Love in an Escalator, The Electric Grandmother’s 7th full-length release is their most sonically ambitious album to date, recorded over two years amidst the band’s move from Columbus, Ohio to Washington DC.
The title-track is a declaration to move onward and upward, a couple weathering the storm of transition and change. As illustrated by the emotive cover art by Anna Bihari, the band continues to press on with an “Us against the world” mentality, all the while determined to remain free spirits.
Pete Faust continues to defy songwriting convention while adhering to cohesive pop melodies in the style of an electronic-Ramones. In addition to her duties as the band’s live multimedia artist, Mary Alice Hamnett joins in on backup vocal duties, adding a saucy dynamic not heard before on previous EG albums. With this, the band finalizes what had been an ongoing transition from solo-to-duo.
Faust presents his usual sense of humor and postmodern sensibilities with observational quips about near-modern and contemporary entertainment on songs such as “The Internet,” “Virtual Reality Helmet,” and “Sitcom-Core,” a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the very genre he invented. The TV Sitcom themes are more often present on this album as metaphor and allegory, while occasionally still tackling the subject (The Cosby Show) head on in songs like “Mr. Clyde.” Faust’s wide musical influences are on display throughout – “Reagan’s Got the Bomb” is a tribute/parody of 80’s hardcore punk, while “Mom, What are Girls Like?” harkens back to old school hip-hop. The album is avant-garde without being pretentious, because while the band has matured musically, the subject matter clearly demonstrates the lack of maturity we’ve come to expect.
Love in an Escalator is available now for free download or for purchase in Deluxe, Standard, or CD formats. The Deluxe download has TEN additional bonus tracks – don’t miss out!
Electro-rock luminaries Infinite Number of Sounds release their 4th full-length album “Curio 2000-2012“, a collection of songs written and recorded for one-off live performances, indie films and art installations, as well as several songs cut from their most popular release, Radio Whales, due to time constraints.
This retrospective collection contains 16 unreleased tracks from throughout the band’s history, featuring music written music by the four original members of Infinite Number of Sounds (Brent Gummow, David Mansbach, Matt Mansbach and Ron Tucker) as well as contributions by Ed van der Kuil (Dink), cONScIENcE (Basement Love Underground), Jacob Wynne (Revolution Brass Band), Clayton Vaughn (Boulder Chamber Orchestra), Eric Alleman, Daniel Raible and Heather Manalili (ToBoxWithMan) and about a dozen zombie films.
Paul Stranahan is a drummer, composer, marimba player and teacher. He is the bandleader for PSI (Paul Stranahan’s Insomnia) and The Paul Stranahan Trio. He performs regularly with avant-metal band Red Side Visible and improv ensemble, Broadview Collective. Paul’s “Gong and Singing Bowl Improvisations” double album is his first solo release.
Mr. Stranahan’s compositions as a bandleader are technical and complex, but this solo gong and singing bowl setup allows him to experiment with different sounds and textures without regard for form.
Powered by three veterans of the Cleveland jazz scene, Monkeyspoon was an opportunity to react in the moment with trust and passion, inspired by a desire to be free in a three-dimensional world.
Their new album “Alone in the Desert” was recorded at a time where Peter “pedro” Dell (Djembe, Bongos, Paint Can, Percussion), Jack Novatny (Tenor and Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet, Flute), and Ron “ERU” Smith (Piano, Fretless and Upright Bass) were all musically, spiritually, and emotionally trying something new and uncharted. The improvisations captured on “Alone in the Desert” represent a musical give and take in sounds, colors, and rhythms. It was a very unique reunion of long standing friendships and where they were able to express their own personal journeys through the music.
Cloudlands is the first solo album by Kris “skinnyk” Morron. It is a collection improvised musical conversations between Kris (guzheng) and Dan Wenninger (soprano saxophone) or Andrea French (cello). Each piece is concurrently haunting and beautiful, conflicting and gentle. Music of this nature can only be created between musicians who know and trust each other and are of one mind when it comes to creating musical tapestries. The tracks captured on this album are simultaneously of the moment and years in the making.
As a trombonist, composer, teacher and arranger, skinnyk has been a significant contributor to the Cleveland music scene for over 15 years. Music fans around the Midwest are familiar with his work with ensembles including Mifuné, The Revolution Brass Band, Trepanning Trio, and the Aphrodesiatics. Kris is also a highly sought-after sideman and arranger who has worked with Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band (2009’s Leave a Trail), the Lakewood Project, a nationally acclaimed rock orchestra, and many other Cleveland-based ensembles. Most recently, skinnyk regularly performs with the Revolution Brass Band, Champion Bubblers International, Trepanning Trio, and the up-and-coming experimental dance group, the Looking-Glass Project.
Dan Wenninger is a long-time friend and colleague and a member of the Revolution Brass Band, Trepanning Trio and the free jazz trio, Oblique Orchestra. Andrea French is one of skinnyk’s college friends who has performed and recorded with Rise Against and numerous other artists on the Wind-Up Records, Warner Brothers, and Universal labels.
From the Sun News: “Kris Morron, Trepanning Trio offer musical journey in Lakewood”.
In the early 1990′s, Creamy Water Quiz (CWQ) experimented with an early music software program named Aegis Sonix on a Commodore Amiga 500 computer. Recording Sonix on a 4-track, with some synths and an assemblage of effects, they created some unabashedly unconventional psychedelic music.
Fast forward almost two decades, to August 2011, when these sessions are ‘re-discovered’ by Ryan ‘Delano’ Davis. CWQ decides to remix select tracks from this bygone analog era. “It’s All Your Vault: The Early 90’s Reinterpreted” is a modern perspective on some pre-millenium lo-fi reverberations. The goal of “It’s All Your Vault” was to preserve the linear and analog qualities of the original recordings, while infusing some new moxie via the digital domain with filters, compressions and an ambient approach to mixing.
We caught up with Adam ‘Miracle Kitty’ Walker, the other co-founder of the project and asked him a few questions about this new release.
Brent: Describe your technical process for creating this album?
Brent: What is the one tool that a CWQ album couldn’t be made without?
Brent: What is the oddest sample used in the recording?
Brent: What do you see when you hear these songs?
Naturally occurring right angles.
Triumphant wonderment of re-purposed robots.
The old analog future.
A collaboration between Wise Fool New Mexico and the Lensic Performing Arts Center, Circus Luminous is an annual “new circus” extravaganza featuring breath-defying circus acts created and performed by a predominantly local circus, dance and musical cast. Circus Luminous has become a Santa Fe family tradition for Thanksgiving Weekend, playing to sold out audiences at the historic Lensic Performing Arts Center each year since 2002.
The 2011 event is this Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm in Sante Fe, New Mexico, but Jeremy Bleich has unleashed his compositions from the 2009 event this week to help celebrate and promote the performance!
Ten years ago, Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company (INS Rec. Co.) offered up its first official release as an independent record label. The “Infinite Number of Sounds 2001 Compilation” featured 10-tracks by 4 Cleveland-based artists. We burned the CDs in our studio/living room, and Matt Mansbach (Nemo Nemon) painted each cover by hand. That compilation embodied our passion, ingenuity and DIY work ethic. It set the tone for the decade to come. Some tracks on that humble compilation would be polished and honed, and eventually appear on albums such as “Infinite Number of Sounds: Time Wants A Skeleton”, “Nemo Nemon: To Mock and Love”, and “Trepanning Trio: I Am a Crooked Arrow”.
Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company: YEAR 10 is INS Rec. Co’s 25th release. It features 13 tracks by a family of artists that has grown to stretch from east coast to west coast. It represents 10 years of experimental, instrumental, electronic, and independent music. It is a testament of what is still to come. We hope you will enjoy this collection of singles and return to check out the 8 upcoming full-length albums represented. Download, sample, and share with your friends!
Thank you all so much for your support.
Here’s to 10 more years!
Brent & David
Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company
Electric Grandmother has relocated their home base to the District of Columbia. I wrote to Pete and Mary Alice to discuss the big move, Fugazi, Alphonso Ribiero and their next album.
David: You lived in Columbus for 10 years, why did you decide to move? Why D.C.?
MA: We’d never intended to stay in Columbus forever and ended up staying a lot longer than we expected. Speaking for myself, Columbus came as quite a pleasant surprise to me, not being an Ohio native. The people, the culture, the pace and the food are just a few things that I grew to love and already miss terribly. It took an abrupt political shift with the potential to impact our livelihood to motivate us to finally leave. And I echo Pete in his assessment of the pull factors. I don’t think it’s completely sunk in yet that the White House is three miles down the street.
David: You just unleashed Sitcom Core on the nation’s capitol for the first time. How was it received?
MA: ^ Cute, isn’t he? I completely agree. After playing in front of an audience that was pretty consistently made up of friends and friends of friends for so long, it’s at once thrilling and scary and amazing to look back at brand new faces.
David: Can you describe “Sitcom-Core” for those who may not be familiar?
MA: What’s the over-under on Fugazi references in this discussion? It probably doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll put my money on the over.
David: Several years ago Pete, you and I have talked about the evolution of Sitcom Core. You said that you were moving away from the low-hanging fruit of 80 and 90’s family programming to explore more existential themes like “New Coke” and hipsters who talk like they are from England. How has your audience responded?
MA: I think he’s understating the response, honestly. Audience response has followed the same natural progression as his writing. I think it’s fair to say that England Man and Car Phone are two of the most beloved EG songs, because a good song is a good song.
David: You have a seventh album in the works. When is the projected drop date? How is your writing/recording process different now than when you released “My Imaginary Audience” in 2003?
My recording process has definitely changed a lot since 2003. For one, I used an analog 4-track back then, and was always scared that I’d wear out the tapes on playback, so often times I’d record a song and then not hear it again for months. Now since I record digitally, I can playback, tweak, adjust, doctor, and whatever to my heart’s content. The songs are less lo-fi, and have a lot more muscle now than they used to. I switched from Casio-keyboard beats to drum machines. I upgraded my synth/keyboard sound. Like I told Mary Alice before, it became a matter of wanting to be “good” instead of just “weird.” And not just for me, for her too. We invested a lot of money into our LCD Projector in 2006, and she’s really stepped her projection-game since then.
MA: Aw, thanks! I want to quickly add here, that having heard most of the songs that will go on the new album (spoiler alert!), I think the writing style has evolved (again) and listeners will either be surprised by the thoughtfulness and introspective nature of the lyrics or placated by the fact that it’s a total party up in here.
David: Will Smith recently purchased a piece of the Philadelphia 76ers… do you think Alfonso Ribeiro has ruined his dance prodigy legacy and been overshadowed by playing the role of “spoiled rich-kid Carlton Banks” in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996?
MA: This from the man who once wrote: “Will Smith is one fine actor, I wish I could be his benefactor.” Scientology changes everything.
Pete: But anyway, regarding Alphonso Ribiero. I don’t think he ruined his dance prodigy legacy by playing Carlton, in fact, he’s probably only enhanced it since the advent of YouTube. Have you seen his “Breakin’ and Poppin’” commercial? That shit is hot. Remember when there was a rumor that he broke his neck while breakdancing with Michael Jackson? This was in the early-80’s, I’m not even sure he was on Silver Spoons yet. I was always proud that I identified him as “Alphonso” almost immediately after I saw him as “Carlton,” even though it had been several years and he was now grown up. I’ve always been pretty good at those type of TV cross-examinations.
MA: You know, I don’t think anyone becomes famous purely for being able to dance well anymore. Good dancers are pop stars too, and I think poor Alphonso is to square-headed and greasy-looking to have become a pop star. But what’s cool about him is that people remember Carlton primarily for the Carlton Dance, so he kind of got the best of both worlds, even if his remarkable dancing ability was on display in a wacky, spastic routine to the sounds of Tom Jones instead of impersonating Michael Jackson. Yes, I would say old Alphonso did pretty well for himself in the end.
Mike Hovancsek is a multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and writer from Kent, Ohio. In the late 1980s he founded the Pointless Music label, which was devoted to experimental music releases. In his solo work, and with Pointless Orchestra, he recorded and/or performed with many notable members of the world music community.
Mike’s current musical output, which he describes as “multicultural chamber music,” often combines instruments from several different cultures in unique ways. Reviewer Anastasia Pantsios of Cleveland Scene describes his work as “elegant, textured music that sounds spare and understated yet is quite complex.”
With the re-release of “Temporal Angels“, Mike’s entire solo catalog is now available from Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Co. I wrote to Mike recently to talk about his music…
David: I first met you in Cleveland, at the release show for Temporal Angels in 2003. It was a special experience for me as an audience member. What do you remember from that night?
I also remember what an enthusiastic and well-informed audience we had that night. People had been listening to my radio interviews and reading the articles about my CD in the papers.
David: You have been making music for a long time. What was the first music you ever recorded?
David: What music were you listening to then?
David: What is your personal favorite piece that you have recorded?
David: What was the best collaborative experience/moment you ever had in a recording session?
David: You play many exotic instruments: guzheng, waterphone, koto, tambura, etc. What, is your musical education? How did you acquire the techniques to play all these instruments?
David: What new projects are you working on?