People of the North: Steep Formations
Started by Kid Millions and Bobby Matador of Oneida, People of the North is another voice emanating from that inscrutable Brooklyn collective. The group has always included Kid and Bobby, and usually other members of Oneida as well. POTN has performed live from time to time since 2002; most recently, they were invited by Portishead to play at the I'll Be Your Mirror edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival held in Asbury Park, NJ in October 2011.
In 2010, People of the North released its first full-length album, titled Deep Tissue. This recording was hailed by cognoscenti of contemporary psychedelia as an essential component of the recent Oneida canon. Media outlets compared the sound of Deep Tissue to Suicide and Silver Apples [Pitchfork]; This Heat [Stereogum]; Eno, Loop, Simply Saucer, and Amon Duul [Julian Cope at Head Heritage]; and Eno again [AllMusic].
Steep Formations, a double LP consisting of two long-form pieces, was recorded at the Ocropolis in 2010 and 2011, with the participation of Shahin Motia and Barry London of Oneida. Here, the drumming of Kid Millions has ascended to a profound and utterly unique level: muscular African-derived fluidity and relentless motorik drive have been alchemized into an indescribable brew that surges and pounds among the distorted tides of "Border Waves"; and the stony, brutal glaze of the title track displays a far more severe commitment to minimalism and noise than prior work offered.
Pterodactyl: Spills Out
On third album Spills Out, Brooklyn noise-punk mischief-makers Pterodactyl have mutated from their abrasive loft-show roots into a glorious, broken-pop juggernaut. The band's squealing, sweat-soaked art-bustle had rapidly put them alongside contemporaries like Oneida, These Are Powers and Parts & Labor; but Spills Out gently leads the trio towards the uplifting, wistful harmonies of '60s rockers like The Zombies, CSNY and the pre-acid Beatles. Pterodactyl's onomatopoetic barks have been replaced by a luxurious three-part croon; their adenoidal squawk has been expanded to include Spectorian levels of reassuring fuzz. Their most ambitious statement to date, Spills Out is triumphant, melancholic, unapologetically pop.
Shinji Masuko: Woven Music
Categories cannot contain Shinji Masuko. He's the founder of DMBQ - one of Japan's greatest modern psychedelic bands, a respected music and comic reviewer, an astonishing guitarist and a master guitar builder. He's also been a member of the Boredoms since 2004, having designed and built their notorious seven neck guitar (the Sevena) while acting as the band's principle guitarist. The idea for this record, Masuko's first solo work, was born during preparations for a series of Boredoms concerts in 2009 when Shinji played Kid Millions (of Oneida and Brah Records) some backing tracks he'd created for the Boredoms' current concert piece - Boadrum. For a short section of the live performance an incredible mass of multi-tracked droning guitars is mixed into the pounding chaos of the 9 person, multi-drummer ensemble. Shiji played Millions this unadorned recording while they were between rehearsals at Shinji's home in Osaka and Kid was astounded, convinced that this music needed to be heard on its own.
People Of The North: Deep Tissue
Started by Kid Millions and Bobby Matador of Oneida, People of the North is an ongoing but sporadic outgrowth of that restlessly experimental Brooklyn assemblage.? Since the first tour in early 2003, POTn has served as another language emanating from the screaming mouth of the O.? It has always included Kid and Bobby, and usually other members of Oneida as well.? ? While there are no clearly defined boundaries separating POTn from Oneida, it might be fair to say that the music tends to be more staunchly devoted to minimalism, repetition, improvisation, and sternness than the wide-ranging efforts of the big brother band.? There is no specific or overt "influence" that particularly defines the music on? Deep Tissue, but there's kind of a 70's Germany/80's Chicago/90's Japan/00's Iran thing with People of the North, so maybe that's there?
Sightings: City of Straw
Crafting a lasting personal aesthetic in the midst of our ephemeral music culture is as rare as it is cause for celebration. With the release of City of Straw Brooklyn's Sightings can be counted among the few contemporary bands who have forged a unique voice amongst the racket. Recorded over a number of months in 2009 at The Ocropolis (Oneida's Brooklyn, NY studio), the band's seventh studio album becomes the crucible from which their grandest and most coherent statement finally emerges. Sightings has never presented a particularly welcoming façade and their sui generis music has perhaps been passed over by less discerning listeners over the eleven years of their existence, but throughout this they have created a singular body of work appreciated and touted by the likes of Thurston Moore and Andrew WK. Sightings will insist (and we agree wholeheartedly) that at their core they are a rock band working within the context of pop song-craft. As bassist Richard Hoffman told us recently, "I think everyone in the band tries to remember the value of minimalism. Ultimately I think we try to write pop music, where there's no chaff and everything has a place." With a deep reach beyond the spirit of their influence from greats like Birthday Party, Dead C and Jesus Lizard, City of Straw finds Sightings working at the peak of their creative powers and is the perfect re-introduction to one of New York's most accomplished bands.