just samples and dj's playing literal Doritos commercials on their THAT would have been a shitty album...
Also this album was co-released by Planaria/Epicene which collectively released awesome shit like Octis / Z's / Extra Life / Time of Orchids / Mick Barr "
– Paul Lai, August 2019

Jesse Appelhans - drums
Derek Burns - drums
Eric Kiernowski - bass
Nick Lejejs - Moogs
Paul Lai - guitar

Buy this album


RUNE 3344

"Sometimes albums are the collective energy of the people involved and how they interact with their surroundings. This would be that. On our third album, we were down to the original 3 members and it was back to basics.
By this time we had figured out that the only way we could excel as a 3 piece of 2 guitars & drums was to play tightly knit short songs that had little room to breath for all involved. I personally remember this as a negative period with a lot of negative energy; we turned our backs to the audience and purposefully engaged no one at all.
This album is definitely mostly very negative but has a really raw, insular energy thats unlike the rest of the albums, as its literally what we wrote with our backs against the wall (and turned away and against any audience).
Most of the album is just the raw 3 piece with no overdubs but then that trio ended and there are 2 newer songs w/ Eric Kiersnowski (Godzik Pink, Feather Wolf) which are lighter in tone and 2 with Bobb Bruno (Best Coast, For Carnation) playing bass. and also 2 compositions left over from the period of our first record that we didn't use before to counter-balance the brutality and bareness of the trio songs."
– Paul Lai, August, 2019

unless noted:
Jesse Klecker - drums
Paul Lai - guitar
Cameron Presley - guitar

3, 5 performed by:
Eric Kiernowski - bass
Jesse Klecker-drums
Paul Lai - guitars

8, 9, 10 performed by:
Muir Tennerstet - bass
Camerson Presley - guitar
Paul Lai - guitar
Jesse Klecker - drums

Buy this album


RUNE 3343

"Imagine what would happen if a so called "brutal prog" band tried to record an album like Faust?? Well this is pretty much it. We recorded for 30 days and nights and the things in-between; a lot of improvisation with different instruments and odd lineups.
We had large conceptual pieces including a Steve Reich "Phases" piece but with a warped Slayer record and an army of typewriters, a large ensemble free jazz piece including Mark Cisneros (the Make Up/Des Demonas) with timed changes written with crayons and some diagrams, a crazy long drone piece with Devin Sarno (Crib) aptly named Dark Rainbow with zero sense of irony and a clusterfuck of prog/zeuhl/live speaker cord out rock.
All recorded by me thru a 16 track reel to reel, this is about as far out as we could get without access to a submarine or Delorean.
The same 3 founding members + Josh Quon who played bass / viola / violin / bass clarinet / drums and everyone played Moogs."
– Paul Lai August, 2019

Tracks 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 are improvisations

All songs by Upsilon Acrux:
Jesse Klecker - drums
Josh Quon - bass
Cameron Presley - guitar
Paul Lai - guitar
[unless indicated below]

Descension: [a timed improvisation with no overdubs]
Jesse - drums
Cameron - guitarpercussion
Josh - bass, piano, viola
Paul - guitarpercussion
Mark Cisneros - tenor sax
Christiaan Cruz - alto sax
Mike Flowers - muted cornet
Rob Pash - trumpet
Don Munoz - pocket trumpet

Random Denoucement:
Mark Cisneros - tenor & soprano sax
Christiaan Cruz - alto sax

Evening No Star:
Jesse - drums
Cameron - guitar, bass, Moog
Paul - guitar, piano
Josh - piano, double bass, viola, drums

Dark Rainbow:
Jesse - drums
Cameron - propeller guitar
Paul - propeller guitar
Devin Sarno - ambient-destructo bass
Bobb Bruno - crate 'glass-on-glass' guitar

2-pin Connection
Jesse - drums, static
Paul - guitar, Moog, viola, soprano sax
Cameron - guitar, bass
Josh - bass, sax, drums

Buy this album


RUNE 3342

"Our first album and we were an ambitious bunch, determined to break all the molds both geographically and sonically.
Mixing basically everything we love then as well as now into our now more familiar style, though with greater emphasis on gradual instead of non stop neck snapping. Those things of course are in no preferential order.
Prog / Kraut / Free Jazz / 20th century classical / Theater of Eternal Music / Zeuhl / noise rock and of course chicken alarm clocks!!
It was essentially a 4 piece with 3 founding members including
Jesse Klecker (later Appelhans) / drums, percussion, bow
Paul Lai / guitars, Moog, reeds
Cameron Presley / guitars, Moog, reeds
and our dear friend and engineer of the record Muir Tennerstet, and we had Glenn Galaxy (Truman's Water) join us for baritone sax."
– Paul Lai, August, 2019

Jesse Klecker - drums, percussion, bow
Paul Lai - guitar, Moog, reeds
Muir Tennerstet - bass, Moog
Cameron Presley - guitar, Moog, reeds

Modulation 2 features Glen Galloway, Steve Blake and Josh Quon

Recorded and mixed at The Loft, San Diego in February 1997 & June 1997 by Muir/Upsilon.

Buy this album


RUNE 284

Upsilon Acrux are one of the most creative and original of the shockingly large number of great post-punk, avant-garde rock bands today. Their sixth album Radian Futura is explosive, intense and surprisingly beautiful intricate, instrumental rock music.

"...a feast of heavy, odd-time riffing" – Washington City Paper

"...a stunning example of both virtuosity and clever composition...amazing, and amazingly consistent...." – All Music Guide

"Seldom is music so challenging also so easy to listen to." – Prefix

"...there’s something revitalizing about hearing a band like Upsilon Acrux hitting their stride...." – Dusted

"Mixing instrumental complexity within highly structured mini epics...these guys sweat and spray us with the results." – Modern Drummer

“Upsilon Acrux is Amazzzzzzzzing” - Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth

“Upsilon Acrux makes some of the most detailed compositions I have ever heard” – Nels Cline

"Active in various configurations for a decade, the SoCal quintet condense hundreds of ideas into an instrumental supercollider and keep them vibrating on the brink of fission. The result is scary. The compositions -- spun with tight intensity by two guitars, synth, bass and drums -- link and overlap fragments from all over the musicsphere: Zappa carnivalations, Television accelerations, science polka, metallic fury, distant reggae. It’s nervous, sparky, often dissonant but more listenable than you’d think, even the 28-minute “Transparent Seas,” a work of symphonic scope spanning from switchback blasts to crushed nobility, with an elegant waltz in the middle so you can catch your breath...Strong cover art, funny song titles (“Keeping Rice Evil”) -- it’s hard to fault Upsilon Acrux except to wonder why they limit their audience to smart folks obsessed with metal/punk/art imaginings by fringineers.... Most of us come to music when we want to get drunk and screw; Paul Lai and his cabal get out their axes when they want to drink espresso and do calculus. Takes all kinds. Fortunately." –

Radian Futura press release

Buy this album


RUNE 245

Upsilon Acrux have been in existence for a decade in various formations, from a duo to an octet. Their current lineup of dual guitars, bass and drums is described by the band themselves as "our favorite version" of the group and it's a polyrhythmic squirly monster. This is Upsilon Acrux's fifth album of aggressive, intricate, athletic, complex and composed post-punk instrumental rock. Galapagos Momentum fuses the animalist attack of punk rock with a daring complexity and unusual instrumental techniques and sonorities. The music that results is very powerful but upon further listening, you'll realize that it features strangely beautiful melodies that unfurl like some anaerobic Martian flower. These guys will turn your brain to paste and you will be happy that they did!

"Technically brilliant, rhythmically unbelievable, with just the right amount of melody...for fans of avant rock and insane jazz rock." –

"...a refreshing ability to reference artists from Robert Fripp to John Coltrane with crushing irreverence. Maybe the last of the cool guitar bands." – Exclaim!

"...inspiring and exhilarating..." – splended e-zine

Galapagos Momentum press release

Buy this album

For press and media: cover art and high resolution images are available below for download (click thumbnail, right-click image and select "Save As.."). Please credit the photographer (when available) and "Courtesy of Cuneiform Records". For more information, click here.

Radian Futura
Galapagos Momentum
Scroll for more photos and art from other albums

Radian Futura press release
Galapagos Momentum press release
Galapagos Momentum press quotes

facebook twitter
Cuneiform Records 2014

Subscribe to Cuneiform's newsletter!